Communication Discourse Knowledge


Abstract: People have always communicated in different ways across the world. When the communication is done in the work field it is called discourse. Discourse can also mean the common knowledge of the some field. Most people gain this discourse from experience in the field and in schooling. When it comes to the writing side of discourse, many journals have a set guideline. Natural resources uses the guidelines set by The Wildlife Society in the Journal of Wildlife Management, which is taken from the CSE guidelines. The big move of natural resources started in the beginning of the 20th century when people began to see the way that resources were being consumed rapidly. The movement was pushed by influential people such as Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, Aldo Leopold, and Rachel Carson. Now that natural resources are developed there are many readings that are used within each field of natural resources. Some of them are the Journal of Wildlife Management, Journal of Arboriculture, and Journal of Forestry. Once people are in the career field that they choose they communicate through the journals, in other written forms, verbally, and non-verbally. When it comes to wild land firefighting, communication is very crucial. Communication can make the work run smoother and can keep the firefighters safer. When people in the natural resources field use the written form of communication, they follow the guidelines set by the Journal of Wildlife Management and CSE. CSE differs from the commonly used APA format. The writing style is used to maintain a format and keep the writings easy to read.

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All over the world, people have been communicating in different ways since the beginning of humankind. The communication started as non-verbal forms. People would communicate by pointing to what they wanted to do, drawing stories on rocks, and using forms of sign language. As time progressed humans began to use more verbal forms of communication. At first, it was not a very set language at all. Most people have watched videos, or cartoons of cave dwellers communicating with grunts and groans. Now, that is not saying that was the only way the early humans communicated, but it is close. They came up with their own way of communicating within the group of people they were with. Each group of people in that time had a different way of communicating with each other. Some of them were close, but they were still different, much like many languages in today's time. As the groups grew in size, and as they became closer together, the languages started to merge. From this merging, people would communicate together in the same way over larger areas of land. It took a great deal of time, but it is much like the way languages are spread today. The evolution of communication did not stop here. Not only are there different languages, but different technical languages within the careers of work that people go into. This paper will define the meaning of discourse, relate it to the field of natural resources, and explain the writing form of the discourse.

Discourse can be defined as the communication of ideas and information. When talking about the discourse of the profession that people go into for a career, it is referred to as academic discourse, or professional discourse. Academic discourse is the technical language that is used within the field of work and how that language is communicated. Every field is different, but to understand what people within that field are talking about, or to understand reports, a person has to become familiar with their discourse. The discourse of a field is mostly gained by experience in the work force, and from schooling that is needed for the career. In the field of natural resources, this discourse is using the scientific names of plants and animals, knowing the terms and key words of ecology, and being able to understand the ways of research. During the classes that students take, they learn the basic knowledge that they need to be able to understand their field, but the also learn how to communicate in it. When writing reports, articles, or even giving speeches, each field has a writing style to follow so that the writings are the same throughout the field and anybody in that field will be able to follow it easily. Discourse has not always been the same over time either. With newer technology, communication has gone from letters, and books to the internet and email. In natural resources, the writing portion of the discourse is based on the style manual of the Council of Science Editors (CSE), or also known as the Council of Biology Editors (CBE).

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The writing for research articles in natural resources follows the guidelines for the Journal of Wildlife Management. It uses most of the same guidelines as the CSE writing style manual, since it is a natural sciences field. The guideline for the Journal of Wildlife Management sets rules for how articles need to be put together for the journal. This journal is a source that people in the field of natural resources uses to share information and knowledge gained through research projects. Most of the research that is done is based on a simple, yet effective method that most people begin to learn in elementary school known as the Scientific Method. The scientific method asks a question, creates a hypothesis on it, tests the hypothesis, analyzes the data, and then creates a conclusion to the results. The research goes into more detail when it is being done, but it follows these basic guidelines. While doing the steps of the scientific method, the biggest part that is related to the discourse is writing on the research and the results.

