NAFSE August 2016 Newsletter
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In this month's Newsletter:
NAFSE's Activities: Renewal, Oak Capstone Workshop/Field Trip Recap
NAFSE's Upcoming Events: Canadian Fire Science Exchange Day, Allegheny SAF: NJ Division Meeting
Joint Fire Science Program Funding Opportunities Sneak Peak
National Wildfire Coordinating Group: Request for Comments
Smoke and Prescribed Fire Message from EPA, USDA and DOI 
In The News: Insects, Microbes, WUI in PA
Upcoming Events: Conferences, webinars, training courses
So This Happened: Call for unknown research and oral histories
North Atlantic Fire Science Resource Highlights: EPA wildfire smoke guidelines updated

North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange Funding Renewed

Good news! The Joint Fire Science Program has funded NAFSE for two more years. Over the past two years we have worked hard to create a network of wildland fire folks with an enthusiasm for the best fire science available. We are excited to continue providing you with informative webinars, field trips, research briefs and workshops while facilitating communications tailored to our region's unique challenges. 


Oak Capstone Workshop and Field Trip Recap

The North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange (NAFSE) held a two-day workshop on Fire in Oak: Regional Differences, Local Applicability. Hosted by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MA DFW), the workshop featured a full-day field trip to fire-influenced oak sites in the vicinity of Westborough, Massachusetts, as well as an outstanding indoor program featuring speakers with fire and oak experience in New England and beyond. Participants came from federal, state, and local agencies as well as universities, conservation organizations, and consulting businesses, all with an interest in fire, oak, or both.

The weather on June 15 was perfect for the field trip, and over 50 participants crowded into the bus and vehicle convoy, ready for a full day of learning. The first stop brought us to Crocker Conservation Area, a property of the North County Land Trust in Fitchburg. This area was swept by a large forest fire in November of 1948, as evidenced by fire scars and the quality and composition of the residual stand. Forester Roger Plourde is working with the land trust to outline achievable management objectives and implement treatments that reflect the site history and values the land provides. A chief objective is to promote mast species such as red oak to benefit wildlife and wood product markets while improving the overall health of the stand (for example, by reducing infected areas of beech and leaving some resistant beech) and protecting the water quality in the nearby Overlook Reservoir....

See photos and read more about the event on our blog with links to a virtual field trip and workshop presentations.

NAFSE's Upcoming Events:
1.Fire Science Exchange Day Field trip: New Brunswick, Canada
Join NAFSE and our Canadian partners for an all-day, indoor-outdoor workshop on fire science and management issues that transcend the international border between Canada and the United States. We will hear from scientists and managers on the interactions of insects such as spruce budworm, forest pests and pathogens, fire, fuels, fire effects, and fire behavior. Cost: Free, BBQ included. Lodging OYO.
  • Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - Fredericton, NB, Canada (Hugh John Flemming Forestry Complex Theatre)
To Register: Please forward your names and email information to, by August 31, 2016.
  • Limited NAFSE travel funding is available. Apply Here.
  • Along with the in-person field day, NAFSE will also be hosting a Canadian based webinar in September. Keep your eyes peeled for more details and a registration email! 
  • To review our interview with John Ross, Acting Forest Protection Director for Nova Scotia Natural Resources Department in our January newsletter, click here.
2. Allegheny Society of American Foresters Meeting: New Jersey Chapter Meeting: Forest Management for Productivity and Resilience

September 14 -16, 2016 -- The Westin, Mount Laurel, NJ

Register Here!

Amongst an action packed agenda NAFSE is sponsoring Daniel Dey's talk at this meeting. Daniel is a Project Leader / Research Forester at the USDA Forest Service in Sustainable Management of Central Hardwood Ecosystems and Landscapes. His talk will address: “The Eastern Oak Forest Silviculture with Fire for Safety, Wildlife, and Forest Health Benefits”. Additionally, Inga La Puma will be reviewing the functions of our Exchange for participants with a short talk.

