Fire Science News for the Lake States Region - December 2015

In This Issue

Consortium Staff
Jack McGowan-Stinski
Program Manager

Administrative Committee
The Ohio State University
Charles Goebel, PI
David Hix, Co-PI
Eric Toman, Co-PI
Michigan State University
Jessica Miesel, Co-PI 
Wayne State University
Dan Kashian, Co-PI 
Greg Corace, Co-PI
USFS Northern Research
Brian Palik, Co-PI
Randy Kolka, Co-PI

Advisory Committee

Jim Barnier, WDNR
Marty Casselius, BIA
Paul Charland, USFWS
Theresa Gallagher, USFS
Dave Heaman, OMNR
Andy Henriksen, NRCS
Michele Richards MI NG
Mark Sargent, MI DNR
Darwin Schultz, MI TNC
Scott Weyenberg, NPS

December 2015: Volume 6, Issue 12

January 2016 Webinar

A Brief Introduction to the Facilitated Learning Analysis

Persephone Whelan
Huron-Manistee National Forest

January 21, 2016
2 PM Eastern/ 1 PM Central

 “Any safety system depends crucially on the willing participation of the workforce, the people in direct contact with the hazards. To achieve this, it is necessary to engineer a reporting culture – an organizational climate in which people are prepared to report their errors… An effective reporting culture depends, in turn, on how the organization handles blame and punishment… What is needed is a just culture” -- James Reason

This webinar will be a brief glance into an organization’s grass roots adoption of the principles behind the Facilitated Learning Analysis, the learning curve, and a hopeful look into the future. 

(No registration or passcode needed – please choose “Guest Login” and type in your First and Last name)
Or copy-and-paste into your browser:


Burning Issues Symposium

How Do We Integrate Competing Wildland Fire Objectives in Land Management and Restoration?
Day One: This wildland fire symposium is designed for land managers, researchers, resource specialists, and fire practitioners to hear from invited speakers with many different areas of expertise.

The four topics for Day One include: 
  • Fire in Transition: Adapting to a Changing Climate.
  • Boots in the Water: Case studies of Fire in Wetland Restoration.
  • Lessons Learned Restoring Oak Systems - Ecology, Silviculture, and Fire Management in the Central Hardwoods Region.
  • Achieving the Perfect Burn: Effectively Communicating the “Fire Vision” from Planning through Implementation.
Day Two: Three concurrent breakout sessions offer opportunities to focus on one topic - with an emphasis on identifying gaps in knowledge and communication, and to support working toward solutions to issues that complicate our collective wildland fire work.
  • What was the question? Defining Uncertainties in Using Fire to Manage Wetlands
  • Back From the Future – ‘Backcasting’ From A Desired Future For Fire and Oak Research and Management
  • Achieving the Perfect Burn: Effectively Communicating the “Fire Vision” from Planning through Implementation.
Thanks to Fort Custer Training Center we are able to keep costs low.

The registration fee includes lunch, snacks and coffee on both days.

Regular registration - $65 by January 8, 2015
Late registration - $75 by January 22, 2016
Reduced Rate for students/volunteers/private landowners - $35
(NOTE: Reduced Rate has limited capacity. Please contact Jack McGowan-Stinski for the Reduced Rate Code).

Lodging is available at Fort Custer Training Center at a maximum rate of $50 per night. Current quoted rate is $35 per night.

Note: rooms are semi-private. Rooms have a single twin bed and share a bathroom (toilet and shower) with one adjacent room.

Call 269.731.6126 for reservations.

Other lodging options are available in Kalamazoo, Michigan


Intern Proposals Due in One Month

The Lake States Fire Science Consortium (LSFSC) is committed to ensuring that the ‘best available science’ is available for planning and managing fire-dependent ecosystems of the northern Lake States.  Where there are current gaps in the science, the goal of the LSFSC is to assist in filling those gaps so that science informs practice and vice-versa. Unfortunately, for many local fire management issues, there are few resources available to bring managers and scientists together to solve these important issues.

In an effort to enhance the opportunities for managers and scientists to work together, and to expose future professionals to opportunities of management and research collaborations, the LSFSC requests proposals to fund research internships that address relevant fire science and management issues associated with fire-dependent ecosystems of the northern Lake States region.  Proposals must be developed by joint manager-scientist teams (i.e. both must be listed as co-PIs and equally contribute to proposal development) and outline how the research internship will address a critical need that will help improve management of fire-dependent ecosystems locally.     

The LSFSC anticipates awarding several $4,000 research internship awards.  It is expected that 100% of the funds will be used primarily as a stipend for a current undergraduate student intern and not as a supplement for graduate student funding.  All proposals must be submitted by 5:00 PM Eastern/ 4:00 PM Central on Monday, February 1, 2016 by email to  There will be no exceptions to this closing date and time. 

