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May 12, 2021: Wildland Fire Science

The Community for Data Integration (CDI) meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

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Meeting Recording and Slides

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Agenda (in Eastern time)

11:00 am Welcome and Opening Announcements

11:15 am Collaboration Area Announcements

11:25 am U.S. Geological Survey Wildland Fire Science Strategic Plan - Paul Steblein, USGS

11:50 am What you need to know about the upcoming CDI Workshop - CDI Workshop Team

Note: The previously-scheduled AI for Earth Presentation has been postponed to a later date. 


U.S. Geological Survey Wildland Fire Science Strategic Plan

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Wildland Fire Science Strategic Plan defines critical, core fire science capabilities for understanding fire-related and fire-responsive earth system processes and patterns, and informing management decision making. Developed by USGS fire scientists and executive leadership, and informed by conversations with external stakeholders, the Strategic Plan is aligned with the needs of the fire science stakeholder community–fire, land, natural resource, and emergency managers from Federal, State, Tribal, and community organizations, as well as members of the scientific community. The Strategic Plan is composed of four integrated priorities, each with associated goals and specific strategies for accomplishing the goals: Priority 1: Produce state-of-the-art, actionable fire science; Priority 2: Engage stakeholders in science production and science delivery; Priority 3: Effectively communicate USGS fire science capacity, products, and information to a broad audience; and Priority 4: Enhance USGS organizational structure and advance support for fire science. The priorities of this Strategic Plan define the USGS’s commitment to producing and delivering cutting edge fire science, information, and decision-support tools in support of national, regional, and local priorities and stakeholder needs.

Paul Steblein is the Wildland Fire Science Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey.

What you need to know about the upcoming CDI Workshop

This year, the Community for Data Integration is hosting an all-virtual workshop May 25-28 with the theme "Designing Data-Intensive Science." (Workshop webpage) The workshop team will summarize highlights on the agenda and introduce the different platforms being used for interactive participation. 


  1. The CDI Workshop begins in less than two weeks!
  2. Tidy data for librarians:
  3. Tidyverse course:
  4. Opportunity for CDI members to ask questions/for help and other members of CDI to share their expertise: Ask an Expert form available now.
  5. Diversity & Inclusion session(s) at the CDI workshop: submit questions in the form and attend the DataBlast to see the poster.


Welcome and Opening Announcements

  1. Tidyverse Skills for Data Science
    1. Tidy data for librarians:
    2. Tidyverse course:
    3. Original Tidy Data paper:
  2. CDI Workshop (Tim Quinn comments)
    1. The CDI Workshop begins in less than two weeks!
    2. How is this workshop different?
      1. It is fully virtual.
      2. Hands-on learning sessions (user-centered design, tools for cleaning data, ways to move and share large datasets, and making and reading maps)
      3. Interactive activities in (meet in a mentor match, speed-dataing, social lounge, early career networking)
      4. 30+ posters and demos, 24 breakout session

Collaboration Area Announcements

  1. See all collaboration area activities here: 
  2. Tech Stack
    1. Next event: May 13th, Visualization of Landsat data stored in the Cloud
  3. DevOps
    1. Next event: June 1, GitLab Pipelines to deploy on OpenShift Kubernetes
  4. Usability
    1. Next events:
      1. Office hour sessions: June 2 and 16, user centered design process (presentation and demo)
      2. Resource review: colors and usability
  5. Data Management
    1. CDI Workshop Breakout Sessions
      1. May 25, 1:30ET, How to Talk to Your Data Manager
      2. May 28, 1:30ET, Assessing the value and usage of USGS Data Management Plans
      3. Next monthly meeting in June, section 508 compliance
  6. Semantic Web
    1. Next event: May 13, final arrangements for CDI workshop session Semantic Web 101
  7. Metadata Reviewers
    1. Next event: June 7
  8. Software Development
    1. Next event: no meeting this month, encouraging attendance at CDI workshop
  9. Risk
    1. Next event: May 20, Hazards, Race, and Social Justice Speaker Series resumes: Chesapeake Bay Environmental Justice and Equity Dashboard - John Wolf
    2. Annual Meeting August 17-19
  10. eDNA
    1. April/May newsletter coming out soon
    2. How to talk to your data manager is co-hosted between eDNA and Data Management working group communities.
  11. OGC Seeking Participants in the 2021 Disaster Pilot
    1. Opportunity to work with earth observation data in the cloud.

