Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2016

Degree Type



Environmental Health Sciences

First Reader

John Kupfer

Second Reader

Joe Lemeris


While the use of prescribed fire, or controlled burning, is a land management practice that many ecologists are familiar with, many members of the general public may still be unsure of the purpose, use, and benefits of this practice. These small-scale, intentionally set fires have the capacity to greatly improve the management of habitats and ecosystems across the state of South Carolina, but without public support, the likelihood of these programs’ successes diminishes considerably. Public support is imperative and in order to ensure it, organizations must start with education. This paper intends to explain prescribed fire, how it is accomplished, and why it can be so beneficial to forest ecosystems, particularly in the Upstate of South Carolina, where the state park system is beginning to use fire to manage and restore parklands.

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© 2016, Laura Alexandra Woodlee