Joint Fire Science Program 2017 Research Topics - Sneak Peek

The North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange is funded by the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP). In addition to the regional Exchanges, one of their core missions is to "solicit proposals from scientists who compete for funding through a rigorous peer-review process designed to ensure the best projects are funded". JFSP will be requesting fire science research proposals through one or more formal Funding Opportunity Notice announcements beginning approximately September 15, 2016 and remaining open through November 17, 2016.

This is an early alert to investigators interested in the topics listed below so you can begin considering responsive ideas with potential partners and collaborators. 

Topics may include:

- Landscape fuel treatment as a fire management strategy
- Effects of wildfire as a treatment
- Post-fire recovery
- Fire effects on herbaceous species, shrubs, and seed banks
- Validating mesoscale, atmospheric boundary prediction models and tools
- Factors that affect the co-management of fire “risk”
- Graduate Research Innovation (GRIN) Award
- Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment (FASMEE)

See Full Notice for Details
National Wildfire Coordinating Group: Request for Comments
The NWCG Fuels Management Committee is seeking comments on proposed revisions to the draft NWCG Prescribed Fire Complexity Rating System Guide (PMS 424). The guide is a "decision support tool that illuminates the risk to values associated with the prescribed fire implementation." They encourage prescribed fire plan preparers, prescribed fire practitioners, agency administrators, fire management officers, and other pertinent personnel to respond to this request.
Smoke and Prescribed Fire Message from EPA, USDA and DOI 
A “Joint Wildland Fire Air Quality Message” was developed between EPA, USDA and DOI. The message focuses on reducing wildfire emissions and threats, provides a good overview of the issues, and highlights the decision process needed for management of resilient landscapes and use of prescribed fire.
"EPA is committed to working with land managers to effectively use prescribed fire to reduce the impact of catastrophic wildfire- related emissions." 
In the News:

Insect outbreaks reduce wildfire severity: Insect infestations can effectively thin the forest.
Severe wildfires worst for soil microbes: Microbial biomass and respiration declined significantly with fire severity.
Studying WUI fires in Pennsylvania:  A study showing Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the US for the percentage of houses in the WUI.
 Upcoming Events

Wildfire in the Northeast Workshop 

  • December 6-8, 2016 Mystic, CT
Register Here.

An Instructional, Practical and Pragmatic Approach to Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation. NAFSE suggested two speakers for this workshop to address relevant fire science questions.

Second International Smoke Symposium
  • November 11th-14th. 2016 
To be held in Long Beach, CA. Call for Presentations, Posters and Special Sessions. Note that the call for abstracts closes on May 16th. This conference will bring together researchers from the atmospheric sciences, the ecological sciences, mathematicians, computer sciences, climatologists, social scientists, health professionals, smoke responders and others to discuss the complex issues of wildland fire smoke and identify knowledge gaps and opportunities for innovation and development.
Fall 2016 Camp Edwards Wildland Fire Trainings
  • September 26th-30th, 2016 Camp Edwards, MA
The registration deadline for this year’s wildland fire trainings at Camp Edwards, MA is 2016 is Friday, August 26th, 2016.

Register here.

The trainings offered are:
  • Firefighting Training (S-130), Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior (S-190), Human Factors on the Fireline (L-180), Introduction to The Incident Command System (IS100), & National Incident Management System an Introduction (IS-700)
  • Firing Operations (S-219)
  • Fire Effects Monitor Workshop
New York Wildfire and Incident Management Academy
  • October 20-30, 2016 at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY
The Academy is managed under an Incident Command System (ICS) organization and offers Wildfire, Incident Command System and Emergency Management training courses.

Register here.

