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Mark Finney, PhD

Fire Science Advisor; Lead, Large-Scale Fire Experiments

Research Forester, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, US Forest Service

Mark is part of the Fuel Mapping & Fire Physics Team, designing laboratory experiments to simulate the fire conditions in areas of elevated tree mortality. He will use the experiments to develop the next generation of fire-spread models and integrate fire-spread models into the next generation of risk forecasting models. Mark’s research focuses on the study of physical processes in fire spread, and the use of laboratory and field experiments to examine fire behaviors that we do not understand and cannot predict. His current research activities and capabilities include the following: lead for National Fire Decision Support Center on Fire Spread Fundamentals, which focuses on understanding how wildfires spread through laboratory and field experiments that seek to separate the effects of convection from radiation on fuel particle ignition and to understand rapid moisture losses in live fuels during ignition and combustion; lead for research team in charge of implementing and testing operational models of wildland fire behavior for two national interagency systems;research lead on fire behavior modeling in wildfire risk assessment; team lead for research and development of a national Wildland Fire Investment Planning System (WFIPS); and research lead for ignition by firearms and explosives. Mark holds a doctorate in Wildland Fire Science from UC Berkeley.