Paper co-authored by ORISE participant published in Nature Ecology & Evolution Scholarly paper demonstrates the need for collaboration between fire science and archaeology

June 6, 2022

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Society would benefit from fire management planning that draws from both fire science and archaeology. That is according to a research paper which was co-authored by ORISE postdoctoral researcher Grant Snitker and recently published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Snitker, a postdoctoral researcher for the Center for Forest Disturbance Science, is the lead author of the paper, “A collaborative agenda for archaeology and fire science.” Co-authors include Christopher I. Roos, Alan P. Sulivan III, S. Yoshi Maezumi, Douglas W. Bird, Michael R. Coughlan, Kelly M. Derr, Linn Gassaway, Anna Klimaszewski-Patterson and Rachel A. Loehman.

The authors offer ways to improve fire management planning, especially for societies facing the future impact of more frequent and severe wildfires due to climate change. They argue that the archaeological perspective would provide insight into the long-term social and ecological histories that are seen as important components in the fire management planning process. Their research, based on case studies from North America, South America, Europe and Australia, calls for a new research agenda that links archaeology and fire science. “This unique perspective can provide insights in the millennia scale fire-human-fuels dynamics,” Snitker says. “This is particularly important as calls for the resumption of cultural burning practices and the application of traditional ecological knowledge grow.” 

Nature Ecology & Evolution is a monthly online journal that “provides a place where all researchers and policymakers interested in all aspects of life's diversity can come together to learn about the most accomplished and significant advances in the field and to discuss topical issues.”

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