Proposals should be concise and no longer than four (4) pages in length. It is anticipated that the projects will be no longer than three to six months.  Upon completion of the project a brief final report, and a short webinar, will be required.  Proposals that do not meet all requirements will not be considered for funding. Each proposal will be reviewed and its merits judged in the context of specific goals, nature of the collaborative arrangement, and potential for the collaborative relationship to continue into the future.

The proposal should:
  1. Clearly articulate the nature of the fire science and/or fire management issue
  2. Describe the significance of the issue locally and to the region
  3. Outline a clear plan of action (including the specific research questions or objectives and methods) and describe how the undergraduate intern will help advance this plan
  4. Specifically outline deliverables and a time frame for each
  5. Provide a clear indication of the collaborative relationship and plans to continue the collaborative research into the future.  
  6. Provide an itemized budget for the project.  Most funding should support the undergraduate intern; however, a small portion of the budget can be used to purchase materials and supplies that support the research project.  Travel and indirect costs will not be supported.   
This information is also available HERE.

To view examples of the successful internship awards in 2013 -2015, please see our webinar archive and recordings for December 19, 2013; December 18, 2014; and November 19, 2015

Questions should be directed to: 
Charles Goebel, LSFSC Program Director (; 330-263-3789)
Jack McGowan-Stinski, LSFSC Program Manager (; 989-287-1734)   


A Look Back at LSFSC 2015 Webinars


Go to our
LSFSC Webinar Archive Page
to access
Recording Links and PDF’s
of these presentations

PART ONE January 15, 2015 and PART TWO March 12, 2015
Phragmites and Prescribed Fire: Effectiveness, Seasonal Prescriptions, and Risk Assessment
Lee Osterland, Fire Management Specialist, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

January 28, 2015 (hosted by Alaska FSC)
Canadian REDapp Fire Behavior Calculator: A new tool for Alaska & Great Lakes fire management agencies?
Neal McLoughlin, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, REDapp Development

February 19, 2015 
Long-term Effects of Repeated Prescribed Burning on Tree Growth and Drought Vulnerability in Pinus resinosa Forests in Northern Minnesota
Alessandra Bottero, NE CSC Postdoctoral Fellow & Research Associate, University of Minnesota

March 19, 2015
Fire Monitoring: Fuels, vegetation, and fire behavior examples from landscape red pine and jack pine burns
Brian Stearns, Huron Shores Ranger District, Huron-Manistee National Forests

April 16, 2015 
Easy-To-Use Smoke Tools
Trent Wickman, Air Resource Management, USDA Forest Service - Superior National Forest

June 16, 2015 
LANDFIRE Biophysical Setting (BpS) Review
Randy Swaty, Ecologist, LANDFIRE

October 15, 2015
Past fire and present-day mesophication: Implications for oak ecosystem restoration 
Greg Nowacki, USFS Regional Ecologist Eastern Region. (Co-hosted with Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savanna FSC, and Society of Ecological Restoration - Midwest Chapter)

November 19, 2015
Webinar on 2015 Intern Projects: Response of insectivore pollinators to a large-scale pine barren restoration project in northeast Wisconsin - and - The Lakewood Southeast Restoration Project of northeastern Wisconsin (Brian Sturtevant, Deahn Donner, Christel Kern - USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, and Scott Anderson, John Lampereur and Jay Saunders - USDA Forest Service, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest) - and An historical lens to investigate changes in the forest structure and fire adaptation of the Great Lakes National Parks (Alison Paulson and Donald Waller - University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Suzanne Sanders and Jessica Kirschbaum - National Park Service Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network, Ashland, WI)

December 17, 2015
Past and future wildfire as predicted by combustion dynamics and ignition in Lake States ecosystems 
Richard Guyette, School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri, Missouri Tree Ring Laboratory


Forest Stewards Guild Study Highlights Successful Solutions for Reducing Wildfire Risk


 Lessons learned in the New Mexico wildland-urban interface

A new report (A JFSP funded project produced by the Forest Stewards Guild) Evaluating the Effectiveness of Wildfire Mitigation Activities in the Wildland-Urban Interface, shares lessons learned from communities across New Mexico.  

