An assessment of outcomes from research projects funded by the Joint Fire Science Program was conducted to determine whether or not science has been used to inform management and policy decisions and to explore factors that facilitate use of fire science. In a web survey and follow-up phone interviews, I asked boundary spanners and scientists about how findings from a random sample of 48 projects had been applied and factors that acted as barriers or facilitators to science application. In addition, I conducted an investigation of recent planning documents to determine whether products from the sampled projects were cited. All lines of evidence suggest that information from most (44 of 48) of these projects have been used by fire and fuels managers in some capacity. Science has mostly been used during planning efforts, to develop treatment prescriptions, and to evaluate current practices. Lack of manager awareness was commonly identified as a barrier to application of science. Conversely, activities and organisations that foster interaction between scientists and managers were identified as facilitating the application of science. The efforts of the Joint Fire Science Program to communicate science findings and engage managers has likely contributed to the application of fire science.
Hunter ME. Outcomes of fire research: is science used?. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 2016 ;Online early.