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Joseph Roise

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Grants

Date: 08/01/19 - 12/31/23
Amount: $382,056.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Interior (DOI)

As planned this will be a 4 year project costing $428,000. There will be 3 NCSU faculty involved. Two graduate students and one undergraduate studying forest management planning. Both will become highly familiar with the land management model. The final result is a sustainable strategic forest plan, that can be used by WRC to get better results. The NC WRC controls 541,000 acres of forest and habitat in North Carolina. The primary focus of management on these lands is wildlife habitat management, conservation and restoration. However, it is recognized that forest management and wildlife habitat management goes hand-in-hand. The final deliverable of this project will be a large scale mathematical program for optimization of the WRC land base.

Date: 09/14/20 - 9/30/22
Amount: $157,310.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

Throughout the last two years, the Southern Fire Exchange (SFE) has continued to build on the strong foundation of activities that we began implementing in 2010 to unite fire science and natural resource management in the Southeastern US. By focusing on interactive learning opportunities, such as field tours and workshops, we also made strides toward helping fire managers incorporate science into their decision making and management activities. SFE activities have been evaluated using several tools, including participant questionnaires after SFE events; discussion and feedback with Advisory Board (AB) members, the Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF) Fire Chiefs, and other key leaders; the national online survey; and webmetric data from the SFE website. The following summary brings together evaluation results from FY2013 to January 2020 to provide an overview of our activities, progress toward meeting outcomes, and challenges and lessons learned along the wa

Date: 08/12/19 - 9/30/21
Amount: $83,533.00
Funding Agencies: Bureau of Land Management

Throughout the last two years, the Southern Fire Exchange (SFE) has continued to build on the strong foundation of activities that we began implementing in 2010 to unite fire science and natural resource management in the Southeastern US. By focusing on interactive learning opportunities, such as field tours and workshops, we also made strides toward helping fire managers incorporate science into their decision making and management activities. SFE activities have been evaluated using several tools, including participant questionnaires after SFE events; discussion and feedback with Advisory Board (AB) members, the Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF) Fire Chiefs, and other key leaders; the national online survey; and webmetric data from the SFE website. The following summary brings together evaluation results from FY2013 to January 2020 to provide an overview of our activities, progress toward meeting outcomes, and challenges and lessons learned along the wa

Date: 09/12/18 - 9/30/20
Amount: $84,254.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service

Throughout the last two years, the Southern Fire Exchange (SFE) has continued to build on the strong foundation of activities that we began implementing in 2010 to unite fire science and natural resource management in the Southeastern US. By focusing on interactive learning opportunities, such as field tours and workshops, we also made strides toward helping fire managers incorporate science into their decision making and management activities. SFE activities have been evaluated using several tools, including participant questionnaires after SFE events; discussion and feedback with Advisory Board (AB) members, the Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF) Fire Chiefs, and other key leaders; the national online survey; and webmetric data from the SFE website. The following summary brings together evaluation results from FY2013 to January 2020 to provide an overview of our activities, progress toward meeting outcomes, and challenges and lessons learned along the wa

Date: 07/30/13 - 9/30/18
Amount: $290,174.00
Funding Agencies: Bureau of Land Management

