NAFSE October 2016 Newsletter
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In this month's Newsletter:
NAFSE's Activities: Canadian Fire Science Exchange Day, JFSP Governing Board Field Trip, Webinars
Interview: Tim Simmons: Conservation Ecologist with a Passion for Fire
NAFSE's Upcoming Events: Webinars, Field trips, and Workshops
Upcoming Events: Conferences, Webinars, Training Courses
Funding Opportunities: JFSP and NPS
Call for Research: Identifying Research Gaps in the North Atlantic
In The News: Great Swamp, Albany Pine Bush, Pennsylvania Game Commission
North Atlantic Fire Science Resource Highlights: Rx Fire Smoke Management Pocket Guide

Canadian Fire Science Exchange Day



The North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange (NAFSE) teamed up with the Northeast Forest Fire Protection Compact to hold a workshop at the fall meeting of the Atlantic Forest Fire Managers in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The theme of the meeting addressed a common concern on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border: the potential impact of spruce budworm on fuels and fire behavior in our forests.

On September 14, 2016, over 60 forest fire managers and other natural resource professionals gathered at the Hugh John Fleming Forestry Complex Theatre in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The "science day" has become a staple of the Atlantic Forest Fire Managers' end-of-season operations meeting, allowing these professionals to spend a day focusing on the science behind their work. The Fire Science Exchange Day was orchestrated by Stephen Tulle, a Forest Ranger in the Wildfire Training Unit with the government of New Brunswick.

Check out the rest of the recap on our blog...

Canadian recap contributed by Amanda Mahaffey.
Joint Fire Science Program Governing Board Field trip: New Jersey


NAFSE was privileged to host the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) Governing Board (the folks that decide whether to fund our Exchange activities) for a science and management field trip on Oct 19th, 2016 in the New Jersey Pinelands. The warmer than normal fall day began at Stockton Seaview Inn as we gathered to explain how the day would proceed, focusing on JFSP funded projects in the morning and management applications in the afternoon. We then boarded shuttle buses for our excellent field tour of areas in the pinelands used for fire science research and management activities. NAFSE leadership would like to thank all of the scientists, managers, and community representatives who spoke to the Governing Board about their important work in New Jersey and beyond. Check out this blog post with each speaker's handouts linked in the agenda along a few videos of take home messages recorded during the wrap-up session. Also, don't forget to check out the virtual field trip with contributed photos for each stop (thanks to Karen Prentice, Maris Gabliks, Amanda Mahaffey and Inga La Puma for photos).

Overall, the trip went well and although the NAFSE leadership team came home with a few chigger bites, we hope our guests did not!

Recent Webinars


Our webinars are always recorded and posted on our website under "Past Events and Webinars," so if you miss one, you can always check it out on your next lunch hour. Listed below are the September and October webinars, which provide great perspectives from different regions with similar pest and WUI challenges.

Fire Behavior in Mountain Pine Beetle Stands - “The British Columbia Experience”

  • September 21st, 2016 12:00PM to 1:00PM 

Presented by: Dana Hicks, Canadian Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations

Effectiveness of Wildfire Mitigation in the WUI

  • October 25th, 12PM Eastern

Presented by: Dr. Zander Evans of the Forest Stewards Guild and the Southwest Fire Science Consortium

Tim Simmons: Conservation Ecologist with a Passion for Fire

April 26, 2017 will mark the 30th anniversary of habitat burns in Massachusetts. Tim Simmons, a restoration ecologist recently retired from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, had a lot to do with that first habitat burn and the decades of ecological fire since. In the densely-populated North Atlantic region, human decisions and societal norms can be seen as a significant driver of fire in our landscape. Tim Simmons has played an immense role in helping shape Massachusetts’ fire-adapted landscape - including both natural and human communities - for the better. 

Tim’s passion for fire science was ignited in the 1980s while he was conducting surveys for imperiled plant and animal species. Tim observed a pattern: Some of the most imperiled species were associated with fire-influenced habitats. Right then, Tim resolved to learn as much as he could about conducting prescribed fires and the ecological effects of fire. He set about doing just that, and in doing so, helped lead the region into a new era of prescribed fire to improve wildlife habitat.

Read more about Tim's career in fire on in this blog post...                           

This article was written by Amanda Mahaffey with significant contributions from Tim Simmons, Bill Patterson, Caren Caljouw, Sharl Heller, Joel Carlson, and Frank Mand.

NAFSE's Upcoming Events
1.Webinar: Ecology of Fuels
  • November 17th 1PM to 2PM Eastern

Presented by Dr. Joe O'Brien of the Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service

Dr. O'Brien will discuss the ecology of fuels which links forest structure to fire behavior and fire effects.

