Northwest Nazarene University’s Field Inquiry Research Experience (F.I.R.E.) Up for Summer is a field inquiry research experience for high school students that is sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and NASA in conjunction with the Meridian School District. The F.I.R.E. Up program is a three week session each summer for high school students to perform fire assessment in selected areas of southern Idaho.
The course is managed and taught by certified Idaho science, technology and math teachers with funding and essential research projects established by the BLM. NNU provides four concurrent credits to participating students and involved faculty. The Meridian School District makes facilities and computers available while allowing students to earn an elective science credit for successful completion. For the last several years approximately 30 students have participated in this project each summer.
Past projects have included post-burn analyses, early detection efforts and the use of satellite images to assist fire fighters in the case of a fire. During the summer of 2004, BLM tasked the class to inventory 72 test plots in a controlled post-burn area in Pixley Basin covering 6,000 acres of Owyhee mountain high desert. In 2005, students worked in Silver City inventorying private property for fire hazards and prevention suggestions. In 2006, students spent time on the Garden Mountain Project in Garden Valley, a forest treatment area was surveyed using Fire-Mon software and fire inventory of the public lands. Other projects are planned for the future.
The Fire-Up for Summer program award presentation was made by Assistant Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorn at the Main Interior Auditorium in Washington, D.C.