2.1 Engaging with Users of Climate Information and the Co-Production of Knowledge

Monday, 8 January 2018: 10:30 AM
Ballroom F (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Michael C. Kruk, Earth Resources Technology, Inc., Asheville, NC; and B. A. A. Parker, R. S. Vose, J. Marra, R. R. Heim Jr., K. Werner, and P. Malsale

Within the realm of climate and environmental sciences, stakeholder engagement has traditionally been given a relative low priority in favor of generating tools, products, and services following the longstanding practice of pushing out information in the hopes users will pull it into their decision toolkits. However, the landscape is gradually shifting away from that paradigm and towards one in which the stakeholder community is more directly involved in the production of products and services with the scientific organization. This mutual learning arrangement, referred to as the co-production of knowledge, has been applied to two user-engagement activities within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and NOAA’s Office of Coastal Management (OCM). The iterative nature of such dialogs helped scientists within NCEI and OCM to better understand user requirements and as a result generate climate information that was locally-relevant and regionally-applicable. The recent engagement activities exemplified the benefits of a robust and sustained relationship between climate scientists and the user community. They demonstrate that the interactions between the two led to the empowerment of the local community to make use of the technical capabilities at their disposal to assess adaptation options and strategies; and, as a result, able to make better decisions as they set priorities and allocate resources.

This presentation will highlight the processes and benefits of communicating and engaging with users through the co-production of knowledge model of user-engagement as evidenced from a series of workshops held in California and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. A discussion of best practices and recommendations for future interactions derived from these user-engagement activities will also be introduced.

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