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FFI: a software tool for ecological monitoring

Lutes, Duncan C., Benson, Nathan C., Keifer, MaryBeth, Caratti, John F., Streetman, S. Austin
International journal of wildland fire 2009 v.18 no.3 pp. 310-314
wildfires, fire ecology, data collection, data analysis, computer software, monitoring
A new monitoring tool called FFI (FEAT/FIREMON Integrated) has been developed to assist managers with collection, storage and analysis of ecological information. The tool was developed through the complementary integration of two fire effects monitoring systems commonly used in the United States: FIREMON and the Fire Ecology Assessment Tool. FFI provides software components for: data entry, data storage, Geographic Information System, summary reports, analysis tools and Personal Digital Assistant use. In addition to a large set of standard FFI protocols, the Protocol Manager lets users define their own sampling protocol when custom data entry forms are needed. The standard FFI protocols and Protocol Manager allow FFI to be used for monitoring in a broad range of ecosystems. FFI is designed to help managers fulfil monitoring mandates set forth in land management policy. It supports scalable (project- to landscape-scale) monitoring at the field and research level, and encourages cooperative, interagency data management and information sharing. Though developed for application in the USA, FFI can potentially be used to meet monitoring needs internationally.