U.S. Geological Survey Wildland Fire Science Strategic Plan - Paul Steblein, USGS

  1. Is fire a problem?
    1. Economic effect: 71-245 billion net annual economic impact of wildland fires
    2. 650 million acres burn each year
    3. 85% of ignitions are human-caused
    4. >32,000 fire fire staff deployed in 2020
    5. Thousands of homes/buildings destroyed
    6. Cascading disasters, power outages
  2. Why is fire a problem?
    1. Climate change
    2. Invasive species
      1. Types of vegetation affect fire frequency
    3. Insect/disease outbreak
      1. Affects fuel availability for fires
    4. Human activity and development in wildlands
      1. Aggressively putting out fires allows vegetation growth to happen
  3. Fire is a critical ecosystem driver
    1. Many wildlife species are dependent on fire (ex: pitch pine)
  4. Factors affecting plan development
    1. National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, FLAME Act 2009
    2. Interviews with stakeholder groups
    3. Using interdisciplinary science to address the emergent, dynamic, and complicated challenges
  5. Our strategic plan
    1. Interviewed over 40 stakeholders
    2. Four priorities
      1. Produce state of the art actionable fire science
        1. Understand the impact of climate change
        2. Understand fire management and how it relates to biodiversity conservation
      2. Engage stakeholders in science production
        1. Conduct science to help protect human lives, livelihoods, property, and infrastructure
      3. Effectively communicate USGS fire science capacity, products, information
      4. Enhance USGS organizational structure and advance support for fire science
        1. Develop state-of-the-art tools and decision support systems
  6. Wildland fire is now a USGS integrated science priority
  7. Fire behavior modeling efforts in conjunction with Los Alamos National Lab, U.S. Forest Service, Tall Timbers Research Institute
    1. See recording for in-depth explanation and diagrams on integrated fire modeling
  8. Enterprise architecture roadmap for wildland fire science
    1. Why
      1. Challenges
        1. Great research, but it is fairly siloed
        2. Fire drivers are complex, interconnected and dynamic
        3. Rapid evolution in sensors, how we adapt our science to new sources
        4. Fire is high-risk, high-cost with many stakeholders
        5. Others look to USGS leadership in providing quality info, data & tools
    2. WiFSEA (Wildland Fire Science Enterprise Architecture) Plan
      1. Identify purpose and goals, expected outcome
      2. Define critical elements
      3. Specify requirements for each element
      4. Present timeline for developing and implementing
      5. Highlight key concept demonstration efforts
  9. Where CDI could be helpful
    1. Join team, participate in meetings 1 or 2, provide substantive review
    2. Desired expertise - electronic discovery of data/documents, familiar with AI ready needs etc.

What you need to know about the upcoming CDI Workshop - CDI Workshop Team

  1. Ask an Expert
    1. Opportunity for CDI members to ask questions/for help and other members of CDI to share their expertise.
    2. Ask an Expert form available now.
  2. Diversity and Inclusion Discussion
    1. Visit the Diversity & Inclusion poster in the DataBlast poster session on Wednesday, May 26.
    2. Join us in on Wednesday, May 26 in the 3-4MT/5-6 ET time slot.
  3. See recording for overview of workshop resources and demo.


Fire Science

  1. Which mission area/program is funding the bulk of this work?
    1. Steblein: A lot of interest in Congress and the administration, hoping to see additional resources coming in. Looking to see how we can do it within existing resources to start. Ecosystems/EarthMap co-funded the startup to adjust fire behavior models to predict burn severity. Other mission areas should come in in the next year. Funding for fire management is going up radically (5B on fire response in last years). Good participation from almost every mission area.
  2. Does anyone know if a similar type of Enterprise Architecture has been built for another type of scientific discipline? Seems like a common need...
    1. Steblein: We have one for fire management but not really for science. LANL and UC-San Diego are working on new fire science initiatives as well.
  3. To what degree do we understand other architectures outside of USGS and how will those affect our own architecture plans?
    1. Steblein: There's a heavy focus on business processes and decisions in NFSEA(?)'s plan, top down design. At a minimum, we have to find a way that USGS' plan dovetails with the fire management community. Need to co-design this type of thing, or at least find as many bridges as possible to connect.
  4. Can the OGC Disaster Pilot be directed to contribute to some of the next steps regarding architectures and interoperability for fire management.
    1. Steblein: Yes. The question is -  to what extent. This is something that should be explored to see what could be done and what could be learned from it.