Challenges to educating the next generation of wildland fire professionals in the United States

Leda N. Kobziar, Monique E. Rocca, Christopher A. Dicus, Chad Hoffman, Neil Sugihara, Andrea E. Thode, J. Morgan Varner, Penelope Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Over the last 20 years, the duties of US fire professionals have become more complex and risk laden because of fuel load accumulation, climate change, and the increasing wildland-urban interface. Incorporation of fire use and ecological principles into fire management policies has further expanded the range of expertise and knowledge required of fire professionals. The educational and training systems that produce these professionals, however, have been slow to organize an updated and coordinated approach to preparing future practitioners. Consequently, aspiring fire professionals face numerous challenges related to scheduling conflicts, limited higher education programs in fire science, lack of coordination between fire training and higher education entities, and the overall difficulty of obtaining education and training without sacrificing experience. Here, we address these and other challenges with potential solutions and outline the first steps toward their implementation. We organize the necessary aspects of professional fire preparation into a representative model: a fire professional development triangle comprised of education, training, and experience. For each of these aspects, we suggest changes that can be made by employers, educators, and nongovernmental organizations to provide a more streamlined mechanism for preparing the next generation of wildland fire professionals in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-345
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Forestry
Volume107
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

wildfires
education and training
higher education
education
wildland-urban interface
professional development
nongovernmental organizations
fire management
education programs
teachers
nongovernmental organization
climate change

Keywords

  • Education
  • Fire ecology
  • Fire management
  • Firefighter
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Kobziar, L. N., Rocca, M. E., Dicus, C. A., Hoffman, C., Sugihara, N., Thode, A. E., ... Morgan, P. (2009). Challenges to educating the next generation of wildland fire professionals in the United States. Journal of Forestry, 107(7), 339-345.

Challenges to educating the next generation of wildland fire professionals in the United States. / Kobziar, Leda N.; Rocca, Monique E.; Dicus, Christopher A.; Hoffman, Chad; Sugihara, Neil; Thode, Andrea E.; Morgan Varner, J.; Morgan, Penelope.

In: Journal of Forestry, Vol. 107, No. 7, 10.2009, p. 339-345.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kobziar, LN, Rocca, ME, Dicus, CA, Hoffman, C, Sugihara, N, Thode, AE, Morgan Varner, J & Morgan, P 2009, 'Challenges to educating the next generation of wildland fire professionals in the United States', Journal of Forestry, vol. 107, no. 7, pp. 339-345.
Kobziar LN, Rocca ME, Dicus CA, Hoffman C, Sugihara N, Thode AE et al. Challenges to educating the next generation of wildland fire professionals in the United States. Journal of Forestry. 2009 Oct;107(7):339-345.
Kobziar, Leda N. ; Rocca, Monique E. ; Dicus, Christopher A. ; Hoffman, Chad ; Sugihara, Neil ; Thode, Andrea E. ; Morgan Varner, J. ; Morgan, Penelope. / Challenges to educating the next generation of wildland fire professionals in the United States. In: Journal of Forestry. 2009 ; Vol. 107, No. 7. pp. 339-345.
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