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The SMART FIRES Strategic Plan is an internal working document that guides project activities over the five-year timeframe. The structure of the DRAFT plan is organized by the following goals:


GOAL 1.1: FIRE AND SMOKE SCIENCE: Better understand the production of remotely detectable fire radiative energy, prescribed fire emissions, and the air quality impacts at local to regional scales to improve management practices that protect people and the natural resources on which they rely.

GOAL 1.2: SMART OPTICAL SENSORS: Develop ground- and UAS-based optical remote sensors using on-board computing and AI/ML algorithms where appropriate to provide data uniquely tailored to answering the questions posed across the other thrusts.

GOAL 1.3: SOCIAL PHSYCHOLOGY, ECONOMICS, AND ETHICS: Understand how trust in information sources about prescribed fire and smoke can increase adaptive capacity and lead to better decision-making processes.

GOAL 1.4: ARTICIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND MACHINE LEARNING: Develop new understanding of AI and apply it to efficient processing of data and model predictions for prescribed fire and emissions characterization.

GOAL 1.5: RESEARCH AND DATA CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE: Ensure effective research and data management cyberinfrastructure for SMART FIRES. Promote research visibility.  Support implementation of the project data management plan.


GOAL 2.1: EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: Mentor and train professionals qualified in all integrated elements of prescribed fire science.

GOAL 2.2: EMERGING AREAS AND SEED FUNDING: Provide seed funding opportunities to support new questions and research opportunities that emerge with potential to significantly benefit project outcomes.

GOAL 2.3: BROADENING PARTICIPATION (DIVERSITY): SMART FIRES will engage the full range of diverse individuals and institutions in the state to build inclusive participation in the project’s research, education, outreach, and project management activities.

GOAL 2.4: PARTNERSHIPS AND COLLABORATIONS: Create or enhance partnerships and collaborations with other higher education campuses (priority for institutions in Montana and/or other EPSCoR jurisdictions), private companies, and state and federal agencies.

GOAL 2.5: COMMUNICATION AND DISSEMINATION: SMART FIRES will share project outcomes and research findings within and beyond Montana, connect scientific information and products to stakeholders, and provide effective internal communications.


GOAL 3.1: SUSTAINABILITY: Ensure project outcomes and impact extend 3-5 years beyond the end of the award.

GOAL 3.2: MANAGEMENT, EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT: Provide an effective and resilient project management team and structure designed to foster collaboration, communication, compliance, fiscal management, annual reporting, and evaluation.