Creating Effective “Learning Spaces” to Improve the Science to Management Connection

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A Southwest CASC researcher and co-authors propose a new approach to improve the application of science to resource management through effective learning spaces. 

Two men stand in a grassland beneath a sky filled with fluffy cumulus clouds and a blue sky.

Standing in the field with managers.

(Credit: Molly McCormick, U.S. Geological Survey. Public domain.)

Read the original news story posted by the Southwest CASC, here

Researchers often provide resource managers with science to inform their decision making. However, handing off the science from scientist to manager alone does not guarantee that the science will meet the needs of the manager. Science may be better incorporated into management decisions when generated collaboratively and combined with other relevant knowledge sources (e.g. local and indigenous). Recognizing the value of knowledge co-production, whereby meaningful collaboration occurs between and among scientists and practitioners, Southwest CASC scientist Alison Meadow from the University of Arizona co-authored a recent publication that describes an alternative model of knowledge creation that better ensures that science is actionable and usable to managers. The authors argue that knowledge is converted into more usable forms through socialization, externalization, combination, and internalization within “learning spaces.” Creating learning spaces that value open, honest, and receptive interactions among participants can create trust between scientist and management communities and strengthen the decision making process. Dr. Meadow and fellow researchers explain how implementing these types of interactions may require efforts that reorganize environmental research and decision-making processes, but may ultimately improve environmental sustainability and human well-being overall. 

This publication was funded in part by the National CASC.  

This news announcement was written by Gina Fiorile, National CASC Science Communication Specialist.

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