Russell Parsons

Research Ecologist
(406) 329-4872

Research Topics

  • Modeling, measuring, and mapping wildland fuels
  • Exploring how fuel heterogeneity affects fire behavior
  • Understanding how beetle outbreaks change fuels and fire
  • Building capability to more robustly assess fuel treatments

Personal Summary

Russ is a Research Ecologist with the Fire, Fuels and Smoke research program at the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, MT. Russ received his B.S. in Forestry from U.C. Berkeley, in 1992, and then worked several years in fire and resource management with a number of different agencies. After completing his M.S. in Forest Resources at the University of Idaho in 1999, Russ joined the Fire Sciences Lab in 2000 as a remote sensing and GIS analyst, later becoming a research ecologist after completing his Ph.D. in Forestry at the University of Montana in 2007. His research work at the lab spans multiple time and space scales, ranging from landscape fire and vegetation simulation modeling to highly detailed 3D fuel and physics-based fire modeling. Russ develops and uses models to improve our understanding of critical aspects of fire science. A key theme of his current work is to improve our understanding of how fuel treatments alter fire behavior and the consequences of these changes for firefighter and community safety in fire management.