Brieanne Forbes, a biology graduate student in Dr. Lisa Bentley’s lab, has received a $25,000 Graduate Research Innovation Award (GRIN) administered by the national Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP), a partnership of six federal wildland fire management and research agencies that have a shared need to address problems associated with managing wildland fuels, fires, and fire-impacted ecosystems.
This competitive and prestigious award for fire science research is designed to enhance student exposure to the management and policy relevance of masters and doctoral students’ research in the field of wildland fire and related physical, biological, and social sciences. Funded studies ensure the health and safety of public and other lands, and provide protection of life, infrastructure, and natural and cultural resources.
Forbes’s project will measure the quantity of canopy fuels across multiple spatial scales in Pepperwood Preserve, a local oak woodland. Specifically, Forbes will compare data collected using traditional forestry methods and remote sensing methods (cameras and a terrestrial laser scanner). The project’s aim is to determine which method produces the most accurate estimates of fire fuel parameters to aid in improved fire modeling in Sonoma County’s unique ecosystems.