My work at the Fire Lab focuses on fire behavior and fire danger rating. I manage and provide support for the BehavePlus fire modeling system and provide training for use of BehavePlus for modeling wildfire and prescribed fire. I also provide technical transfer and outreach support for scientists at the Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program. Finally, I am able to work in climate change research, education, and outreach.
My primary research interests include the BehavePlus fire modeling system, including technical transfer of software documentation, developing a computerized fire characteristics chart for both fire behavior and fire danger, Fire Behavior, and Fire Danger Rating, particularly as it relates to recent climate change.
Past research has included validation of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation productivity algorithms (e.g., Gross Primary Production); using the Biome-BGC ecosystem modeling software to estimate carbon balance in a number of ecosystems; and a summary publication outlining the features of the BehavePlus fire modeling system.
My research is important because BehavePlus is used throughout the wildland fire community for estimating fire behavior. It is important that the software provides consistent answers for managers and that managers understand the proper interpretation of results. Recent changes in climate may have resulted in increases in fire danger across the western U.S., and I am interested in determining what impact, if any, a changing climate has on calculations of fire danger in the Northern Rocky Mountains and Great Basin.