Fire Dynamics


A major  is an organized  curriculum  that  is  part  of an existing  degree  program.   A major must be associated with the degree program under which it is offered and must share common core courses and usually shares prerequisite courses with all other majors in the same degree program.

This  major  involves mathematical modeling,  fluid  dynamics, and environmental  factors  dealing  with wildland and prescribed fires. No other such major exists in Computational Sciences or the SUS.




Common  Core Courses:

Scientific  Programming (ISC 5305) and Applied Computational Science-1, ACS-1 (ISC 5315) is the core set.

Physical science  and mathematically prepared  students  who are interested  in the environment and natural systems;  meteorology  students  interested  in  the  role  of  aerosols,  particulates,  and  gases emitted by forest fires and prescribed burning; physics or engineering  students  desiring to apply their knowledge  to combustion  in a natural  environment, wildland fire experts  who desire  to further their academic  career, computationally oriented  students  who  desire  a problem  of  direct  importance  to society, management and agency personnel who deal with the impact of wildland fires.


There  is a long  history  of studies  on the  ecological  effects  of fire, and  some  work  in engineering setting  on the mechanisms of fire generation  and propagation. However, to our knowledge there is no other  formal   PhD framework   for  the  study  of  fire  in  a  degree   program   as  a  fluid  dynamical phenomenon, with complex physical, chemical, and turbulent interactions with the environment.


Major requirements will be ISC5305, ISC5315, Fire Dynamics core courses plus 12 credit hours from the elective courses.

Fire Dynamics  core courses:

GFD 5XXX Intra to Fire Operations (NWCG S-130/S-190) with written project.   Special topics courses

In collaboration with Tall Timbers  Research Station (TTRS), The Jones Ecological  Research Center,

Apalachicola  National Forest, Florida Forest Service, and the US Forest Service (USFS) Athens, GA. Certification to work in active fireline operations. These will be developed  as real classroom  courses with letter grades.

GFD 5XXX Fire Behavior and Ecology (TTRS, USFS)

GFD 5XXX Fire Dynamics Laboratory (TTRS) GFD 6925 GFD Colloquium

GFD 6935r Seminar

Graduate  Courses

GFD 6905r  Directed  Individual Study (3). (S/U grade only.)   May be repeated  to a maximum  of (48) semester hours.

GFD  6915r  Supervised  Research  (1-5).  (S/U  grade  only.)  May  be repeated  to a maximum  of five semester hours.

GFD 6925 Geophysical  Fluid Dynamics Colloquium  (1). (S/U grade only.)

GFD  6935r  Seminar  (1-2).  (S/U  grade only.)  May be repeated  to a maximum  of two  (2) semester hours.

GFD  6980r  Dissertation   (1-12).  A  student  may  not  enroll  for  GFD  6980r  prior  to  passing  the

preliminary  (comprehensive) examination.   Students  must  establish  their  ability  to  handle  modern computer techniques applicable  to their research.

GFD 8964r Doctoral Preliminary Examination  (0). (P/F grade only)

GFD 8985r Dissertation  Defense (0). (P/F grade only)

(Existing applied math, fluid dynamics, meteorology, engineering, and chemistry courses.)


Elective  Courses:


Viscous  fluid flows,  turbulent  flows,  introduction  to computational mechanics,  water  resources  and environmental engineering,  hydraulics, hydrology, ground water, and Combustion.

Courses: CEG 5125,5415, 5515, 5635; ECH 5934r, EGM 5456,5810, 6845; EML 5422, ENV 5045.

  Geological  Sciences

Geophysics,  geomechanics,   geophysical   methods,   seismology,  modeling   of  groundwater   flow, hydrology.

Courses: GLY 5425, 5455, 5465, 5556, 5573, 5575, 5825, 5826, 5827, 5868r.


Numerical  analysis,  vector  and  tensor  analysis,  ordinary  and  partial  differential  equations,  matrix algebra,  integral transforms  and asymptotics, perturbation theory, hydrodynamic  stability, wave propagation theory.

Courses: MAD  5708,  5738,  5739, 6408r;  MAP  5207, 5217, 5345,  5346,  5423,  5431,  5441, 5512,

5513, 6434r, 6437r, 6939r.


Atmospheric  thermodynamics,  atmospheric  dynamics,  atmospheric   circulation,  weather  prediction, satellite observations and remote sensing.

Courses:  MET 5311,5312, 5340r, 5471, 5541r, 6308r, 6561r.


Stability of geophysical fluid flows, turbulence.

Courses: OCP 5056, 5253, 5256, 5271, 5285, 5551, 5930r, OCE 5009L.


Magnetohydrodynamics,   principles   of  thermodynamics,   mechanics,   electricity   and   magnetism, theoretical dynamics, electrodynamics, statistical mechanics, astrophysics/combustion.

Courses: PHY 5246, 5346, 5347, 5524.


Computational  methods   in  statistics,   statistical   procedures   for  the   natural   sciences,   statistical inference, probability, multivariate  analysis, stochastic processes, applied time series analysis. Courses: STA 5106, 5206, 5326, 5327, 5440, 5447, 5807r.

Scientific Computing

Numerical methods, scientific visualization, scientific computing, Applied Computational Science II. Courses: ISC 5226, 5227, 5228, 5307, 5316

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