Our mission

The Great Plains Fire Science Exchange exists to assist land managers and the fire community to make sound decisions based on the best possible information.

Through this information sharing process, we hope to strengthen collaboration within the fire community in the region in addition to having information available for policy makers. Those who produce fire science as well as those interested in applying the science are all welcome in the Exchange. Researchers, managers, landowners and practitioners who work with fire are all welcome.

We subscribe to the set of core values outlined by the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) Governing Board when establishing the regional fire science networks or consortia. These include:

  1. Being inclusive, striving to make sure that all relevant partners have the opportunity to be involved.
  2. Serving as neutral science partners, not as an advocate for a certain type of management.
  3. Ensuring activities are end-user driven, both in how they are structured and how they function.
  4. Operating collaboratively, working to foster joint management and science communication.
  5. Striving to be innovative, pursuing new and creative ways to disseminate knowledge.
  6. Working to facilitate the flow of fire science information, the dialogue of new science findings, and the needs of resource managers and policymakers.

Research supporting sound decisions

The Great Plains region encompasses a variety of grassland ecosystems from Tallgrass prairie and savannas of the east to northern mixed grass, southern mixed grass, short grass prairie, glades, gallery forests, restored prairies and native remnants. Because of the varied climates, soils, geology, topography, and land use history of these grasslands, fire management can be regionally complex. Despite this variability, the region has some common concerns:

  • woody plant encroachment
  • smoke management
  • prescribed fire techniques
  • climate change leading to shifting vegetation
  • fuel and fire patterns
  • wildland urban interface
  • and an extensive private-land ownership.

Fire is an inherent component in grassland systems, thus the need for fire science in managing the Great Plains is great. Our goal is to support those who need fire information by connecting them to the science. We also hope to facilitate the sharing of the vast amount of experience the Great Plains fire community has to offer.

Exchange guidance

Great Plains Fire Science is guided by a Board of Directors (BOD) consisting of representatives from a variety of agencies, organizations, specialties, and geographies within the region. The BOD serves limited terms and provides input via meetings, conference calls, and other media as well as:

  • Promotes accountability, fiscal responsibility, and effectiveness within the GPE.
  • Oversees and prioritizes GPE-specific goals and objectives.
  • Reviews annual work plans and budget.
  • Ensures the program provides useful information that is relevant to issues being confronted by fire practitioners.
  • Identifies strategies for leveraging funds, partnerships, and personnel to best accomplish GPE objectives.
  • Serves as "ambassadors" for the consortium by soliciting feedback and ideas from ongoing interactions with the fire management and research communities.

Read our proposal (PDF) 
Great Plains Exchange Charter (DOC) 

Peer Review Policy

Great Plains Fire Science Exchange products receive peer review prior to publication. Syntheses receive at least two peer reviews in addition to the editor's approval. Research briefs are approved by an author of the article being summarized and video product scripts are also peer reviewed prior to publication. Tracking numbers are assigned after final approval.  We seek to bring the best quality science products to the fire community we can.