SS 26
Using Science-Policy Integration to Improve Ecosystem Science and Inform Decision-Making: Lessons from U.S. LTERs

Wednesday, August 12, 2015: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
314, Baltimore Convention Center
Marissa Weiss, Harvard Forest
Kathleen Fallon Lambert, Harvard Forest (Harvard University); Jill Baron, Colorado State University; Charles T. Driscoll, Syracuse University; David R. Foster, Harvard University; and Pamela H. Templer, Boston University
Attention to policy concerns has strengthened ecosystem science and increased its impact on environmental decisions in clear and important ways. Modeling ecosystem consequences of clean air policy alternatives has advanced understanding of recovery from acidic deposition and informed decisions about pollution emissions. Studies of land-use change, nitrogen deposition, greenhouse gas fluxes, and mercury bioaccumulation have all benefited from incorporating policy relevant questions into research to improve both ecosystem science and policy outcomes. The goals of this Special Session are to highlight examples of ecosystem research that has been strengthened by attention to policy, and to make the practice of policy integration accessible to all ecologists. We expect this session will lead to an expanded use of science-policy integration to improve both basic research and its broader impacts.

This special session will include a brief introduction, four talks by leaders in the field of science-policy integration, and a moderated discussion. Speakers will draw on experiences from such pioneering initiatives as the Science Links and Science Policy Exchange programs, which both emerged from U.S. LTER sites. They will identify key opportunities for ecologists to apply policy integration to improve ecosystem science and increase its impact moving forward. The discussion period at the end of the session will provide ecologists with examples of methods for integrating policy with ecosystem science. We will use this time to brainstorm, troubleshoot, and pool experiences from a variety of projects to improve the practice of science-policy integration.

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