4.1 Usable science: case studies in support of climate change adaptation

Tuesday, 19 July 2011: 10:30 AM
Salon A (Asheville Renaissance)
Holly C. Hartmann, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Expectations for hydroclimatic research are evolving as changes in the contract between science and society require researchers to provide “usable science” that can improve resource management policies and practices. However, decision makers have a broad range of abilities to access, interpret, and apply scientific research. Further, their decision processes require different types of engagement and research products. Within the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS), a project within the NOAA Regional Integrated Science Assessment (RISA) program, one strategy for fostering usable science has been the purposeful maintenance of high level of flexibility and adaptability of research directions. CLIMAS funds are used as a base to explore prospective relationships with new stakeholders, to innovate new lines of research and methodologies, and incubate opportunities to leverage additional, non-CLIMAS resources to transition research to sustainable implementation beyond the academic environment. Two case studies illustrate the need for diversity in expectations, approach, and products in designing and conducting stakeholder-driven research in support of climate change adaptation. The first case study considers development of scenario planning and adaptation strategies with the National Park Service, while the second considers support Carpe Diem West, a large network of foundations, non-governmental organizations, and agency personnel focused on rethinking Western water management. The case studies also provide lessons for development of NOAA and national climate services, including the respective roles of public, private, academic, and non-profit sectors.
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