• ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    ICYMI: #UCSB has begun its planned ecological restoration of a former golf course in Goleta. Details:… https://t.co/zN4ZDLyayK
    4 hours 37 min ago
  • ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    Enjoy an entertaining mix of delightful cinema with #KidFlixMix, today at 3PM at UCSB Campbell Hall!… https://t.co/ijXZxyCEOL
    6 hours 17 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Softball: Gauchos Split Final Road Games at Hawai'i https://t.co/CpEDdmmhVc
    14 hours 42 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Gauchos are live on @ESPN3 ! WATCH >>> https://t.co/io6ZzYs9Hg https://t.co/BEO8wTxv62
    19 hours 49 min ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    Congrats to Leah Foltz for winning the #UCSB Grad Slam! Now she moves onto the UC-wide competition in SF on May 4th! https://t.co/kVqCtOTWb7
    1 day 2 hours ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Former @UCSB_Baseball LHP Dom Mazza speaks with his hometown paper after throwing a perfecto this week! https://t.co/GPc3B3qL9g
    1 day 3 hours ago
  • ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    Watch pianist #MurrayPerahia's breathtaking and imaginative performance, tonight at 7PM at UCSB Campbell Hall!… https://t.co/M83EeA6Y53
    1 day 5 hours ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Softball: Hawai'i Tops UCSB 5-1 in Gauchos' Final Road Series Opener https://t.co/ejf0MWM1g0
    1 day 13 hours ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Gauchos Sweep Past UCI 4-0 https://t.co/WFwbxDV8eA
    1 day 15 hours ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    We're happy to see you back, alumni! Don't miss the great events we have this weekend. #AllGauchoReunion… https://t.co/Sbz4iirr7i
    1 day 19 hours ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Women's Tennis: Cal Poly 0, UC Santa Barb. 4 (Final) No.2 UCSB blanks No.7 Cal Poly in Big West Quarterfinal 4-0 https://t.co/m4kdACQFo5
    1 day 19 hours ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    .@UCSB_Baseball vs. UC Riverside on @ESPN3 is live now! Watch here >>> https://t.co/QJMvNLa0mQ
    1 day 19 hours ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    WWP: Defending Big West Champs Defeated by No. 12 LBSU in Another Overtime Match https://t.co/XIO3RJdo9p
    1 day 20 hours ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Top-Seeded UCSB Set to Host Big West Golf Championship at Sandpiper GC https://t.co/SyXPKB2Ur5
    1 day 21 hours ago
  • UCSBLibrary twitter avatar
    RT @ForestSways: CEMA poster preservation for primary source research. #Chicanohertiage @Marikhasmanyan @UCSBLibrary #sca17 https://t.co/M…
    1 day 23 hours ago

Top 40 Science Questions for U.S. Conservation Policy Makers

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

A wide-ranging group of experts has published a set of 40 key environmental questions to help align scientific research agendas with the needs of natural resource decision makers.

The cover story of the April issue of BioScience, written by 30 co-authors, contains the results of a process in which 35 participants solicited and synthesized questions about science relevant to natural resource management. Questions were submitted by 375 individuals who are involved with natural resource policy, management, or study.

The first author is Erica Fleishman, a researcher with UC Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and the John Muir Institute of the Environment at UC Davis. She and six colleagues –– David Blockstein, National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington, D.C.; John Hall, U.S. Department of Defense, Arlington, Va.; Michael Mascia, World Wildlife Fund; Murray Rudd, Environment Department, University of York, Britain; J. Michael Scott, U.S. Geological Survey; and William Sutherland, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Britain –– led the effort with a grant from the Kresge Foundation.

"The questions focus on assessing trade-offs among economic, social, and ecological issues," said Fleishman, adding that it is important to determine how to encourage communication among the generators of information about natural resources and the users of that information. "We created a mechanism where decision makers said to scientists, ‘This is what we need to address society's priorities for natural resources.' " Fleishman described the endeavor as a means to facilitate collaboration, and more of a starting point than an ending.

The authors expect that the 40 questions, if answered, will increase effectiveness of policies related to conservation and management of natural resources. They are launching an effort to survey many more individuals about how they would prioritize the 40 questions.

"America's incredibly diverse natural resources are under increasing pressure, and policy makers often lack scientific information to make informed decisions about how to conserve them," said co-author Michael Mascia, social scientist with the World Wildlife Fund. "These 40 questions can help guide research priorities and ultimately give society the information needed to conserve the environment we all depend upon."

The questions, which highlight a wide array of environmental issues, include:

What quantity and quality of surface and groundwater will be necessary to sustain U.S. populations and ecosystem resilience during the next 100 years?

How do different strategies for growing and harvesting biomass or biofuel affect ecosystems and associated social and economic systems?

How do different agricultural practices and technologies affect water availability and quality?

How will changes in land use and climate affect the effectiveness of terrestrial and marine protected areas?

The authors present an optimistic view of how their work may promote change: "History provides numerous precedents for transforming crisis into opportunity if the crisis can function as an incentive to action. The Marshall Plan, for example, revitalized economies, diplomacy, and societal confidence in Western Europe following World War II. If changes in land use and climate catalyze greater engagement among researchers and decisionmakers, phenomena with the potential to negatively affect ecological and human systems may lead to similar successes in the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources."

 

 


 

 

[RETURN TO TOP]  

 

 

Photo: This view from the top of the Monitor Range, Eureka County, Nevada shows a mosaic of vegetation types. Decision makers identified as a high priority research on how species-level and ecosystem-level responses to climate change may be affected by the current configuration of land cover and land use.
Photo: Erica Fleishman, UCSB, UCD

 

BioScience