SYMP 21-6
Actionable science in an era of rapid climate change, tying observations and predictions to policies and actions

Thursday, August 8, 2013: 4:10 PM
Auditorium, Rm 3, Minneapolis Convention Center
T. Douglas Beard Jr., National Climate Change & Wildlife Science Center, USGS, Reston, VA

Assuring science is available for policy and decision-makers is a key component of climate adaptation planning.  The “conveyor-belt” approach to science in which managers define science needs, hand them off to scientists and wait patiently for a completed project has often meet with limited success in assuring science is used to inform decisions.  The Department of Interior Climate Science Centers (CSC) have started a new approach to the “translation” of science from its disciplinary specialties to integrated, application-ready tool,  information and actionable science.


Using strategic decision based approaches; the CSCs are creating a series of pilot projects on sea-level rise impacts that focus science projects to respond to a series of critical decision endpoints.  The project “teams”, consisting of scientists, managers, decision-makers and stakeholders that are formed to develop actionable science will work collaboratively throughout the life of the project to assure science outputs are consistent with management needs.  Development of similar approaches that address the management needs from rapid climate change impacts assessment and species range shifts will have to focus on the decision endpoints in which this scientific input can impact decisions.  Because climate change is a relatively new phenomenon for natural resource managers there is a very strong demand for information and tools to assist planning.  The pilot activities started in the CSCs will form the basis for science agenda that will be undertaken nationally to support climate adaptation decision making processes.