The guidelines and rules for writing in the Journal of Wildlife Management are set very clearly. Not only does it have guidelines for writing and the format for writing, but it also goes into the graphics and citations of writing. When starting a paper for the journal the paper needs to have a running head. This makes it easy for readers to see where they are at in the paper and to know what the topic of the paper is. The first page of the paper is just a title page. It includes the title of the paper, the author's name, the author's address, and the date. The next thing in the paper is the abstract. The abstract is a one-page summary that tells the reader what they are going to be reading and should be able to summarize all of the main points of the paper. According to the Manuscript Guidelines for Wildlife Monographs, an abstract should include the problem studied or the hypothesis tested, the method used, whether the results of the test were positive or negative, and the utility of results. The Manuscript Guidelines for Wildlife Monographs also defines utility results as how, when, where, and by whom data and interpretations can be applied to wildlife problems or contribute to knowledge of wildlife science. After the abstract, a paper should contain a page of key words. This defines words that are used in the writing in order to make them more understandable for the readers. After the key words, the next part of the paper is the contents of the paper. This section lays out the paper. It shows what is in the paper and where it is in the paper. The abstract, key words, and the contents are each on a new page. The next part of the paper is the main writing portion (Krausman 2008).

The writing must include an introduction, study area, methods, results, discussion, management implications, acknowledgements, and the literature cited. The introduction to the paper states again what the paper is going to be about, and what the writer felt the hypothesis would be. The study area describes where the study takes place. It involves things such as the location of the study, rainfall, ground cover, topography, and general weather. In the methods portion, the writer covers how the study took place. It tells what the writer did exactly to get results, and how the results were analyzed. This also states if another study has been completed on a similar topic, and how it was completed. The next section is the results. The results explain what the outcome was of the study. This should not go over how the results were analyzed. That is to be completed in the method section of the paper. The biggest part to include in the results is to describe the biological effects of what was being studied. After the results, the paper will go into the discussion portion. This gives the writer a chance to explain some of the data collected in the study and comparing it to other studies and work that has been completed in the past. It is important to remember not to repeat the results over. In the next part of the paper, the writer starts the management implications. This explains a plan that can be used to manage what was studied. This would explain what would happen with the plan and if there would happen to be any other possibilities of a plan. Just before the literature cited, the paper includes a section called acknowledgments. This lists anyone that supported the study financially, or through the work involved in the study. Then, the paper finishes up with the literature cited. This gives credit to anything that the writer used as information to complete the study or the paper.

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Discourse is crucial to know when in the work field. Most of the discourse is learned through experience in the field or in the schooling needed to get into that field. A big part of that discourse is the writing and that it is completed the same way for everyone in that specific field. This way everyone knows how to read studies that have been completed and how to find the information wanted in the paper. Discourse removes confusion from communications within the work field and separates novices from the professionals of that field.


With the growing populations in the world today, resources are being used up at an incredible rate. With populations at an all time high, the amount of food needed to support everyone continues to climb, but just as important are the resources that people also need in order to get by. These resources are anything from petroleum, water, clothing, and wood products. Without control on the use of these resources, they will be depleted. Not only will the resources be gone, but also they will greatly impact the wildlife and flora that surrounds them. In order to protect and save the resources and the wildlife surrounding them, the field of Natural Resources came about so that the resources will be around for future generations. The resources are used, but they are watched and monitored so that they will provide a sustainable yield. The field of Natural Resources has been greatly influenced in the past by well-known naturalists, and the movement can be broken into four main stages.

A movement towards a care for the natural resources began when people started to realize that there was not an endless supply of resources in this world and that people would have to start doing something in order to protect them. It became most apparent to people that something needed to be done for the resources around the late 1800s. As people began to become more aware of what was happening to the resources, an interest grew in developing ways to conserve them. The first stage in the movement of natural resources was when Teddy Roosevelt was elected president in 1901 and served until 1909. He had always had a great love for the outdoors. With Roosevelt as president, he was able to develop and pass plans to help conserve the natural resources. Along with the help of Gifford Pinchot, a professional forester, they were able to form the National Conservation Commission. This resulted in a natural resources inventory, and Pinchot presented ways of forest management based off his experience and scientific reasoning. This movement was based upon a sustainable yield, which means that the resources can be used, but they must also be able to reproduce enough or have enough left behind that they will not disappear (Baird 2008).

