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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Graduate Exit Seminar - Claire Rapp

Plan to join via Zoom or in person, Claire Rapp's graduate exit seminar on March 25, 2022, at 1:00 p.m.  Claire will present, "An analysis of the social and technological factors influencing team performance in wildland fire incident management teams."

Wildfire is a difficult environmental hazard to manage. While uncontrolled wildfires can pose considerable risk, overly-aggressive suppression degrades fire-adapted ecosystems and increases the risk of catastrophic wildfires in the long run. The incident management teams (IMTs) who manage fires must make decisions in rapidly evolving situations characterized by high risk. Many factors inform these decisions, and IMT members must choose how they will seek out and attend to information. Information may come from technological sources such as decision support tools, or social sources such as trustworthy supervisors and subordinates. This presentation covers three studies. Study 1 assesses how IMT members use forecasted precipitation, humidity, and wind when making tactical decisions. Results reveal how much importance fire managers assign to weather information is subject to framing effects. Study 2 assesses what characteristics IMT members look for in trustworthy subordinates and supervisors, and what characteristics they believe their subordinates and supervisors look for in them. Results emphasize the importance of ability, integrity, benevolence, predictability, and gender for giving and receiving trust. Study 3 examines how trust in supervisors and felt trust from supervisors influences team learning and team performance. While trustworthy supervisors positively contribute to team performance mediated by team learning behavior, feeling trusted by supervisors was not statistically significant. Implications for supporting effective, defensible decision-making are discussed.

 Advisor: Dr. Robyn Wilson