Home
A JFSP Fire Science Exchange Network
Bringing People Together & Sharing Knowledge in the Northern Rockies

 

Contact  |  FireScience.gov  JFSP program icon

Obstacles to Using Research

In Spring 2011, the Northern Rockies Fire Science Network (NRFSN) asked managers about obstacles to using research for fire and fuels management. 

Survey respondents were given a list of 24 potential obstacles to using research. They were asked to "rank the top 5 obstacles you face in using research, with 1 being the biggest obstacle, 2 being the next biggest, and so on up to 5 obstacles." The following graphs show how frequently each obstacle was ranked as one of the top five. Results are shown for the following groups: Fire/Fuels Managers, Decision Makers, and Other Disciplinary Specialists (i.e., natural resource managers and silviculturists).

Summary: Lack of time to find and use research was strongly ranked as the top obstacle faced by fire/fuels specialists. Other high-ranking obstacles included lack of communication between science and management agencies, lack of communication within agencies, budget and travel limitations, lack of one convenient place to access fire research, and too much research available to digest/integrate. Tribal survey results regarding obstacles were consistent with these.

Fire / Fuels Specialists (Figure 1)

Fire and fuels specialists most frequently ranked the following five barriers to using research:  lack of time to find and use research, budget and travel limitations, lack of communication between science and management agencies, lack of one convenient place to access fire research, and too much research available to digest/integrate.

 Obstacles to Using Research (Fire / Fuels Specialists)Figure 1. Obstacles to Using Research (Fire / Fuels Specialists)

Decision Makers (Figure 2)

Line and staff officers most frequently ranked the following five barriers to using research:  lack of funding to implement research findings, research write-ups lack clear management implications, lack of communication between science and management agencies, budget and travel limitations, and scientific recommendations conflict with high-level political priorities.

Obstacles to Using Research (Decision Makers)Figure 2. Obstacles to Using Research (Decision Makers)

Other Disciplines (Figure 3)

Natural resource managers and silviculturists most frequently ranked the following five barriers to using research:  lack of communication within management agencies, different disciplines use different scientific information, lack of time to find and use research, lack of communication between science and management agencies, and scientific recommendations conflict with agency priorities.

Obstacles to Using Research (Other Disciplines)Figure 3. Obstacles to Using Research (Other Disciplines)

Tribal Survey Results

Managers of tribal lands faced similar obstacles to using research. They agreed most with the following obstacles: lack of time to find and use research, budget and travel limitations, lack of one convenient place to access fire research, lack of funding to implement research findings, and different disciplines use different scientific information.