Find More Eastern Area Training Opportunities

Job Announcement

Full Time Habitat Restoration Burn Boss - PA
  • August 29, 2016
The Nature Conservancy Pennsylvania Chapter is seeking a Burn Boss as part of our collaborative habitat restoration program. The position will work closely with the Game Commission on prescribed fire planning and implementation across millions of acres of conservation land including TNC Preserves, State Game Lands, and Hunter Access properties.

Apply Here.
The partnership is on track to implement 10,000 acres of prescribed burning this year with a goal of 20,000 acres annually by the year 2020. This is a hands-on habitat restoration job.
So this happened...        

There are SO many examples of managers and scientists trying things on the ground that either worked, didn't work, or are in progress to meet management objectives. These examples may not be published anywhere! We want to record this brain-locked knowledge for posterity and learning. If it is in your head but no one knows about it, the knowledge could be lost forever! There are two ways you can help:

1. Contact Jess Charpentier at with: current research and management activities, grey literature (e.g. reports), unpublished studies, orphaned datasets, planned future studies, and major barriers in conducting fire science and research. Jess is pursuing her Ph.D. at Antioch University and is partnering with NAFSE to determine what research may still be needed in our region. Click here for more info.

2. Please email to share your experiences/stories in written form or to set up a time when I can record your wisdom (or mistakes which are just as important for everyone to know). Your story may become part of the "One Fire Day" series posted on the NAFSE blog. Thank you! 
Fire Science Resource Highlights

Each newsletter we will highlight useful resources with applications to the North Atlantic Region.

Wildfire smoke guide updated
EPA has updated its Wildfire Smoke: A Guide for Public Health Officials that provides information on the health effects of wildfire smoke and populations potentially at greatest risk from wildfire smoke exposure. The guide provides recommendations for public health action to reduce risks. EPA researchers provided their expertise on health effects from air pollutants generated by wildfires. Read the guide.

Wind-Ninja Mobile App

Check out the new Wind-Ninja Mobile App! The WindNinja computer program is a powerful tool for predicting wind fields in complex terrain, but is inconvenient for field users. To solve this problem, WindNinja-Mobile has been developed so field-going personnel can also benefit from these high resolution wind forecasts on their phones and tablets. This tool provides improved capability to identify areas where local winds may either increase fire behavior or not influence fire. This information helps us all to make better fire management decisions.

Fire Research Research Institute: A Not-For-Profit Wildland Fire Library

"The Fire Research Institute (FRI) is a not-for-profit library holding around 135830 books, journal articles, videos, training manuals, dissertations, news reports, and other material on wildland fire. FRI serves you by providing you with a free monthly electronic newsletter listing new publications that have been released. FRI is grateful for bibliographic citations that you have on wildland fire. These citations may include your own work or any titles dealing with wildland fire. We also would be grateful for copies of your journal papers, dissertations or other materials on wildland fire. Larger donations made from the U.S. are tax deductions." -Jason Greenlee, Ph.D.

NAFSE Leadership Team

USFS Northern Research Station
Nicholas Skowronski - PI
Erin Lane - Coordinator
Forest Stewards Guild
Amanda Mahaffey - Workshop and Field Trip Coordinator
NFFPC / Rutgers University
Inga La Puma - Co-PI/ Science Communications Director

NAFSE Community Representatives

Gregory Nowacki, USFS
Kenneth Clark, USFS
Thomas Parent, NEFFPC
Maris Gabliks, USFS
John Ross, CIFFC

Tom Gerber, NJFFS
John Cecil, NJ Audubon
Brad Simpkins, NHDFL
Neil Gifford, APBPC
Kathy Schwager, BNL

Jessica Leahy, U of ME
Lauren Howard, Arcadia U.
Joel Carlson, NEFFM, LLC.
William Patterson, III., UMass
Matthew Duveneck, Harvard Forest

Our Exchange region.
Here is a selection of photos celebrating our first two years of events. Photos by Inga La Puma, Joel Carlson, and Amanda Mahaffey.
Add your photos to our Flickr group or email them to
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