International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Utilising scientific information to support resilient forest and fire management

Melanie M. Colavito
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 930 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA. Email: mmcolavito@alaska.edu

International Journal of Wildland Fire 26(5) 375-383 https://doi.org/10.1071/WF16158
Submitted: 19 August 2016  Accepted: 11 March 2017   Published: 9 May 2017

Abstract

There is increasing interest in better understanding resilience in forest and fire management but a great deal of uncertainty about the characteristics of resilient systems. This presents an opportunity for scientists, managers and other constituents to work together to develop actionable scientific information to inform planning, decision-making and implementation that fosters resilience in forest and fire management. However, despite efforts to improve the usability of scientific information, effectively connecting science and decision-making remains a challenge. Following a workshop about ecosystem resilience in the Southwest United States, interviews were conducted with scientists, managers and other constituents to assess the use of scientific information in forest and fire management. Interview respondents were asked how scientific information is used in management, how management needs are considered in research, how scientific information is communicated, what scientific information is lacking and how scientists and managers can most effectively work together. The results provide insight into the application, development and communication of scientific information, resilience research needs and recommendations for facilitating collaborative research. In-person interactions, identification of common goals, and sustained, ongoing communication are identified as the most important strategies for facilitating collaboration among scientists, managers and other constituents to support resilient forest and fire management.

Additional keywords: communication, planning.


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