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July 8, 2024

In this paper USGS researchers describe a workshop series designed to facilitate the co-design of a new spatial decision support system (SDSS) to guide the protection and restoration of sagebrush ecosystems in the Colorado River Basin.

Throughout the process, USGS scientists identified four generalizable themes which may be informative for future co-design efforts. They discovered end-user confidence in SDSS inputs and transparency regarding SDSS assumptions is critical for building trust between technical experts and end-users. The virtual format, with smaller breakout groups, effectively facilitated discussions and may have increased inclusivity throughout the process. 

Finally, they noted the co-design effort requires considerable expert and end-user time but can lead to important understanding and actionable tools. As a result of these co-design efforts, the group ultimately decided to shift ongoing co-design efforts to consider local-scale tools which can be scaled up to larger geographic extents. 

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