Carol L. Miller
790 East Beckwith Avenue
Contact Carol L. Miller
Primary responsibilities are to develop the understanding necessary to guide the stewardship of fire as a natural process in wilderness. This includes: 1) studying natural fire regimes and how they have been altered by management, 2) evaluating options for the stewardship of fire as a natural process and the consequences of these management alternatives, and 3) seeking to understand the social and institutional factors that influence the evaluation of tradeoffs by fire managers and members of the public.
Agents of landscape pattern formation.
Interactions among fire regimes, climate, and vegetation pattern.
Implications of fire suppression and our ability to restore fire as an ecosystem process.
Effects of global climatic change on disturbance regimes.
*Integration of fuel dynamics and fire processes into a forest succession model for the Sierra Nevada in California so that climate-fire-forest interactions could be better studied and understood.
*Development, use, and evaluation of spatially explicit models to map the likelihood of burning across heterogeneous landscapes for use in quantitative risk analysis.
*Retrospective modeling for quantifying the impacts of past suppression decisions and revealing the hidden consequences of suppression.
*Co-editor of a book on the Landscape Ecology of Fire.
*Analyses to evaluate the conservation capacity of the current protected area network in North America now and into the future.
*Use of wilderness fire histories to quantify the self-limiting property of fire regimes.
*Advancing knowledge about the formation, persistence, and function of fire refugia.
*A framework for understanding value-neutral and value-explicit dimensions of social-ecological resilience to wildfire.
Why This Research is Important
Managers of protected areas, such as wilderness, have the challenge of restoring or maintaining the disturbance process of fire while considering a suite of other social and ecological values inside and outside the boundaries of these areas. Their decisions can have long lasting consequences that are difficult to predict. Fire suppression is the dominant fire management strategy across all land designations, and in many areas, suppression has contributed to increasing hazardous fuel accumulations, increasing probability of extreme fire behavior and effects, and altered ecosystem structure and function. These results run counter to protected area management goals, and continue to increase the vulnerability of nearby human communities to wildland fire. Fire suppression also has helped to distort human perceptions of natural systems. The orientations toward fire management held by the public and government agencies need to shift away from suppression as the dominant strategy and toward a stewardship of the process of fire that includes natural and prescribed fire.
- Penn State University, B.S. Electrical Engineering 1985
- Colorado State University, M.S. Forest Sciences 1994
- Colorado State University, Ph.D. Ecology 1998
- Society for Wilderness Stewardship, Member (2011 - Current)
- Association for Fire Ecology, Member (2005 - Current)
- International Association of Wildland Fire, Member (2001 - Current)
- International Association for Landscape Ecology (U.S. Chapter), Member (1998 - Current)
Awards & Recognition
- National Wilderness Awards, Excellence in Wilderness Stewardship Research Award, 2016
This award recognizes the contribution of a timely research endeavor that informs and responds to wilderness stewardship challenges. Awarded for Parks, S.A. et al. 2015. Ecol Appl 25:1478-1492.
- Mid-Career Scientist Publication, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 2011
McKENZIE, D., MILLER, C., FALK, D.A., editors. 2011. The Landscape Ecology of Fire. Springer. 312 pages.
- Best Paper in Landscape Ecology, US Chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology, 2008
FALK, D.A., C. MILLER, McKENZIE, D., BLACK, A.E. 2007. Cross-scale analysis of fire regimes. Ecosystems 10: 809-823.
- Excellence in Research, National Fire Plan, 2005
Nomination was based on success in creating an interdisciplinary research program that proactively addresses high priority fire and fuels management needs.
- Best Early Career Publication, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 2004
MILLER, C. 2003. Simulation of effects of climatic change on fire regimes. Pages 69 – 94 in T. Veblen, W. Baker, G. Montenegro and T. Swetnam (eds.), Fire and Climatic Change in Temperate Ecosystems of the Western Americas. Springer-Verlag.
Featured Publications & Products
- Miller, Carol; Aplet, Gregory H. 2016. Progress in wilderness fire science: Embracing complexity.