Report Highlights:
  • Where communities and land managers apply appropriate strategies, they can reduce wildfire intensity enough to give firefighters the opportunity to protect lives and properties.
  • Two-thirds of homes analyzed lack key elements of defensible space. However, nearly 20 percent of the average home hazard could be reduced by taking relatively simple mitigation measures such as moving flammable material away from homes.
  • People are the key: community wildfire protection planning efforts that are inclusive and build trust within communities are linked to successful outcomes.
The report found that effective treatments are guided by a strategic CWPP and include both thinning and surface fuel reduction. Neighbors and engaged individuals are crucial for expanding and deepening the adoption of home mitigation measures.  While fire can never be completely eliminated from fire-adapted ecosystems, building fire-adapted communities links the wide range of WUI mitigation approaches in a way that can significantly reduce the impacts of wildfires on communities. 
A webinar will present findings from the report on January 13th 2016 2 PM Eastern/ 1 PM Central


Wildland-Urban Interface Focus: Smoke Management 

Check out NAFSE's December research brief highlighting an informative report that came out of the USDA Forest Service's Southern Research Station: Managing smoke at the wildland-urban interface by Dale Wade and Hugh Mobley. This paper provides a template for sound decisions regarding smoke management in the wildland-urban interface.

Between Two Fires - New Book from Stephen Pyne

From a fire policy of prevention at all costs to today's restored burning, Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary America is America's history channeled through the story of wildland fire management.

Stephen J. Pyne tells of a fire revolution that began in the 1960s as a reaction to simple suppression and single-agency hegemony and then evolved into more enlightened programs of fire management. It describes the counterrevolution of the 1980s that stalled the movement, the revival of reform after 1994, and the fire scene that has evolved since then. 

The research was sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Joint Fire Science Program.
Source: Friday Flash eNews, Issue 135 | November 20, 2015

You Can Help
with the
LANDFIRE Biophysical Settings Review

LANDFIRE is continuing their first formal, complete review and improvement Biophysical Settings (BpS) Models and Descriptions since they were developed and delivered nearly a decade ago. LANDFIRE is starting an important project that you may want to be part of. Beginning in November 2015, LANDFIRE began a process of reviewing . This is the first formal, complete review of all models and descriptions since they were developed and delivered many years ago. Because LANDFIRE is collaborative by design, your contribution to this vital update is important.  LANDFIRE has set up a website that contains all the information needed to complete the review and provide comments back to the TNC LANDFIRE Team. You can review any BpS you wish at your convenience and in your office, and we are glad to help you get started. Not only are BpS models and descriptions important internally to the LANDFIRE Program, they are also used across the nation in a spectacular array of applications and landscapes. Your wisdom and experience are critical to improving this unique ecological product. 

To give you a better sense of what we are asking of folks, we’ve designed a simple website that guides reviewers through the process. Here’s how it works, we ask reviewers to:
  1. Go to to learn about the process.
  2. Choose an ecosystem(s) of interest and download its description document (the attached documents are examples of ecosystems; this is exactly what you would get from the website but the website has many, many more choices).
  3. Follow the instructions on page one of the description document which direct the reviewer to turn on track changes, read the information and provide feedback.

Regional Fire Trainings

If you are offering fire courses in the next year please send information to Jack McGowan-Stinski so we can post in future newsletters for you.

Conferences in the Region

9th Annual Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference
January 15-16, 2016, Kellogg Conference Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.

The 76th Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference
January 24-27, 2016 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, MI. 

Burning Issues Symposium: How do we integrate competing fire objectives in land management and restoration?
A Symposium hosted by:  MI National Guard, Michigan Prescribed Fire Council, Lake States Fire Science Consortium, and Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savanna Fire Science Consortium
When: February 2-3, 2016
Where: Fort Custer Training Center, Augusta, MI

Registration fee (includes lunch, snacks and coffee both days): Regular registration $65 by January 8, 2016; Late registration $75 by January 22, 2016; and a Reduced Rate registration for students/ volunteers/ private landowners at $35
Website for AGENDA

2016 Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of the Wildlife Society
February 9–11, 2016 at Mankato City Center Hotel in Mankato, MN
The annual meeting will feature a plenary session on fire ecology, multiple special and general sessions encompassing a variety of topics, and a poster session will provide further opportunity to showcase your work. Presentations will highlight proposed research, research results, non-research projects, or thought-provoking ideas about wildlife conservation. 

Registration Form

Conferences and Workshops in the U.S.

2016 Wildland-Urban Interface Conference 
March 8-10, 2016 in Reno, NV

International Association of Wildland Fire - 5th Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference
April 11-16, 2016 in Portland, OR and Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Want to submit an article, post an event or training, or contribute a success story?

Does your agency, organization, or community have a wildland fire science project, event, training, or story you would like to see featured in the Lake States Fire Science Consortium Newsletter? 
Please send submissions to Jack McGowan-Stinski.
Copyright © 2015 Lake States Fire Science Consortium, All rights reserved.
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