The second stage of the movement was from 1933 to 1941. At this time, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) was president. It was very apparent at this time that there were some major problems with the resources. The biggest problem was with the soils, since the United States was going through the Dust Bowl at the time. The Dust Bowl was caused by the amount of farming that was taking place across the Great Plains. Farmers were tiling up more farmland then ever, and the area was going through a drought. This dried up the soil quickly and it was then picked up by the wind very easily. It was estimated that four billion tons of top soil was eroded during the 1930s. Because of the amount of soil that was being lost FDR established programs that would aid in stopping the loss. He developed the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Prairie States Forestry Project, and the Soil Conservation Service (SCS). Most of what was done by these programs was establishing shelterbelts (Baird 2008). These are lines of trees around fields or farmsteads to slow down the wind moving across the fields. With the wind slowing down, it had a less of a chance to pick up the soil and move it.

A third movement was roughly from 1960 to 1980. Within this period, people were seeing once again what was happening to the resources and that some major measures needed to be taken. People were noticing that the products that companies and factories were using were harmful to the environment, wildlife, and even to humans as well. In this period, the population of the world was climbing rapidly and the resources were being used up quickly. Some of the problems were getting so bad that books were published about them. Rachel Carson wrote the book Silent Spring, which explained the effects that pesticides were having on humans and the wildlife. She particularly talked about the pesticide Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). This pesticide proved to be very effective, but it was known to cause cancer with humans, and was devastating to wildlife as well, especially with birds. It caused the eggs to have a very weak shell, causing the eggs to break before the birds matured. Two other books were The Tragedy of the Commons by Garrett Hardin, and The Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich. These two books focused more on what the populations of humans were doing to the resources. The population was growing and that meant that more resources were going to be needed in order to support more people and the resources would be run down because of it. Many Acts were also passed during this time. Some of them are the Clean Air Act, Noise Control Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, and National Energy Act. The first Earth Day was established during this stage on April 22, 1969.

The last stage is the current state of the movement, which began in 1980. This stage focuses more on sustainability. Sustainability means that the resources will be able to be used and that there will be enough of them left to meet the needs of future generations. The biggest way that sustainability is reached today is by using renewable resources. A renewable resource is one that can be used or harvested in the future as well as present time. A renewable resource can only remain renewable if it is properly managed and planned. If it is not, the resource can be overused, and potentially eliminate a resource. Renewable resources can be fertile soil, forestland, rangeland, wildlife, water, and forms of energy such as solar, geothermal, and hydro. What people are trying to get away from is nonrenewable resources. These resources are ones that are gone once they are all used up, and they cannot come back. These are fossil fuels, mineral, and metals. This stage is trying to fix what resources have been ruined in the past, and finding ways to use fewer resources. Human populations are at an all time high at 6,679,532,264 (US Census Bureau, 7/1/08) and still climbing. Without a change in the use of resources, they will diminish quickly.

The person with the most influence on the field natural resources was President Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy was well known as an outdoorsman. He often went on hunts all over the US and other countries as well. He was a rugged man and well-respected outdoorsmen. He was having a concern about the environment, especially the trees be fore he was elected president. When he was sworn into office, after the death of President McKinley, Roosevelt was able to do something about his concern for the environment. One of the bigger concerns that he had was with the forests in the United States and the rate at which they were being harvested. While in office, he held a conference in the White House. During this, he was able to name his friend Gifford Pinchot as Chief of the Division of Forestry. After Roosevelt was able to get things started in the movement of the natural resources, the movement sped up quickly and many more organizations were able to get started.

The next person to have a large impact on natural resources was Aldo Leopold. Leopold was born in 1887 in Iowa where he began his interest into nature. He spent much of his time as a boy just being in the outdoors and writing about it. Leopold was actually nicknamed “the naturalist” by his classmates. He had such a passion for the outdoors that it began to impact his learning in high school, and caused him to fail geometry. Leopold attended the Yale Forest School and graduated from it in 1909. He then pursued a career in the newly developed United States Forest Service. He began his career with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in New Mexico and Arizona. Then in 1922, Aldo developed a plan to manage the Gila National Forest, a 500,000-acre area, as a wilderness area. This was passed in 1924 and was the first time that anything like this had been done up to that point. After Leopold left the US Forest Service, he joined seven other conservationists and established The Wildlife Society. Aldo Leopold then moved to a small farmstead on the Wisconsin River. He spent most of his time returning the land to its native state. Aldo died on this farm when he had a heart attack while fighting a fire on a neighboring piece of land in 1949.