- Falk, Donald A.; Miller, Carol; McKenzie, Donald; Black, Anne E. 2007. Cross-scale analysis of fire regimes.
- Parks, Sean A.; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Miller, Carol; Nelson, Cara R. 2015. Wildland fire as a self-regulating mechanism: The role of previous burns and weather in limiting fire progression.
- Parks, Sean A.; Miller, Carol; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Dobrowski, Solomon Z.; Abatzoglou, John. 2015. Wildland fire deficit and surplus in the western United States, 1984-2012.
- Parisien, Marc-Andre; Miller, Carol; Parks, Sean A.; DeLancey, Evan R.; Robinne, Francois-Nicolas; Flannigan, Mike D. 2016. The spatially varying influence of humans on fire probability in North America.
- Miller, Carol. 2012. The hidden consequences of fire suppression.
- Miller, Carol; Ager, Alan A. 2012. A review of recent advances in risk analysis for wildfire management.
- Batllori, Enric; Miller, Carol; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Parks, Sean A.; Moritz, Max A. 2014. Is U.S. climatic diversity well represented within the existing federal protection network.
- Holsinger, Lisa ; Parks, Sean A.; Parisien, Marc-Andre ; Miller, Carol ; Batllori, Enric ; Moritz, Max A. 2019. Climate change likely to reshape vegetation in North America's largest protected areas.
- Higuera, Philip E.; Metcalf, Alexander L.; Miller, Carol ; Buma, Brian ; McWethy, David B.; Metcalf, Elizabeth C.; Ratajczak, Zak ; Nelson, Cara R.; Chaffin, Brian C.; Stedman, Richard C.; McCaffrey, Sarah ; Schoennagel, Tania ; Harvey, Brian J.; Hood, Sharon M.; Schultz, Courtney A.; Black, Anne E.; Campbell, David ; Haggerty, Julia H.; Keane, Robert E.; Krawchuk, Meg A.; Kulig, Judith C.; Rafferty, Rebekah ; Virapongse, Arika . 2019. Integrating subjective and objective dimensions of resilience in fire-prone landscapes.
- Parks, Sean A.; Dobrowski, Solomon Z.; Shaw, John D.; Miller, Carol . 2019. Living on the edge: Trailing edge forests at risk of fire-facilitated conversion to non-forest.
- Parks, Sean A.; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Miller, Carol ; Parisien, Marc-Andre . 2018. Analog-based fire regime and vegetation shifts in mountainous regions of the western US.
- Parks, Sean A.; Parisien, Marc‐Andre; Miller, Carol; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Baggett, Larry Scott. 2018. Fine-scale spatial climate variation and drought mediate the likelihood of reburning.
- Robinne, Francois-Nicolas; Bladon, Kevin D.; Miller, Carol; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Mathieu, Jerome; Flannigan, Mike D. 2017. A spatial evaluation of global wildfire-water risks to human and natural systems.
- Haire, Sandra L.; Coop, Jonathan D.; Miller, Carol . 2017. Characterizing spatial neighborhoods of refugia following large fires in northern New Mexico, USA.
- Batllori, Enric; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Parks, Sean A.; Moritz, Max A.; Miller, Carol. 2017. Potential relocation of climatic environments suggests high rates of climate displacement within the North American protection network.
- Robinne, Francois-Nicolas; Miller, Carol; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Emelko, Monica B.; Bladon, Kevin D.; Silins, Uldis; Flannigan, Mike. 2016. A global index for mapping the exposure of water resources to wildfire.
- Barnett, Kevin; Parks, Sean A.; Miller, Carol; Naughton, Helen T. 2016. Beyond fuel treatment effectiveness: Characterizing interactions between fire and treatments in the US.
- Parks, Sean A.; Miller, Carol; Abatzoglou, John T.; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Dobrowski, Solomon Z. 2016. How will climate change affect wildland fire severity in the western US.
- Krawchuk, Meg A.; Haire, Sandra L.; Coop, Jonathan ; Parisien, Marc-Andre ; Whitman, Ellen ; Chong, Geneva ; Miller, Carol . 2016. Topographic and fire weather controls of contemporary fire refugia in forested ecosystems of northwestern North America.