The Southern Fire Exchange (SFE) has achieved significant accomplishments and learned numerous lessons through overcoming challenges since startup in 2010. Consortia effectiveness has been evaluated using multiple methods, which include: Tracking consortium activities and participants; Collecting questionnaire responses at SFE events (e.g., workshops, webinars, Prescribed Fire Council (PFC) presentations); Obtaining participant feedback via email and newsletter announcements; Including consortia-specific questions on the national survey and analyzing southeastern responses for all questions; and Obtaining feedback from the Advisory Board (AB), Steering Committee (SC) and Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF) Fire Chiefs. High on the list of accomplishments are the initiation and maintenance of several communication mechanisms for the southern wildland fire community across a large geographic area, and our success in increasing regional awareness of the consortium. SFE results from the national survey showed that consortium awareness significantly increased among both managers and scientists, with 58% of managers and 79% of researchers being aware of the consortium in 2011, and 69% of managers and 96% of researchers being aware in 2012. As this survey was distributed through our mailing list, we expected a high degree of awareness among respondents. However, at PFC meetings consortium awareness varied. For example, at the North Carolina PFC meeting almost all questionnaire respondents (91%; n = 22) were familiar with the SFE while at the Alabama PFC meeting?a state where the SFE has not been as active?awareness in 2012 was just over half of the respondents (54%; n = 41). Our online first-stop Resource Center includes all the elements requested in our 2009 Needs Assessment (e.g., links to diverse resources, discussion forums, SFE written and media products), is updated almost daily, and receives high marks in the annual national surveys. Results indicate that website visitation increased significantly from 57% to 78% respondents (for southeastern manager and scientist respondents). Most southeastern manager respondents who have visited the website ?agree? or ?strongly agree? that it organizes the needed information in one convenient place (53%), provides information that is current and up-to-date (78%), provides a wide variety of fire science information (77%), is user-friendly (72%), and provides practical information that can be used in their jobs (71%). Website tracking through Google Analytics shows that visitor loyalty grew from 11 visitors with more than 100 returns to the site in Oct 2011 to 453 distinct visitors with more than 100 returns by Sept 2012. Similarly, the bimonthly SFE Fire Lines newsletter is a widely-used resource, with the newsletter being the product that most Wave 2 southeastern respondents reported using from April 2011 to April 2012 (Figure 1). Almost 75% of those respondents reported reading 3 or more of the 9 newsletters distributed. Fire Lines has been used as a model for several other consortia newsletters and is transmitted not only through the Resource Center, SFE email list, and social media programs, but also through state agency, NGO and PFC email channels. In addition, 23 fact sheets, research syntheses or highlights, and webinars have directly translated science and research into useful summaries addressing needs identified by fire managers. While we have not had as many webinars as expected, the five webinars we produced have been particularly well received. The majority of respondents to each post-webinar survey indicated that they gained knowledge, that the topic addressed their fire information needs, and that the webinar facilitated communication between managers and researchers. We have initiated a mini-grant program to increase our factsheet and webinar production and plan additional staff time dedicated to this key activity in our next two years. In the last year, we leaped into social media using Facebook and Twitter to disseminate fire-related information a

Date: 07/01/17 - 6/30/18
Amount: $37,784.00
Funding Agencies: NCSU Center for Human Health and the Environment

Air pollution associated with smoke emissions from wildfires has been linked to increased mortality and morbidity. In the U.S. wildland fires have become an important source of air pollution across several regions, including the Southeast. Wildfires can elevate pollutant concentrations at affected communities well beyond safe levels. However, the episodic and unpredictable nature of wildfires makes estimates of health outcomes associated with individual fires or fire complexes difficult to attain with air quality and health effects models. The historic 2016 Southeastern U.S. wildfires offer an exceptional opportunity to quantify the impacts of wildfire smoke. This pilot study aims to produce an estimate of health effects in North Carolina associated with exposure to fine particulate matter pollution (PM2.5) from specific fire events that led to a deterioration of air quality in the state during the fall of 2016. We will calculate fire emissions based on data from an interagency incident information system and constrained by remote sensing. Regional-scale air quality modeling will be used to generate fire-impacted spatiotemporal PM2.5 concentrations fields for North Carolina. The air quality data will be related to health impacts by using a model based on epidemiological concentration-response functions for different health endpoints. The study will determine if regulatory modeling tools predict a significant impact from wildfire events on different health outcomes, including hospital admissions, asthma attacks, acute respiratory symptoms, and work loss days. An estimate of discernable effects of wildfires will strongly support larger grant applications focused on smoke exposure mitigation and larger-scale health impacts.

Date: 08/01/14 - 1/31/18
Amount: $1,422,024.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)

This research project will explore the performance advantages to be gained by using advanced heat resistant fabric technologies in the construction of the wildland fire shelter design. Novel materials concepts for fire shelters that have the potential to significantly improve on existing fabric technology (fiberglass and silica fabrics with aluminized outer surfaces) in fire blocking, weight, durability performance will be studied. A priority objective will be to demonstrate high performing heat resistant materials that do not generate toxic gases in the thermal exposures encountered in wildland fire environments. This project will also contribute an initial technical basis for an NFPA performance standard for fire shelter materials based on laboratory tests, as well as an index for rating fire shelter materials above minimum performance It will conduct field testing of prototype shelters in actual wildland fire environments. This research will contribute to improve wildland firefighter safety by developing high performance fabric systems for fire shelter construction. This outcome will provide fire shelter manufacturers with more advanced materials options, as well as an enhanced technical basis for evaluating fire shelter materials alternatives. The testing database will contribute to future revisions of NFPA 1977 and provide systems-level testing options that can be used to assess future shelter design changes.

