Skilled Fire Professionals are a Hot Commodity
In the mid-1990s, federal wildland fire agencies established fire management qualifications standards to improve firefighter safety and increase professionalism in fire management programs. As part of these standards, working professionals in 14 key wildland fire fighting positions are now required to have a minimum of 24 credits in a natural resource related field.
To help professionals meet these standards, the College of Natural Resources created 401Series.Net. This initiative gives students access to 18 distance and hybrid education courses, two online certificates, and an online master’s degree in natural resources.
- 401 Series
- Master of Natural Resources
- Restoration Ecology Certificate
- Environmental Education Certificate
- Fire Ecology, Management and Technology Certificate
The courses offered through the 401 Series revolve around five central themes, including:
1. Fire ecology
2. Ecology, fuels and fuels management
3. Applied tools and analysis and management
4. Planning and policy
“We want to give students broader, more effective management skills in a variety of natural resource topics, as well as improve their depth of knowledge about fire,” said Chad Hoffman, a 401 instructor and coordinator. "These skills will allow our students to be more effective managers and succeed in working across disciplinary boundaries.”
This format allows students to take a broad range of courses, many of which complement one another. For example, students can learn the fundamental concepts in the fire ecology and management course and then learn how the use of geographic information systems (GIS) technologies can assist in fire ecology by taking a course in GIS applications in fire ecology and management.
Similarly, if students are interested in learning about how to assess fire effects, they have the option of taking a course in assessing fire effects and burn severity followed by a course in remote sensing of active fire and postfire effects.
“When our students are members of interdisciplinary teams, they must be able to communicate with other experts and understand how a broad range of ecosystem processes work. Our program is designed to facilitate this,” he said.
Fire ecology and management faculty and students.