Another person who played a large role in natural resources was Gifford Pinchot. Pinchot was born in 1965 in Simsbury, Connecticut. He had always loved working in the woods as a kid and dreamed about being a forester. At the time, no university in the US offered course work in forestry. To get his education he moved to Nancy, France. He attended the school for one year and then decided to move back to the US to start a career in the Forest Service. When his friend, Teddy Roosevelt was elected as president he was named the chief of the Division of Forestry. This was a newly developed position within the division. As part of this job, he revised the management of the national forests, as well as creating more national forest areas. Pinchot worked with the idea of “the greatest good, for the greatest number, in the long run” (Forest History Society 2006). By this, he was concerned about the resources at the current time, but also for the future, as a long-term plan. In Pinchot's time in the Forest Service, the National Forests grew from a total of 56 million acres to 172 million acres of land.

Without some control over the amount of resources being used, and protecting the resources in trouble, they will disappear quickly at the rate they are being used. The field of Natural Resources is watching over them and managing them so that this will not happen. With the movement of natural resources moving toward a sustainable yield, the resources should last into future generations. Without the help of people like Teddy Roosevelt, Aldo Leopold, and Gifford Pinchot, this movement would not have occurred when it did, and it might have been too late to protect our resources.


In order to be successful in the work force, an employee needs to stay informed on any new studies, policies, and research that might come up in his or her field. One of the most common ways to stay informed on these topics are journals related to the field. In most fields, at least in natural resources, there are societies, or clubs that publish a journal or handbook that can be subscribed to. These journals will most often have articles and reports on any research that has been completed, and the outcome of that research. The journals and handbooks will also state any new policies that might come about in the field. This paper will cover the journals and handbooks that are used in the fields of wild land firefighting, wildlife management, fisheries, arboriculture, forestry, and soil and water conservation.

When working in the wild land firefighting side of natural resources two handbooks are used by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. These two are the Fireline Handbook and the Incident Response Pocket Guide. These can be ordered from the National Interagency Fire Center from the Great Basin Cache Supply Office in Boise, Idaho. Both of these handbooks are an easy way for firefighters to find information about safety on the line, attack tactics, the command system, fire behavior, possible risks, firefighter health, and how to safely work with the equipment. Both of these are issued to anyone on the fire crew by the agency, which is most of the times with the United States Forest Service. Every firefighter is required to have the Incident Response Pocket Guide on them at all times. This pocket guide is smaller than the handbook and very easy to find the information in it. It covers most of the same information that the handbook does, but with a little less detail. The Fireline Handbook is a large handbook, which makes it difficult to carry, and can bulk up a backpack. The booklets contain a large amount of valuable information for fire crews. Although every fire fighter is required to carry the pocket guide on him or her, they are highly encouraged to know the information that is in it. This way a fire fighter does not need to take the time, to stop, dig out the pocket guide, look up what they should do, and then do it. They can act quickly and get the job done safely. Another source of information that firefighters use is the morning report by the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). This report is made every daily to provide information on the fire, fire summaries in the area, a weather report, and any other fire activity. This lets the firefighters know how the fire could possibly act and how safe the conditions are for the day.

People related to the wildlife portion of the natural resources field use the Journal of Wildlife Management. The journal is published by The Wildlife Society, which was founded in 1937 to increase knowledge to the public and people within the field about wildlife through scientific research and education. The journal is a compilation of studies done in the natural resources field relating to wildlife. The reports include an introduction on what the study is, a description of the study area, the methods used, results, a discussion on how the writer felt about the study, management implications, acknowledgements, and literature cited. The articles are submitted into The Wildlife Society and then can be added to the journal. The journal is published quarterly. People can have the journal sent to them in the printed form or by receiving it online. The subscription to the journal is 300 dollars for the online version, and 385 dollars to receive it online and in printed form. If a person is a member of The Wildlife Society, they can receive the journal 87 dollars. Many people subscribe to the journal in order to get any new information that was found in the research and just to keep informed on what is being done. Another journal that is also used with in the wildlife side of natural resources is the Journal of Mammalogy, which is published by the American Society of Mammalogy. This journal is much like the Journal of Wildlife Management in that it is a compilation of research articles submitted to the journal. It is also very similar because the journal can be received online and in the paper copy. With both of these journals, past articles can be viewed free in a file on the websites of The Wildlife Society and the American Society of Mammalogy.

