Picture of Spot fire merging in longleaf pine needles
David R. Weise

Research Forester
4955 Canyon Crest Drive
Riverside, CA 92507-6071
951-680-1543
david.weise@usda.gov

current research

I am conducting research on the mechanisms of fire behavior in live fuels with a team composed primarily of university collaborators and students at Brigham Young University and the University of Alabama at Huntsville and scientists in the RMRS Fire, Fuels and Smoke Program. The objectives of this research are to improve understanding of the relative importance of several factors such as chemical composition and water content, heat transfer modes and fluxes (convection and radiation), fuel particle geometry and fuel bed arrangement on pre-ignition and ignition processes and on subsequent fire spread within and between live shrub fuels. A DOD project funded in 2016 involving over 15 scientists will be studying the effects of heat transfer on pyrolysis and ignition of southern live fuels (https://www.serdp-estcp.org/Program-Areas/Resource-Conservation-and-Climate-Change/Air-Quality/RC-2640/RC-2640). Fire spread in chaparral fuels is being examined at three scales – the fuel element, the fuel bed, and in the field through a combination of experimentation and modeling. I am testing and validating laboratory scale results in field settings wherein the conditions are much less controlled and the fuel beds are more complex in live fuels such as chaparral, sagebrush and forests with shrub understories. An important aspect of the testing includes evaluation of existing fire behavior models such as WFDS and BEHAVE using experimental data.

research interest

My entire research career has been focussed on prescribed burning ranging from fire effects to my more recent focus on fire behavior and smoke.

importance

Effective use of prescribed burning requires both an understanding of fire behavior and the associated ecological effects. We must understand the important factors which govern fire behavior in living vegetation, an understudied research area, in order to model and predict fire behavior in these important fuel types.

Education

  • University of California, Berkeley Biometrics, fire modeling Ph.D. Wildland Resource Science 1993
  • Auburn University Forest biometrics M.S. 1986
  • Auburn University Forest Management (Honors Program) B.S. 1984
  • Auburn University Practical work experience Cooperative Education Certificate 1984

Professional Experience

  • PSW Fire and Fuels Program, Riverside, CA
    Research Forester
    2016 - Current
  • Fire and Fuels Program, PSW Research Station, Forest Service, Riverside, CA
    Research Forester (Team Leader)
    2011 - 2015
  • Prescribed Fire and Fire Effects Research Work Unit, Forest Fire Laboratory, PSW Research Station, Forest Service, Riverside, CA
    Supervisory Research Forester (Project Leader)
    1994 - 2010
  • Prescribed Fire and Fire Effects RWU, Forest Fire Laboratory, PSW Research Station, Forest Service, Riverside, CA
    Forester
    1987 - 1993
  • Fire Science Adaptations RWU, Southern Forest Fire Laboratory, SE Forest Experiment Station, Forest Service, Macon, GA
    Forester
    1984 - 1986
  • Fire Science Adaptations RWU, Southern Forest Fire Laboratory, SE Forest Experiment Station, Forest Service, Macon, GA
    Student Trainee (Forestry)
    1980 - 1983

Professional Organizations

  • Society of American Foresters (SAF) Member (1981 - Current)

Featured Publications & Products

Publications

R&D Affiliations


The sites listed below are external or third-party sites which the Forest Service has provided for reference only.
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