FARMINGTON — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has given $300,000 to a Maine professor to study whether an instrument on the International Space Station can help predict the effects of wildfires.

Andrew Barton, a University of Maine at Farmington biology professor, has been awarded the grant, the university said.

Barton and Helen Poulos, a plant ecologist with Wesleyan University, plan to lead a team of researchers in the work.

A University of Maine spokesperson said in a statement that the work concerns the growth of larger and more intense wildfires in the western United States.

Barton and Poulos will explore what the shift means for forest stress and recovery in the mountains of southern Arizona, the spokesperson said. Barton said the project’s goal is to improve understanding of the impacts of the environmental change on forests.

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