Register Here!

2. Field Trip - History of fire management at Camp Edwards: Lessons, challenges, and future objectives


  • January 19, 2017, 8:00-3:30

Camp Edwards, Massachusetts Army National Guard Training Site at Joint Base Cape Cod

This field trip will be offered by the North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange in conjunction with the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens Partnership. Camp Edwards is 15,000 acres of Army National Guard training lands within the 22,000 acre Joint Base Cape Cod and is home to the largest contiguous pitch pine barren forest outside of the New Jersey Pinelands. This field trip will introduce participants to the 25+ year history of fire management, the challenges of management objectives on a military base surrounded by towns, and the successes of management activities within the context of the pine barrens ecosystem. Here is the virtual field trip map with descriptions and photos of potential sites we will visit!


Check out the working agenda and details here!
3. Workshop - Burning Issue: Sparking effective communication about prescribed fire

  • February 7-8, 2017 - State College, PA

This event is a joint workshop by the Pennsylvania Prescribed Fire Council, the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists, and the North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange. Across the East, fire managers and scientists must communicate with the public about the use of prescribed fire on public and private lands. This workshop will offer participants a suite of social science tools and examples of successes, challenges, and lessons for communicating our messages effectively.


Check out the working agenda and details here!

4. More Upcoming NAFSE Webinars

Webinar: Fire's Role in Pennsylvania Ecosystems
  • View anytime!

In preparation for our workshop in February on effective prescribed fire messaging, we present this informative webinar by Dr. Ben Jones of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Dr. Jones has been key to the introduction of prescribed fire on game lands in his state. 

Webinar: Fire History of New Jersey

  • December 14th at 12PM Eastern

New Jersey's pinelands have a unique fire history. For this webinar, Dr. Inga La Puma will highlight a 90 year spatial fire history database of the pinelands including discussion of fire frequency, seasonality, and high fire years. Additionally, she will show how changes in fire frequency have changed the trajectory of forest succession in the region.

Register Here!

 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 coordinated 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.

Lake States Fire Science Consortium Webinar: Restoration of fire-dependent pine barren ecosystems in northern Wisconsin – Bridging the gap between research and management practices.
  • Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 2 PM Eastern /1 PM Central

Brian Sturtevant and Christel Kern
USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station

More information here...

National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop—All Hands, All Lands: Implementation Rooted in Science

  • April 25-27, 2017 in Reno, NV
The International Association of Wildland Fire is presenting this workshop in partnership with the Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC) and the Western, Southeast and Northeast Regional Strategic Committees


More information for sponsors here...

Funding Opportunities

The Joint Fire Science Program has issued their Funding Opportunity Notice announcement. Check here for details. Proposals are due November 17, 2016.

Topics include:
  • Landscape fuel treatment strategies and wildfire management
  • Effects of changing wildfire management strategies
  • Post-fire recovery
  • Fire effects on herbaceous and shrub species
  • Validating mesoscale, atmospheric boundary prediction models and tools
  • Factors that affect the co-management of wildland fire risk
  • Graduate Research Innovation (GRIN) Award

The National Park Service's Fire Management Leadership Board FMLB has identified the following priority areas for Reserve Fund Research Requests due by November 17, 2016.
  • Research that supports FMP revisions, especially for 5 year fuels treatment plans.
  • Research that assists in removing stumbling blocks and hurdles for implementing fuels treatments and managing wildfires for resource objectives.
  • Research that relates to fuels treatment lifespan, effectiveness, and costs.
  • Research on the impacts of climate change on wildland fire management in the parks.
All requests must have an NPS Project Cooperator if the lead investigator is not an NPS employee. Contact MaryBeth Keifer ( for more information.
Research Gaps in the North Atlantic Region        

We need your unpublished works! 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. Please get your information to Jess by November 30th, 2016.
In the News:
Controlled burns to be conducted at Great Swamp
Learning to Burn: 25 Years Managing the Albany Pine Bush
Pennsylvania's Game Commission prescribed burns help state's deer habitat
Fire Science Resource Highlights

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

Prescribed Fire Smoke Management Pocket Guide

The guide is a list of rules, checklists, and other resources designed to serve as a job aid for those needing to recall the rules and guidelines associated with proper prescribed smoke management practices and planned burns.

This pocket guide was created by the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils and SERPPAS. The Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils partners with Councils across the country to "create one voice to assist fire practitioners, policymakers, regulators, and citizens with issues surrounding prescribed fire use." The Coalition is also active in facilitating the development of Councils in those states that do not yet have one.

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 from our recent JFSP Governing Board field trip.
Add your photos to our Flickr group or email them to
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