Date: 06/01/14 - 3/31/17
Amount: $81,102.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

Abstract: The production of liquid fuels from biomass requires a steady flow of suitable inputs to fully utilize plant capacity and maximize returns on investment. For North Carolina, full use of a plant may requires storage of herbaceous and wood feedstocks because of the seasonality of production (grasses) and the difficulty of harvesting forests in wet conditions. Biofuels producers need a buffer of feedstock in the late winter to spring period when switchgrass has been harvested and new crop production has not begun. NCSU has found that soft hardwood will be the primary source of alternative feedstock as it has a higher conversion rate than loblolly pine. The ability to selectively purchase maple, sweetgum and blackgum chips year-round will help reduce their costs and ensure that only compatible species are included in the hydrolysis process. Storage of these woody feedstocks will allow for greater certainty in production. NCSU will partner with Chemtex in this project as they will be producing cellulosic ethanol in Spring Hope next year and are currently determining the logistics of provisioning their plant with soft hardwood feedstock. Several methods for storage of hardwood will be investigated in this project: Ensilage Woodchips combined with leaves may undergo fermentation in a low oxygen environment. NCSU will perform medium scale experiments on hardwood chips with and without tree leaves and with and without added forage in both summer and winter. We anticipate low moisture loss. Chemtex will test the resulting products for suitability for their fermentation processes. Ensilage-Drying This is a combination of simple ensilage with provisions made for the removal of water vapor generated in ensilage process. This is described fully in expired US patent 4935035. The same treatments as above will be followed and Chemtex will do similar analysis. Low energy drying Woodchips will be dried with existing low energy drying systems developed at NCSU by Chris Hopkins. NCSU has 3 systems on hand: Batch dryer for drying in thick layers (up to 4’). This system is useful if handling woodchips is seen as low cost and electricity to drive fans is relatively inexpensive. Conveyor drying for thin layers. This systems involves drying using both solar energy and latent heat in unsaturated air with traditional rubber belt conveyors. Perforated conveyor drying for medium layers using both solar and latent heat energy in the air. This system may be the most efficient but requires use of belting material not previously used in drying wood chips. We do not anticipate large differences in the final product of chips dried with these systems, but will test them for their relative energy and labor input performance with soft hardwood chips. In-Field Drying is a system currently being funded by NCDA and we can add additional trials to specifically to look at the drying rates of soft hardwoods and the efficiency of chipping and storing these chips. NCSU will design and implement this study with Chemtex as primary partner. NCSU will collect data on the time and temperature profiles, energy use (diesel, electricity) of each method of drying, as well as machine time. Chemtex will provide input on costs of implementing these processes in their NC plant and provide data on ethanol conversion rates for each in comparison to their standard fresh wood chip results. Mark Conlon will gather engineering data on implementation costs and combine it with the above information to estimate ROI of implementation of each system and estimate on reliability and overall system performance. The outcome of this study will be academic and trade journal articles on the best methods for smoothing the feedstock flows in North Carolina given the performance of preserved soft hardwoods.

Date: 08/26/13 - 3/31/17
Amount: $107,977.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

In the three months of the original project NCSU had identified foresters with ongoing forest harvest sites appropriate for this study. We now have the proper contacts and groundwork in the region to promptly re-initiate the study. In this renewed study, NCSU will document the establishment, drying rates and processing of stacked logging residues on two sites in Western North Carolina. We will re-establish contacts for installation of the drying test sites, install the drying piles on active logging operations, measure machine operations for piling, take monthly measures of drying over 10 months, document chipping effectiveness on dried material and write up results. Contemporaneous with the conduct of the drying study, tours of the operations and ongoing drying will be made with loggers and landowners so that the feasibility of a forest based biofuels industry can be discussed with these forest stewards.

Date: 08/26/13 - 8/30/16
Amount: $22,075.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

The anticipated negative impacts of climate change have prompted the search for alternatives to fossil fuels. Utilizing various cellulosic biomass/feedstocks (including miscanthus) for biofuel production has emerged as a promising approach. However, there is a need to investigate the sustainability of these crops grown as a single- or dual-crop system. This study will keep investigating different land management approaches and harvesting options for the production of miscanthus for biofuels and crop trees (loblolly pine) for traditional wood products. The impacts of this non-traditional land management approach on site productivity and sustainability will be evaluated for years 3 and 4 after establishment.


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