The mission of the Fire Science Laboratory at the University of California Berkeley is to conduct scientific research and provide academic training in the fields of wildland fire science, ecology, and resource management.

blog footer_Mosaic of forest structure_Illilouette panoramic12_by Scott Stephens

Specifically, we strive to: 1) secure funding for and perform original, quality research in fire science, ecology, and management, and 2) participate in and encourage interdisciplinary research efforts when possible, and disseminate findings by publishing research in peer reviewed academic journals.

Areas of research include:

  •  The current, and historical role and effects of fire in terrestrial and riparian ecosystems
  •  Explore the uses of forest biomass that can be removed to reduce the risk of uncharacteristically severe wildfire. Development of feedstock for bioenergy, assesses the sustainability of the use of forest biomass in bioenergy production.
  •  The ecological and economic consequences of the use of fire and fire surrogates in ecosystem restoration and management
  •  Development and review of fire policies in the United States, Australia, and Mexico
  •  Investigating the interaction of other ecosystem components (such as wildlife, soils, water, invasive organisms) and ecosystem processes (such as insects, disease, climate, dispersal and regeneration, herbivory, and biodiversity) with fire.
  •  Interaction of global climate change and fire regimes, and consequences for future natural resource management.
  •  Provide quality scientific training and guidance for graduate students that will prepare them for careers in academia or professional fire science, policy or management.  Provide the tools and support systems necessary for efficient execution of research projects.
  •  Contribute to graduate and undergraduate education and programs by providing courses that illuminate fire in the context of ecology and natural resource science, policy, and management
  •  Keep UC Berkeley at forefront of the field by creating and maintaining a network of fire science professionals and academics, promoting discussion on the most current topics, and working collaboratively with federal, state, and private groups on fire science research and management