National Science Foundation to award grants for beetle/forest fire relationship

Researchers at the University of Colorado will study the relationship between bark beetles and wildfires in the Rocky Mountain West thanks to a $170,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

The competitive grant, provided by the National Science Foundation's Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, will help answer critical forest-management and wildfire-related questions, including:

  • How do spruce beetle outbreaks affect fuels and potential wildfire activity under varying climatic conditions?
  • How does climatic variation affect the initiation and spread of spruce beetle outbreaks?
  • How does prior disturbance by windstorm, logging and fire affect the subsequent occurrence and severity of spruce beetle outbreak?