The fisheries side of natural resources uses a wide variety of journals. The journals that are used are Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, North American Journal of Fisheries Management, North American Journal of Aquaculture, Journal of Aquatic Animal Health, and The Progressive Fish Culturist (AFS 2008). Transactions of the American Fisheries Society is the longest running of these journals. It was started in 1872. This journal contains articles on research that was completed in genetics, biology, ecology, populations, economics, and the health of marine and freshwater finfish and shellfish. The North American Journal of Fisheries Management is a journal that focuses more on the maintaining and enhancing a fishery. This journal leans towards monitoring what is happening with a fishery and then managing it. The next journal, the North American Journal of Aquaculture focuses on the culture of all aquatic organisms that play an important role in North America. It covers the nutrition, feeding, and spawning of aquatic organisms, as well as the quality of the water that the organisms would be in. The fourth journal, Journal of Aquatic Animal Health, reflects on the causes, effects, treatments, and the prevention of diseases the affect marine and freshwater organisms (AFS 2008). The last journal, The Progressive Fish Culturist, focuses on brood stocks, spawning, nutrition, feeding, health, water quality, and facilities for marine and freshwater species. The American Fisheries Society publishes all of these journals. Other than Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, which is published bimonthly, all of the journals are published quarterly. The journals can be viewed online at the American Fisheries Society webpage for free if it is an outdated journal. New journals can be received online or in paper format through the mail. Much like other societies, if a person is a member they can receive the journals at a lower price than non-members can.

When working in the forestry side of natural resources it can be broken down into two groups. The first would be urban forestry; it is also very closely related to arboriculture. This field involves taking care of trees within the urban environment. Most of the work that is done in this involves trees within yards, along streets, or in city parks (Kezar 2008). Arborists tend to use a journal called Arboriculture and Urban Forestry, which was originally named the Journal of Arboriculture. This journal explains any new ideas and sciences in planting and caring for trees in the urban setting. The International Society of Arboriculture publishes this journal bimonthly. The other side of forestry is what most people think of, as using trees for timber and working with the trees in the wilderness. For this, foresters use the Journal of Forestry, which the Society of American Foresters has published since 1902. This journal is often times also read by arborists to stay informed on what is happening in the forestry field. This journal was designed to give foresters information on new developments and ideas within the forestry field. It covers new ideas in the economics of forestry, education, entomology, pathology, fire, forest ecology, recreation, soils and hydrology, urban forestry, and wildlife management within the forests. This journal sends out eight issues annually. If a person is a member of the Society of American Foresters, they will receive the journal with part of the membership, but non-members may subscribe to it.

Another division within the field of natural resources is soil and water conservation. This field looks at the way soils are being used, if they are eroding, ways to prevent erosion, and farmland. They also look at the way water moves through and on top of the soil, any pollution in the water, and ways that it effects wildlife. The journal that is used in this field is the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. The Soil and Water Conservation Society distribute this journal bimonthly. The journal covers new research practices and policies within the field. In the research and policies, the journal touches on agronomy, planning and management, erosion control, farmland preservation, forestry, irrigation, mine reclamation, watershed management, and wetland restoration (SWCS 2008). This journal can be purchased online at the Soil and Water Conservation Society website. It is a bimonthly journal. If someone wants to get past issues of the journal, they can be purchased on the webpage for the journal.

People must be able to stay informed on what is going on in their career. They need to know any new information that might have been found through research and any new policies for the field. Journals and handbooks are a great way to stay informed on the research and policies. If a person is a member of the societies and clubs that publish the journals, they can often get them at a lower cost than non-members. Staying on top of any new information can mean getting ahead in the career and being able to understand what is taking place in the field.


Communication is a very valuable and crucial part of the work force. Without effective communication, information can be misinterpreted or not passed on at all. Effective communication keeps jobs and duties running smooth. Communication in wild land firefighting must be conducted effectively to keep the line working smooth and maintain the safety of the firefighters. Fire fighters use radio, non-verbal, and verbal communication.

