An MCSP Conversation Series Talk: "Into the Vortex: A Tour of Wildland Fire Science" by Dr. Russ Parsons

An MCSP Conversation Series Talk: "Into the Vortex: A Tour of Wildland Fire Science" by Dr. Russ Parsons

Contact: Maggie Rahmoeller, rahmoeller@roanoke.edu

The MCSP Conversation Series has gone online for Fall 2020! Click here to access Zoom links.

Abstract: 2020 is turning out to be a rather memorable year, with alarming or grim news nearly every day. This is especially the case with the forest fires taking place in the West, which have to date burned millions of acres, destroyed thousands of structures, and resulted in dozens of deaths. Some of these fires are unprecedented in size and impact, producing smoke that crosses the entire North American continent, forcing their way into our awareness even in places where such fires are extremely rare. Forest fires are remarkably complex, and the problems around them are rapidly getting worse, affected by climate change, forest management practices, and a host of other factors. In this dynamic and uncertain environment, the solutions to these problems increasingly require multidisciplinary science partnerships. In this presentation, I hope to offer an overview of the complex world of wildland fire science and how it intersects with diverse scientific fields, including math, computer science, physics, statistics, biology and ecology. I will also discuss some current research efforts currently underway in collaboration with computer science students at Roanoke, through the guidance of our partner, Dr. Anil Shende. As part of a larger research team, we are applying new technologies to build a path to a better future, in which people and ecosystems can live with fire sustainably.