2.4 Communication across Worldviews: Utilizing Knowledge Coproduction on Hawaiʻi Island to Thrive through Climate Change While Preparing for the Future

Monday, 8 January 2018: 11:15 AM
Ballroom F (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Scott Laursen, Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, Hilo, HI; and S. Ziegler-Chong

Handout (932.3 kB)

The knowledge coproduction process can be applied at any stakeholder scale and effectively builds diverse professional networks that are inherently powerful in maximizing communities’ adaptive capacities during socio-ecological change (e.g. climate change, land-use change, invasive species impacts, or cultural change). A pivotal reason for this is that in-person collaboration engages multiple knowledge forms across diverse worldviews. Complex socio-ecological issues such as climate change are often primarily addressed through technical problem solving methods which do not meaningfully consider diverse social perceptions, local cultural norms and values, experiences, and diverse worldviews. To better account for these underlying drivers of human behavior, we developed a knowledge coproduction program on Hawaiʻi Island, called the Manager Climate Corps (https://hilo.hawaii.edu/picsc/), that unites natural resource managers, cultural practitioners, policy professionals, researchers, and communities through the creation of actionable science products within climate science. Local managers regularly experience discrete landscapes and seascapes and participate in the social norms and values of communities that utilize such ecosystems. Directly involving local professional networks within every stage of the scientific method roots research products within the place-based experiences of these networks and increases the probability that these products will be utilized. Through extensive in-person interviews, we listened to the needs, challenges, goals, and information sources of a diverse set of local managers on Hawaiʻi Island. After analyzing the stakeholder perspectives and identifying universal themes, we communicated the results of our needs assessment to interdisciplinary intellectual networks at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. We then began building upon existing knowledge networks between managers and scientists through manager-based graduate research projects. We will present our manager needs assessment, our exploratory knowledge coproduction process, and the products currently advancing through these growing professional networks. Our initial progress suggests that our exploratory knowledge coproduction process offers an effective method for utilizing university resources to directly support the capacity of local communities to be resilient and adaptive in the face of change.
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