- Barnett, Kevin; Miller, Carol; Venn, Tyron J. 2016. Using risk analysis to reveal opportunities for the management of unplanned ignitions in wilderness.
- Holsinger, Lisa; Parks, Sean A.; Miller, Carol. 2016. Weather, fuels, and topography impede wildland fire spread in western US landscapes.
- Parks, Sean A.; Miller, Carol; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Baggett, Scott; Bird, Benjamin J. 2016. Wildland fire limits subsequent fire occurrence.
- Cooke, Brian; Parks, Sean; Miller, Carol; Holsinger, Lisa; Nelson, Cara; Holden, Zack; Baggett, Scott; Bird, Benjamin. 2016. Wildland fire: Nature s fuel treatment.
- Haire, Sandra L.; Miller, Carol; McGarigal, Kevin. 2015. Influence of landscape gradients in wilderness management and spatial climate on fire severity in the Northern Rockies USA, 1984 to 2010.
- Keane, Robert E.; McKenzie, Donald; Falk, Donald A.; Smithwick, Erica A.H.; Miller, Carol; Kellogg, Lara-Karena B. 2015. Representing climate, disturbance, and vegetation interactions in landscape models.
- Hessburg, Paul F.; Churchill, Derek J.; Larson, Andrew J.; Haugo, Ryan D.; Miller, Carol; Spies, Thomas A.; North, Malcolm P.; Povak, Nicholas A.; Belote, R. Travis; Singleton, Peter H.; Gaines, William L.; Keane, Robert E.; Aplet, Gregory H.; Stephens, Scott L.; Morgan, Penelope; Bisson, Peter A.; Rieman, Bruce E.; Salter, R. Brion; Reeves, Gordon H. 2015. Restoring fire-prone Inland Pacific landscapes: seven core principles.
- Parks, Sean A.; Dillon, Gregory K.; Miller, Carol. 2014. A new metric for quantifying burn severity: The Relativized Burn Ratio.
- Parks, Sean A.; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Miller, Carol; Dobrowski, Solomon Z. 2014. Fire activity and severity in the western US vary along proxy gradients representing fuel amount and fuel moisture.
- Morgan, Penelope; Heyerdahl, Emily K.; Miller, Carol; Wilson, Aaron M.; Gibson, Carly E. 2014. Northern Rockies pyrogeography: An example of fire atlas utility.
- Parks, Sean A.; Miller, Carol; Nelson, Cara R.; Holden, Zachary A. 2014. Previous fires moderate burn severity of subsequent wildland fires in two large western US wilderness areas.
- Miller, Carol. 2014. The contribution of natural fire management to wilderness fire science.
- Fule, Peter Z.; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Brown, Peter M.; Falk, Donald A.; Peterson, David L.; Allen, Craig D.; Aplet, Gregory H.; Battaglia, Mike A.; Binkley, Dan; Farris, Calvin; Keane, Robert E.; Margolis, Ellis Q.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri; Miller, Carol; Sieg, Carolyn Hull; Skinner, Carl; Stephens, Scott L.; Taylor, Alan. 2014. Unsupported inferences of high-severity fire in historical dry forests of the western United States: Response to Williams and Baker.
- Haire, Sandra L.; McGarigal, Kevin; Miller, Carol. 2013. Wilderness shapes contemporary fire size distributions across landscapes of the western United States.
- Scott, Joe H.; Helmbrecht, Donald J.; Parks, Sean A.; Miller, Carol. 2012. Quantifying the threat of unsuppressed wildfires reaching the adjacent wildland-urban interface on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming.
- Parks, Sean A.; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Miller, Carol. 2012. Spatial bottom-up controls on fire likelihood vary across western North America.
- Parisien, Marc-Andre; Parks, Sean A.; Miller, Carol; Krawchuck, Meg A.; Heathcott, Mark; Moritz, Max A. 2011. Contributions of ignitions, fuels, and weather to the spatial patterns of burn probability of a boreal landscape.
