Apr 14, 2022 - Energy & Environment

First look: Science group activates to tackle wildfires

Illustration of many a window showing a wildfire through the glass, as well as another window with drought imagery, which holds another window with a photo of a hurricane
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A new group of more than 1,000 rapid response scientists from multiple disciplines — the International Science Reserves announced its official activation on Wednesday, which it shared first with Axios.

  • In addition, wildfires are the first challenge ISR members are set to tackle.

Why it matters: This is the first test of the new scientific organization that formed last summer through a collaboration between IBM and the New York Academy of Sciences, along with other resources.

  • It is modeled in part on a high-performance computing program that aided researchers in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

How it works: The ISR has conducted readiness exercises among its members to determine how they might conduct work if and when disaster strikes, including wildfire scenarios in the Pacific Northwest and Indonesia.

What they’re saying: “Although wildfires have been ravaging countries around the world for the last decade, many have seen their worst blazes in generations," said Nicholas B. Dirks, president and CEO of NYAS, in a statement to Axios. "Our approach is multidisciplinary and takes a holistic view of the impacts of wildfires," he said.

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