Communication on the Fireline is very crucial. It could be the difference between a fire being under control, getting out of hand, or possibly taking the life of a crewmember. The first form of communication that firefighters use is both a written and verbal form. Every morning before the crew heads out to the fire they get together and have a morning report (Ekstein 2008). In the report, the squad boss gets a weather report from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). They put together a weather report that contains information on the fire, fire summaries in the area, a weather report, and any other fire activity around that area. This gives the crew a chance to formulate a plan on how they are going to attack the fire. By knowing the weather conditions they will be able to decide how the fire will most likely act. After the crew goes through the weather report, they go over plans for the fireline. They cover escape routes, which is a route that a fire fighter can use to get out of the area and to a safety zone. A safety zone is an area that will be set in the report where a firefighter can go to be safe from the fire without using fire shelters (NWCG 12). The firefighters also discuss who will do each job while on the fireline so that everyone has a set job to reduce any confusion about what should be done.

Once the crew gets out onto the fireline, they must stay effective with communication. Crewmembers use a chain of command to communicate to each other. The person at the lowest end of the chain is the firefighter. This person is on the line working on the control line, which is a line made to stop the fire, or suppression, stopping the fire from moving. Most often, a crew is made of 18-20 firefighters who are working under an advanced fire fighter, or a squad boss. If a fire fighter sees something that needs to be brought to attention, he or she will go to the squad boss and the squad boss will make a decision on what needs to be done. If the decision is beyond the squad boss, that person will communicate to a task force leader. The task force leader is in charge of giving orders to usually four squad bosses. Many times the chain of command does not need to go past the task force leader, but if it does it would then go to a division, or group supervisor, and then to an operations section chief. It is important that the chain of command be used to have information transferred in the fire crew. If the chain is jumped, it could cause confusion with whichever part of the chain is skipped. If a firefighter were to give information directly to a task force leader or a division supervisor, the squad bosses could possibly be left out. In some cases, this would not be a big deal, but if the task force leader made a call that the crews should get out of the area as soon as possible and a squad boss would not be informed, it could cost the lives of crewmembers. Because crews follow the chain of command this situation does not come about very often, but there is a potential for it (Wolbert 2008).

A crew must also be able to have communication with other crews and divisions of firefighters. To do this they often heavily rely on radio communication. Usually the squad bosses in a crew have a radio on them, as well as anyone that may be higher on the chain of command. The fire crews will use a specific way of starting a conversation over the radio. The person sending a transmission on the radio often starts by saying his or her name, then the name of the person that they are trying to contact, and last, what they want to tell that person. They do this because radios have a delay in them, around a second, from the time that the push to talk (PPT) button is pressed and when they start transmitting the message. This delay could possibly cut off the beginning of the message, but by stating the name of the receiver second, that person will be able to hear his or her name. That receiver can then always use the radio to find out who was trying to contact him or her if needed. Another rule about talking on a radio while on the fire line is to not use CB talk. This is using talk like, “copy that, roger, over and out, and 10-4”. This type of communication is just another way that people could become confused, or misinterpret a message (Ekstein 2008).

A crew also stays in contact with crews that are not directly on the fire like lookouts, and aerial crews. When crews are out fighting fires, there will be lookouts located around the area to watch over the fire and the surrounding area. A lookout will look for spot fires, which are fires started by embers being blown away, watch the weather, and pay attention to the activity of the fire. If a lookout sees any activity, that person will report it to a task force leader, who would then report it to the squad boss that would be in the area of the activity, or to a squad boss that would move his or her crew to the activity. Not only does communication from a lookout keep the crew informed on the activity of the fire, but it also keeps them safer. A lookout can see more than the crew can at times and can inform them when they would need to get out. The same can go for aerial crews. Crews in planes or helicopters will be out flying over and around the fire zone to keep an eye on the activity. They can get a better view on what is happening with the fire than what the ground crews can in most cases. Another time that an aerial crew would be communicating to the ground crews is when a plane or helicopter is coming in to drop a retardant, or to drop off a ground crew. They must let the ground crews know where they are going to drop a retardant so that the crew can get away from the drop. The water or retardant mixture can come down at a high rate of speed and can cause serious injury. Another reason that they must communicate is that airplanes and helicopters can cause a lot of turbulence (Ekstein 2008; NWCG 2003). This could cause a fire to spread or pick up speed.