- Parks, Sean A.; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Miller, Carol. 2011. Multi-scale evaluation of the environmental controls on burn probability in a southern Sierra Nevada landscape.
- Miller, Carol. 2010. Living with fire: Fire ecology and policy for the twenty-first century book review.
- Davis, Brett H.; Miller, Carol; Parks, Sean A. 2010. Retrospective fire modeling: Quantifying the impacts of fire suppression.
- Parisien, Marc-Andre; Miller, Carol; Ager, Alan A.; Finney, Mark A. 2010. Use of artificial landscapes to isolate controls on burn probability.
- Miller, Carol; Davis, Brett. 2009. Quantifying the consequences of fire suppression in two California national parks.
- Stewart, Susan I.; Wilmer, Bo; Hammer, Roger B.; Aplet, Gregory H.; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Miller, Carol; Radeloff, Volker C. 2009. Wildland-urban interface maps vary with purpose and context.
- Miller, Carol. 2008. Changing research needs in wilderness fire.
- Miller, C.; Parisien, M.-A.; Ager, A. A.; Finney, M. A. 2008. Evaluating spatially explicit burn probabilities for strategic fire management planning.
- Alexander III, Jack D.; Findley, Jean; Kury, Brenda K.; Beyers, Jan L.; Cram, Douglas S.; Baker, Terrell T.; Boren, Jon C.; Edminster, Carl; Ferguson, Sue A.; McKay, Steven; Nagel, David; Piepho, Trent; Rorig, Miriam; Anderson, Casey; Hoadley, Jeanne; Ford, Paulette L.; Andersen, Mark C.; Fredrickson, Ed L.; Truett, Joe; Roemer, Gary W.; Kury, Brenda K.; Vollmer, Jennifer; May, Christine L.; Lee, Danny C.; Menakis, James P.; Keane, Robert E.; Zhu, Zhi-Liang; Miller, Carol; Davis, Brett; Gray, Katharine; Mix, Ken; Kuvlesky Jr., William P.; Drawe, D. Lynn; Narog, Marcia G.; Ottmar, Roger D.; Vihnanek, Robert E.; Wright, Clinton S.; Paysen, Timothy E.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; White, Carleton S.; Rogan, John; Stow, Doug; Franklin, Janet; Miller, Jennifer; Levien, Lisa; Fischer, Chris; Underwood, Emma; Klinger, Robert; Moore, Peggy; Wright, Clinton S. 2008. Poster Session- Extended Abstracts.
- Miller, Carol. 2007. Simulation of the consequences of different fire regimes to support wildland fire use decisions.
- Doane, Dustin L.; O'Laughlin, Jay; Morgan, Penelope; Miller, Carol. 2006. Barriers to wildland fire use: A preliminary problem analysis.
- Miller, Carol. 2006. Wilderness fire management in a changing world.
- Miller, Carol; Landres, Peter. 2004. Exploring information needs for wildland fire and fuels management.
- Parsons, David J.; Landres, Peter B.; Miller, Carol. 2003. Wildland fire use: the dilemma of managing and restoring natural fire and fuels in United States wilderness.
- Miller, Carol; Landres, Peter B.; Alaback, Paul B. 2000. Evaluating risks and benefits of wildland fire at landscape scales.
|A global assessment on the effects of wildfire on freshwater resources: Addressing potential vulnerability to water security|
Freshwater resources are vital to humans and our natural environment. Water systems around the world are at risk resulting from population growt ...
|The Effectiveness of Wildfire as a Fuel Treatment|
New research results provide crucial information to land managers as they assess trade-offs associated with wildfire suppression and appropriate ...
|The hidden consequences of fire suppression|
Researchers are investigating the true costs of suppressing wildfires and finding results that will have broad national applicability. Their me ...
|Wildland Fire: Nature’s Fuel Treatment|
In recent decades, many landscapes across the western United States have experienced substantial fire activity. These fires consume fuels and al ...
|Windows of Opportunity for Allowing Wilderness Fires to Burn|
A goal of fire management in wilderness is to allow fire to play its natural ecological role without intervention. Unfortunately, most unplanned ...