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Science & Policy: from Quandry to Innovation

Thursday, December 1, 2011
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On November 1-2, 2011 ecosystem scientists from four northeastern LTER sites met at the Harvard Forest for a workshop with policy and media experts to explore new approaches for expanding the impact of science in environmental decision making. Under the leadership of representatives from Harvard Forest, Hubbard Brook, Cary Institute, The Ecosystems Center/MBL, Syracuse University and the University of New Hampshire, the group agreed to pursue a collaborative of research institutions that would address the multiple, interactive effects of climate change and energy, water, and land use. The collaborative would draw on new tools and resources to engage decision-makers, conduct problem-oriented synthesis, expand outreach training for scientists, and develop innovative programs for interacting with journalists. The group will craft a concept paper in December to frame the structure of the collaborative and to articulate the focus of initial joint projects. At the workshop's conclusion, the group of 24 participants agreed that the proposed collaborative could help promote better science, better decisions, and stronger connections between the all-too-often separate realms of long-term ecological research and environmental stewardship. 

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