Increases in frequency, duration, severity, and size of catastrophic wildfires have occurred, especially in the western United States. In 2017, suppression costs exceeded $2 billion and consumed 56% of the Forest Service budget. As part of a larger, interdisciplinary research project, the student will evaluate fuel conditions in relation to thinning and harvest removals aimed to reduce densities of small-diameter trees and evaluate the potential reduction in wildfire risk and fire behavior. The student will work closely with U.S. Forest Service personnel and other participating agencies to simulate fire behavior and examine potential impacts, while working in the scenic Arkansas Ozarks.
Applicants must have a 2.7 overall undergraduate GPA or 3.0 GPA in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate courses and satisfactory GRE scores. A B.S. degree in a natural resources-related field is also required. Applicants must have a valid U.S. driver’s license or obtain the same within 60 days of starting employment. Overnight travel is required as well as the ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions.