BAER SOIL SCIENTIST (BASS) - Qualification Checklist




The BAER Soil Scientist contributes to addressing post wildfire emergency watershed conditions by assessing wildfire damages on soil resources, determining the natural range of variability upper limits for hillslope soils, identifying values at risk (life, property, and critical natural and cultural resources), and developing if possible soil stabilization treatments to avoid an excessive watershed response.




        Assesses fire effects to soils and makes findings available to other users.

o       Documents and map observations and findings.

o       Maps soil burn severity using remote sensing-derived imagery and/or aerial and ground reconnaissance.

o       Identifies wildfire-caused changes in soil characteristics (chemical, physical and biological).

o       Compiles and interprets available soil surveys and other soil information.

o       Estimates post-wildfire soil erosion and sediment delivery.

o       Identifies and documents soil values at risk from post-wildfire conditions within and downstream of the burned area.

o                   Contributes soil resource information to the Watershed Burned Area Assessment.

        Develops recommendations (if needed) for emergency stabilization of impacted soils.

o                   Prepares soil treatment and monitoring specifications.

o                   Maps proposed treatment locations.

      Coordinates with other BAER technical specialists and other agencies.

      Compiles field notes and maps, data, digital photos, and daily unit logs for the record.

     Prepares the vegetation resource presentations for public, agency administratorís and close-out meetings and briefing.

      Upon arrival at the incident, checks in at the Incident Command Post and the Time Unit.

      Prepares and delivers the close-out briefing burned areas assessment summary.

      Prepares copies of the resource field assessment notes, maps and other draft materials and delivers them to the Documentation Specialist as part of the documentation package with sensitive data/notes identified and returned to the local specialists-not to be included in the official documentation package.




        Technical skill as a GS-09 Soil Scientist

        Knowledge of fire effects on soils.

        Knowledge of soil burn severity mapping.

        Knowledge of methods for estimating post-wildfire erosion, peak flows and mass wasting.

        Experience in mapping field information and using GPS and GIS.

        Knowledge of and familiarity with soil stabilization techniques.

        Ability to quickly and efficiently locate and synthesize relevant technical information from local land use plans and local and community sources.

        Basic understanding of the potential effects of wildfire on natural and cultural resources and public health and safety.





o    Annual Fire Safety Refresher Training

o    Introduction to Fire Behavior (S-190)

o    Fire fighter Training (S-130)

        Additional training which supports development of knowledge and skills

o       Introduction to Incident Command System (I-100)

o       Wildland Fire Suppression Orientation for Non-operations Personnel (S-110)

o       Basic Incident Command (I-200)

o       Introduction to Fire Effects (RX-310)

o       Interagency BAER Techniques course

o       GPS for ICS

o       GIS (Arcview or ArcGIS)

o       Interagency Helicopter Training Guide (S-271)

o       Burn Area Reflectance Classification

o       Hydrologic and erosion modeling (HEC, WEPP, etc.)

o       Incident communications and radio training


Prerequisite Experience


        Specialist (SOIL)

        One satisfactory performance as a BAER Soil Scientist


Physical Fitness




Position currency can also be maintained by successful performance a Soil Science Specialist (SOIL), BAER Hydrologist (BAHY), or BAER Geologist (BAGE).