Class Periods: Tuesday, Thursday, 11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Locations: TLC 223
Required Field Trip: School Fire, Blue Mountains, WA; All day, Thur. Sep. 25th
Web Site:

College of Natural Resources
University of Idaho

Recent Announcements

  • Extra credit (5 pt): fill out course evaluation by Sunday 12/14 at 11:59 pm. The course evaluations are linked to via Vandal Web:
    Posted Dec 9, 2014, 11:22 AM by Philip Higuera
  • Updated grading rubric for peer review of field trip reports The updated grading rubric used to grade your final field trip report is attached below. 
    Posted Dec 9, 2014, 10:13 AM by Philip Higuera
  • Lecture material for "Land-use Legacies and Fire Management," and "Ecological Foundations for Fire Management" A PDF of the lecture on these topics in linked to via the "Assignments" --> "Weekly Reading Material" page in Blackboard. Be sure to review the material in this lecture. In ...
    Posted Dec 4, 2014, 12:33 PM by Philip Higuera
  • Material for Living with Fire Exercise: (1) Description and assignment: Groups: (3) Material: https://docs ...
    Posted Dec 4, 2014, 12:03 PM by Philip Higuera
Showing posts 1 - 4 of 13. View more »

Hunt Peak, ID

Structural legacy from the 1967 Sundance Fire, 43 years post fire, Hunt Peak, northern Idaho.


Philip Higuera, Assistant Professor

Office: CNR 204B

Office Hours: Tue. 1:30-2:50, Wed. 11:00-12:20               

*Make appointment at

E-mail:  phiguera[at]
   (Include "FOR 326" in subject)

Phone Number:  208-885-6024

Teaching Assistant

Tyler Hoecker, MS student

Office: CNR 119A

Office Hours: Tue. 1:00-3:00

E-mail:  thoecker[at]                           (Include "FOR 326" in subject)

Course Description

Fire is a dominant ecological process affecting individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems worldwide. Simply put, if you want to understand the ecology of most terrestrial ecosystems, you must understand the role that fire plays in the system. Fire is also a useful tool and tightly linked to human values of natural resources, stability and predictability, and safety and property. The role of fire in ecosystems is thus often controversial, and balancing goals can be difficult. Understanding the scientific processes and the science of fire ecology is key to developing and implementing sound management approaches. Throughout this course we will study fire through the following perspectives and topics:

Part I: Fire as a biophysical process

How do physical and biological processes interact to determine when, where, and how fires burn across a landscape? How do changes in biophysical components affect the pattern of fire over years, decades, and centuries?

Part II: Fire as an ecological process

How does fire interact with other biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem? How are organisms, communities, and landscapes affected by fire?
How can we quantify the role that fire plays over different spatial and temporal scales? How does this role vary through time, and what does this imply about the future?

Part III: Fire, people, and management

How does a scientific understanding of fire ecology inform land management policies and practices? What does fire science suggest about controversial management issues such as fuels treatments, salvage logging, and fire suppression?

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:
    1. Quantify and interpret patterns of fire across space and time, and use key concepts and principals to describe the mechanisms causing these patterns.
    2. Infer species' response to fire based on physical and life-history traits, and scale inferences up from individuals to landscapes.
    3. Describe and classify the ecological role of fire in a variety of ecosystems.
    4. Synthesize fire science research and apply concepts of fire ecology to predict the effects of fire on individuals, communities, and landscapes across a range of time scales.
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