Human Dimensions of Fire Management
Organizational Learning & Innovation
Addressing the challenges of wildland fire requires that fire science be relevant to management and integrated into management decisions. Co-production is often touted as a process that can increase the utility of science for management, by involving scientists and managers in knowledge creation and problem solving. Despite the documented benefits of co-production, these efforts face a number of institutional barriers. Further research is needed on how to institutionalise support and incentivise co-production. To better understand how research organisations enable and constrain co-production, this study examined seven co-produced wildland fire projects associated with the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS), through in-depth interviews with scientists, managers and community members. Results provide insights into how organisational structures and cultures influence the co-production of fire science. Research organisations like RMRS may be able to institutionalise co-production by adjusting the way they incentivise and evaluate researchers, increasing investment in science delivery and scientific personnel overall, and supplying long-term funding to support time-intensive collabora- tions. These sorts of structural changes could help transform the culture of fire science so that co- production is valued alongside more conventional scientific activities and products.