Integrating values and risk perceptions into a decision support system

Barbara J. Morehouse, Sara O'Brien, Gary Christopherson, Peter Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


One of the thorniest challenges to effective wildland fire management is integration of public perceptions and values into science-based adaptive management. One promising alternative is incorporation of public values into place-based decision support technologies that are accessible to lay citizens as well as to fire-management experts. A survey of individuals, including residents, fire and fuels managers, volunteer firefighters, and others living in or near four mountain areas of the US Southwest, identified a set of personal values and perceptions about wildland fire risk that could be spatially represented in a geographic information science-based decision support system designed for wildland fire strategic planning efforts. We define values, in this context, as phenomena that are not necessarily quantifiable but that strongly attract and connect individuals for whatever reasons to particular areas. Inclusion of this type of information into interactive decision tools for fire management may contribute to improved understanding and finer-scale spatial visualisation of public perceptions of fire risk. The integration of such factors in decision support tools offers opportunities for improving interactions between managers and the public involved in strategic planning processes for fire management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-136
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Wildland Fire
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • US Southwest
  • geographic information science model
  • strategic planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Ecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrating values and risk perceptions into a decision support system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this