The main type of non-verbal communication that is done on a fire crew is hand signals. Fire crews use hand signals for helicopters, dozers, tractors, and water use. The main reason that this is used is because the machinery can be very loud and the operator cannot hear anything that would be said. On dozers, the operator has a difficult time seeing what is happening around the machine. Another person on the crew can give the operator signals in order to move the machine around to finish the job. The helicopters, dozers, and water use each have its own set of hand signals. Hand signals remove any confusion that could be caused by misunderstanding what crewmembers might have said (NWCG 2004; NWCG 2006).

Wild land firefighting can be a rewarding career, but it can also be dangerous. Effective communication while on the fire line can keep the fire fighters safer. They will know what is happening around them, what they need to do, and can be warned of any dangerous situations that could affect them. Without the communication, the firefighters could be put into a dangerous situation or be caught off guard.


Writing requires the right type of format to be used so that every writing can be done in the same way. If things are written the same way every time the information can be found and understood faster by the reader. A writing style also maintains organization in writings. Many career fields in social and behavioral sciences use the format set by the American Psychological Association (APA). The Council of Science Editors (CSE) writing style manual is the style of writing that is used with the field of natural sciences.

One of the first things done in writing is the titles and headings. The first, or primary, heading in CSE is done capitalizing the first letters in the heading and centering it on the page. The secondary heading is done in all capital letters and centered. The next heading under that would be much like the primary heading but aligned on the right side of the page. In APA, the primary heading is centered and capitalizes the first letter of the words. Subheadings are in italics, first letters of words are capitalized, and the heading is aligned on the left side (Degelman 2008). In both of these forms of writing styles, a running header is used. The header contains the title of the writing and the page number. The headings keep the paper organized, allows the reader to find things easily, and the writer can change subjects without smooth transitions.

The abstract is also found at the beginning of a writing, but it is usually not completed until after everything else. An abstract is a short, one paged summary of what the writing is about. The reader should have a good idea of what he or she is going to be reading before getting into the actual writing. Both CSE and APA writing styles start of the abstract with a title. APA has spells places the word “Abstract” in the center of the page with the first letter capitalized. The abstract then begins on the next line of the paper in a block format. The abstract should not be more than 120 words according to the APA style manual (Degelman 2008). CSE does things a little differently. It starts with the title of “Abstract” on the left hand side of the paper in bold italics, followed by a colon. The abstract is then started right after the colon on the same line. CSE requires that there should be one line of text in the abstract for every page of text in the writing, including the literature cited, and all in a single paragraph (Krausman 2007). For both of the writing styles, the abstract is to be started on a separate page after the title page.

After the main portion of the writing, there are often times an appendix and footnotes. An appendix is used to explain more things from the writing, and even to display more information such as graphs and tables to explain the paper more clearly. For APA a footnote is a mark put into the writing showing that there is more information on that subject. After the appendix, a section covering the information for the footnotes is placed. In APA, the title for both the appendix and the footnotes is centered with the first letter capitalized. If there is more than one appendix they are labeled with A, B, or C and each one is started on a new page (Degelman 2008). In CSE the headings for an appendix is done in the same way as APA.

Any information that is used in a writing that was done by another author it needs to be cited. If the information is not cited it is considered to be plagiarism. Plagiarism is a big topic and can have harsh penalties if a person is caught doing it. When doing an in text citation in APA the author, or authors are followed by a comma and then the year that the writing was published. All of this is between parentheses. If there is more than one author, they are separated by commas and using the “&” symbol. When there is more than one reference being used, the references are separated with a semicolon. If a direct quote is taken, APA requires the authors name, year, and page number in parentheses and separated by commas (Degelman 2008). In CSE, in text citations are done with the author's name and the year without a comma between, and all between parentheses. Much like APA, if there is more than one author they are separated and use the “&” symbol. CSE also separates more than one reference with a semicolon. A direct quote used with CSE requires the author and year without a comma, and then the page number separated by a colon.

Many of the things that are used within the two writing style manuals are close, but they are still different and used in different career fields. Without a set manual, the writings that would come in would not be consistent. This is important so that the reader can easily find information, and so that the writings will be in a set organization.


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