Scientists & Staff

Xindi (Randy) Bian

3101 Discovery Dr., Ste. F
Lansing, MI, 48910
Phone: 517-884-8050

Contact Xindi (Randy) Bian

Current Research

Development of improved understanding and descriptions of surface and boundary-layer processes for accurate high resolution forecasting of fire-weather indices and smoke transport, on the impacts of global change on forest microclimates and water resources. The current research is very important for land/fire managers and public people to use of our research products as state-of-art tools for keeping ecosystem health in safe and effective manner.

Research Interests

Atmosphere interaction with the physical, biological, and social components of ecosystems at multiple spatial and temporal scales.


  • Iowa State University, M.S. Water Resources, 1993
  • Nanjing University, M.S. Atmospheric Physics, 1985
  • Nanjing University, B.S. Atmospheric Physics, 1982

Professional Organizations

  • American Meteorological Society
  • American Geophysical Union

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

Favorable fire behavior in mixed conifer and brush during a burn operation near Jerseydale;
Ferguson Fire, Sierra NF, CA, 2018.

Understanding Wind Gusts During Fire can Help Fire and Smoke Managers

Year: 2018

Wind fields in the vicinity of wildland fires can be highly variable or turbulent, exhibiting significant gusts that can lead to erratic fire behavior and enhanced mixing of smoke into the atmosphere. Northern Research Station scientists are examining the properties of turbulent circulations in forested wildland fire environments to ultimately improve predictive tools for fire and smoke management.

Figure 1. Anomalous numbers of warm- and cold-season extreme precipitation events with different durations typically occurring during El Nino episodes. The dotted areas indicate statistically significant anomalies.
Figure 2.  Same as Figure 1 except for El Nino Modoki episodes. Xindi Bian, USDA Forest Service

El Niño and El Niño Modoki impacts on extreme precipitation in the U.S.

Year: 2017

Many areas of the U.S. are vulnerable to socioeconomic disruptions caused by extreme precipitation and resulting floods, and there has been an increasing trend in both the frequency and particularly the intensity of extreme precipitation. Forest Service research is helping to identify the different extreme precipitation occurrence patterns resulting from episodes of eastern Pacific Ocean warming (El Niño) and central Pacific Ocean warming (El Niño Modoki).

Example of prescribed fire adjacent to a forest gap in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Warren E. Heilman, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

The Influence of Forest Gaps on Fire-Atmosphere Interactions

Year: 2016

Model simulations have been used to examine how gaps in forest stands can affect the response of the atmosphere to low-intensity wildland fires occurring in those stands. The study provides insight into potential smoke dispersion and fire behavior during low-intensity prescribed fires in forested environments.

Instrumented towers set up within and in the vicinity of prescribed fires in the New Jersey Pine Barrens provide critical meteorological and air quality data for validating smoke prediction tools.  Nicholas Skowronski, Forest Service

Fireflux Experiments Improve Safety of Prescribed Burns in the New Jersey Pine Barrens

Year: 2011

Predicting the effects of smoke from low-intensity prescribed fires on local air-quality is being made easier by new tools developed by Forest Service scientists. These tools are now being validated through data collected from fuels, meteorological, and air quality monitoring networks set up near and within prescribed fires in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The tools and observational data from this project help fire and forest managers in planning for prescribed burns to minimize adverse air-quality impacts in the vicinity of the burns.

Last modified: Friday, January 21, 2022