Forest Disturbance Processes

North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange


[image:] Map of North Atlantic states and southeastern Canada showing state boundaries, major cities, and forest types. There is a fundamental misconception that wildland fire is an insignificant disturbance in the region. In reality, research shows that fire historically played a vital role in many of the ecosystems of Northeastern United States and Southeastern Canada. Additionally, small, but significant fire-adapted natural communities and highly flammable fuel types are present throughout the region. The management of these systems is complex and can be contentious because of public perceptions and limited local research. The changing climate has the potential to further alter the role fire plays in these ecosystems.

Fire and forest management activities in the North Atlantic are complicated by dense populations and a uniquely challenging web of land ownerships, management organizations, political boundaries, fragmented ecosystems, and regulations. While the opportunity for science-based fire management in the region has expanded greatly over the last 30 years, the need has grown for a consortium that will link management agencies with researchers.

Our Response

Fire Science in Action

The North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange (NAFSE) is designed to provide a forum for connecting researchers and managers, to catalyze fire science collaborations, and to develop and apply science to meet management challenges. The NAFSE is the newest member of the Joint Fire Science Program Knowledge Exchange Consortia.

Expected Outcomes

Short-term:  Increased use of NAFSE resource as hub for fire scientists and managers.  Stakeholders find NAFSE credible and relevant.  Increased adoption and adaptation of existing products and tools to eastern fire management decisions.

Medium-term:  Scientists and managers communicating without barriers.  “Co-production of knowledge.”  Fire is appropriately perceived in our landscape.

Long-term:  Landscape intelligently managed through the implementation of relevant science.  Harmonized management goals with balance of ecological needs, public safety, and economic sustainability. Society including managers, scientists, policymakers, and public all on same page.

Consortium Goals

The NAFSE aims to become the hub for regional fire science communication and delivery.  The goals of the Consortium are to: 

  • Catalyze: Catalyze collaboration between scientists and land managers
  • Innovate: Determine innovative solutions focused on the region’s unique science and management challenges.
  • Synthesize: Consolidate existing research for land managers
  • Communicate: Become the cohesive outlet for regional fire science communication and delivery

Join us!

To learn more information or to join, contact: 
Erin Lane
USDA Forest Service—USDA Northeast Climate Hub, North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange

Research Participants
The NAFSE Community Representatives are:

  • Dr. Gregory Nowacki, Regional Ecologist, USDA Forest Service Eastern Region
  • Dr. Kenneth Clark, Research Forester, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station
  • Thomas Parent, Director, The Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact
  • Selection Pending, Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Protection Compact
  • Maris Gabliks, Assistant Director for Fire and Aviation, USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area
  • John Ross, Chair, Fire Science and Technology Community of Practice, Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre
  • Tom Gerber, Section Fire Warden, New Jersey Division of Forestry/Forest Fire Service
  • John Cecil, Vice President for Stewardship, New Jersey Audubon Society
  • Brad Simpkins, Director, New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands
  • Jennifer Chase, Chairperson/Fire Management Specialist, The Nature Conservancy/ Pennsylvania Prescribed Burn  Council
  • Neil Gifford, Conservation Director, The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission
  • Dr. Jessica Leahy, Associate Professor, University of Maine
  • Dr. Lauren Howard, Assistant Professor, Arcadia University
  • Joel Carlson, Principal Consultant/Owner, Northeast Forest and Fire Management, LLC
  • Dr. William Patterson III, Emeritus Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Dr. Matthew Duveneck, Post-Doctoral Scholar, Harvard Forest

Principal Investigators

  • Erin Lane, US Forest Service White Mountain, Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests, Fire Planner - Consortium Coordinator
  • Nicholas Skowronski, US Forest Service Northern Research Station - Research Forester- Principal Investigator
  • Amanda Mahaffey, Forest Guild – Northeast Regional Director
  • Inga La Puma, Rutgers University – Visiting Scholar



Last Modified: May 20, 2015