About HDFSS

    This website offers the wildland fire manager the latest and best fire science to support all aspects of wildland fire planning, management, and policy-making that involve people. Here you can find fire science applied to all the human dimensions of wildland fire management. Social sciences are applied to fire management including Anthropology, Economics, Sociology, and Psychology. Social marketing, management, adult education, communication, environmental perception and behavior, outdoor recreation, and disaster management are some of the areas covered. The site also includes sciences of nutrition, exercise physiology, health, and movement science applied to firefighters. As you use the products in the different fields, you will often find that they combine information from other fields and link to applied research from the biological, physical, and ecological dimensions of wildland fire.

    Research and Fire Management

    Evidence-Based Fire Management

    Evidence-based management combines the highest quality scientific research results and theory with the practical experience of fire managers to produce best practices for use by wildland fire planners, managers, and policy makers. This project brings together researchers and managers in a common setting where they can communicate and collaborate to develop actions that will resolve problems and take advantage of opportunities wherever people are part of the wildland fire management equation.

    There are two sites on FRAMES for the Human Dimensions and Fire Social Science project. The first is the public site where managers can find research collected and interpreted for easy use. Managers can also interact with researchers to work on problems and commission bibliographies, reports, or studies and consultations from the public site. The second site is a workshop where small teams of scientists and managers review research and create new products. Scientists use the workshop site to collaborate with each other and fire managers on original studies in support of wildland fire management.

    At least two things make evidence-based fire management science different from traditional applied research. First, fire planners, managers, and policy makers are engaged with researchers as full partners in the work. Second, the questions and problems addressed are defined by practitioners and are focused on practical problems. Evidence-based fire management is focused on useable solutions, but the solutions have to be soundly grounded in the best science.

    Overcoming Barriers to Research Use by Managers

    Research (mostly in medicine) has shown that managers face serious barriers when they try to find and use the latest and best research. It takes time to find the studies that are relevant to any particular management problem. Most managers do not have easy access to the databases that catalog social science research although resources such as Google Scholar can now find a great deal of social science research.

    Literature searches can be complex. The problem is more difficult because managers must keep up with developments in several branches of science. The services of research librarians are not always available. Trying to find the relevant literature can be frustrating and require more time than most managers can commit.

    Only a few studies may have directly focused on the manager's problem, but many more are probably relevant to the solution. Managers do not always have the training to evaluate research designs and statistical analyses and judge the quality and relevance of findings. Scientists can help with that.

    Seldom are one or two studies enough to support recommendations with confidence for fire management. Synthesizing the findings from a collection of studies and extracting principles and guidelines requires special skills. Applying the principles and guidelines to fire management requires a different set of skills. Usually developing practical action guidelines from research requires close collaboration between experienced scientists and experienced managers.

    Collaboration is a particular strength of the HDFSS project within FRAMES. FRAMES was designed to make collaboration among fire scientists and managers easy and effective even when people cannot be brought together for face-to-face work.