Problems, Prescriptions and Potential in Actionable Climate Change Science – A Case Study from California Coastal Marsh Research
Monday, 14 December 2015: 09:45
103 (Moscone South)
Frustrations regarding the provision of actionable science extend to both producers and consumers. Scientists decry the lack of application of their research in shaping policy and practices while decision makers bemoan the lack of applicability of scientific research to the specific problems at hand or its narrow focus relative to the plethora of engineering, economic and social considerations that they must also consider. Incorporating climate change adds additional complexity due to uncertainties in estimating many facets of future climate, the inherent variability of climate and the decadal scales over which significant changes will develop. Recently a set of guidelines for successful science-policy interaction was derived from the analysis of transboundary water management. These are; 1 recognizing that science is a crucial but bounded input into the decision-making processes, 2 early establishment of conditions for collaboration and shared commitment among participants, 3 understanding that science–policy interactions are enhanced through greater collaboration and social or group-learning processes, 4 accepting that the collaborative production of knowledge is essential to build legitimate decision-making processes, and 5 engaging boundary organizations and informal networks as well as formal stakeholders. Here we present as a case study research on California coastal marshes, climate change and sea-level that is being conducted by university and USGS scientists under the auspices of the Southwest Climate Science Center. We also present research needs identified by a seperate analysis of best practices for coastal marsh restoration in the face of climate change that was conducted in extensive consultation with planners and managers. The initial communication, scientific research and outreach-dissemination of the marsh scientfic study are outlined and compared to best practices needs identified by planners and the science-policy guidelines outlined above. Matches, mismatches, early-stage evidence of applicability and potential improvements of program development and design are considered.