Federal lands in the United States have been identified as important areas where forests could be managed to enhance carbon storage and help mitigate climate change. However, there has been little work examining the context for decision making for carbon in a multiple-use public land environment, and how science can support decision making. This case study of the San Juan National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management Tres Rios Field Office in southwestern Colorado examines whether land managers in these offices have adequate tools, information, and management flexibility to practice effective carbon stewardship. Read the article in Environmental Management.
Dilling, L., K. C. Kelsey, D. P. Fernandez, Y. D. Huang, J. B. Milford, and J. C. Neff (2016). Environmental Management.
Worldwide water governance failures undermine effective water management under uncertainty and change. Overcoming these failures requires employing more adaptive, resilient water management approaches; yet, while scholars have advance theory of what adaptive, resilient approaches should be, there is little empirical evidence to support those normative propositions. To fill this gap, Kirchhoff and Dilling reviewed the literature to derive theorized characteristics of adaptive, resilient water governance including knowledge generation and use, participation, clear rules for water use, and incorporating nonstationarity. Read the paper here.
Kirchhoff, C. and L. Dilling, 2016. Water Resources Research, Published April 17.
Workshop attendees discussed how improved projections of rainfall extremes as climate changes could help officials mitigate erosion of archaeologically and culturally important locations such as this one at North Dakota’s Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site. The river has already eroded part of this 19th century Hidatsa village—only 31 visible earth lodge depressions remain. Read the article here.
Rangwala, I., C. Dewes, and J. Barsugli (2016). EOS, Vol. 97, March 25.
Improving the public value of science: A typology to inform discussion, design and implementation of research
Elizabeth McNie published a paper entitled “Improving the public value of science: A typology to inform discussion, design and implementation of research” with Adam Parris and Dan Sarewitz. In this paper, they describe a more complete view of research activities and expectations and introduce a multi-dimensional typology of research activities. Attributes of research are idealized on a spectrum, from science-centric to user-oriented. Using the typology can inform science-policy planning and decisions.
McNie, E. C., A. Parris, and D. Sarewitz, 2016. Research Policy, Vol. 45, Issue 4.
NOAA western region: Climate service providers database development and preliminary analysis
The purpose of the Climate Service Providers Database is to identify all climate-service providers in the NOAA Western Region. Climate-service organizations help to improve adaptation to climate change by creating, translating or disseminating potentially useful climate information by public engagement and responding to users' information needs. By putting all of this information into one usable format, we hope to improve our understanding of the provision of usable climate-science information and also begin to promote better connections between people and organizations who need useful climate information and those who produce it.
2nd Wyoming drought summary issued
Another 2-page Wyoming drought summary was released by the Wyoming State Climate Office, NIDIS, and several other partners, including WWA. Drought has intensified in the northwestern and southeastern quarters of the state but has improved somewhat in the northeastin the past month.
Wyoming drought worsening; summary released
To convey the intensifying and expanding drought conditions in Wyoming, a 2-page drought summary was released today by the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and several partners, including WWA. Dry and hot conditions in June and July have led to 55% of Wyoming now being classified as "abnormally dry" or worse, up from 43% just one week ago.
Report released on WWA snowpack workshops
In August and September 2015, WWA convened three all-day workshops, supported the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), to improve the usability of snowpack monitoring information in the Rocky Mountain West. The workshops brought together 180 participants, mainly representing a core user community of local, state, and federal water managers, along with other stakeholders, researchers, and information providers. The newly released report on the workshop summarizes the current state of snowpack monitoring and application to runoff forecasting, describes new spatial snow products, and conveys the user needs expressed in the workshops.