Message from our Founding Director, Dr. İlkay Altıntaş
Dear WIFIRE Community,
As we approach 2023 and reflect back on a truly exciting year at the WIFIRE Lab, I am impressed by what we accomplished with our partners. 2022 has brought with it important developments in our BurnPro3D and Firemap solutions, as well as the WIFIRE Data and Model Commons that powers them.
I invite you to read more about our new and continued collaborations on Firemap, our demonstration network efforts to make BurnPro3D a transformative platform to optimize prescribed fires, and a new unique dataset published in the WIFIRE Commons. At the time you receive this letter, Dr. Daniel Roten will be heading to Japan, to present our machine learning based post-fire debris flow likelihood prediction approach at the IEEE Big Data Conference. Stay tuned for the online version of the paper following the conference and see more of our recent publications below.
This year we increased our focus on public outreach and WIFIRE Lab’s work continued to make headlines. As a part of our science communication efforts, BurnPro3D was featured as a part of the Hard Reset documentary series by Freethink Media. We also worked with UC San Diego students and the ENLACE Summer Research Program on a Design Challenge and were amazed by their creativity. Our students not only demonstrated that they can take on a technical challenge, but also showed us what borderless education means through the friendships and products they built. They got to present their work to Mayor Todd Gloria and Bill Nye at the Data Science Alliance Launch Event over the summer.
At the WIFIRE Lab, we are looking forward to 2023, which also marks the 10th year since our first NSF-funded effort. As always, we are grateful to our many partners and funders in all of these activities. Without your support, WIFIRE Lab would not be the innovative place where ideas converge into solutions that benefit all of us. We are looking forward to working with our community in 2023!
Dr. İlkay Altıntaş
WIFIRE Lab Founding Director
In 2022, WIFIRE continued to partner with the Fire Integrated Real-Time Intelligence System (FIRIS), now under the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. FIRIS uses WIFIRE's Firemap to predict the speed and direction of fire spread immediately after a fire is reported. The Firemap team is focusing on R&D in three areas to further improve the tool for fire response:
- Incorporation of new fire models to predict fire behavior over days instead of hours with partners at the Pyregence Consortium and funding from NASA
Evaluation of satellite-based fire detection and fire radiative power applications with partners at the University of Wisconsin and funding from NOAA
- Demonstration scenarios to show the value of ground sensing and in-situ edge computing for monitoring and decision-making with partners at Redline Safety and funding from DHS
BurnPro3D is designed to support the planning and implementation of prescribed burns with 3D fuels data, user-defined ignition patterns, and a coupled fire/atmosphere model. The platform was created in partnership with collaborators from the U.S. Forest Service, USGS, and Los Alamos National Lab with support from the NSF Convergence Accelerator.
If you are a member of the fire management community and would like to collaborate with BurnPro3D, you can request an information session, sign-up to participate in beta testing, or apply to plan and execute a prescribed burn as part of our demonstration network. Contact us here.
Our Data and Model Commons curates and connects next-generation data and models to enable AI techniques. As one of our long-time supporters, San Diego Gas and Electric enables open real-time access to 17 high-resolution weather and fire datasets they generate. A new collaborative effort between OpenTopography and the WIFIRE Lab will streamline access to approximately 60 federally funded California high resolution LiDAR datasets in both point cloud and raster formats. These datasets were collected by agencies such as the US Forest Service and have not been previously accessible online. Learn more here.
WIFIRE Lab and the Design Lab at UC San Diego co-hosted the “Mindshifts on Megafires Design Challenge Expo” on October 28, which showcased the work of seven student teams who created virtual and physical installations to increase public understanding of prescribed burns. Projects included animated shorts, board games, and virtual reality experiences.
Watch Team Cool Off California’s animated short, “Who’s a Good Fire,” on our YouTube Channel and read more about the event here.
We are excited to support the Convergence Research (CORE) Institute in launching the 2023 call for Fellows in partnership with the Prowess Center. The CORE Institute is a yearlong training program that is designed to catalyze an impact network of researchers and practitioners committed to collaboratively engaging in convergence research. The theme for 2023 is “Tackling Climate-Induced Challenges with AI”. Fellows will transfer ideas and technologies to practice, and design AI solutions for climate change adaptation, resilience, and mitigation.
The deadline to apply is Jan. 8. Learn more here.
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