NOTE: THIS RESOURCE IS A DUPLICATE OF # 43812
This is a medium length video in a PBS News wrapper that presents scientific, social and economic impacts of forest fires in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State and focuses on the Tripod Fires of 2006 that burned 180,000 acres.
Dr. Susan Prichard reviews the causes of wildfires in Washington state, including the relationships between warming trends, pine bark beetles and wildfires. It looks specifically at the Tripod fire in 2006 which burned 180,000 acres. Diverse points of view as to the causes are given. Dr. Susan Prichard reviews the causes of wildfires in Washington state including the relationships among warming trends early snowmelt drier conditions infestations of mountain pine and spruce beetles and more frequent wildfires.
Dr. Susan Prichard is interviewed in the video and she presents the scientific basis for concluding connections between climate and the changes in the forest ecosystem is clearly, including the roles of pine bark beetle infestation, warming and drying climate in the region and early snowmelts that together may account for increased fire damage while noting the incompleteness of the research at the time the video was made. The economic impact and local strategies to mitigate both economic and environmental damage are also presented.
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Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- This video would be suitable for use in an ecology unit, in AP Environmental Science or Earth Environmental science courses. It might also be useful in geography, human geography and social studies classes. The quality of the film and the script could also be useful in film making classes or in a discussion about how science can be communicated effectively to a general audience.
- An interview with logger that disputes the scientist’s views could be used to trigger interesting classroom discussion.
- A shorter version of this video that focuses more tightly on the bark beetle infestation is available on this site as CLEAN Resource #3021.
About the Science
- The video looks specifically at the Tripod fire in 2006 that burned 180,000 acres of the Okanogan-Wenatchee forest.
- The linkages between a warming climate, beetle infestation, low rainfall and early snowmelt are covered. Diverse points of view as to the causes are given.
- Comments from expert scientist: The video piece features scientific experts citing what they believe are the critical links between insect outbreaks and climate change to increased wildfires in the state of Washington. Data linking timing of snowmelt to increased fire prevalence is prominently featured. The piece also considers opposing viewpoints, which I think is a major strength.
About the Pedagogy
- A short essay on the webpage provides some additional details of the events described in the video.
Technical Details/Ease of Use
- This is a very high quality video and thoughtful script.
- Access to the video is via Vimeo. It is also available with additional materials on the Climate Central website at: http://www.camelclimatechange.org/resources/view/171216/?topic=66008.
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