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Application of the technology readiness levels framework to natural resource management tools

August 9, 2023

Technology advancements in fisheries science can provide useful tools to support natural resource management and conservation. However, new technologies may also present challenges for decision makers due to the lack of a standardized process to assess technologies for consideration within management plans. Future technology development in fishery and water resources could benefit from a framework that assigns an appropriate technology development stage and defines the readiness for implementation. Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) are one established research and development scale used throughout engineering and related disciplines that could be applied to natural resource management tools. The TRL assess the maturity of a technology from nascent idea through a fully developed technology. Steps within this scale could provide a general framework for researchers to follow when planning and conducting studies, while similarly providing a standard scale for resource managers to assess readiness for technology transfer and implementation. The goal of this paper is to describe TRL in the context of natural resource management tools and offer this existing framework as one option to facilitate communication between researchers and managers.

Publication Year 2023
Title Application of the technology readiness levels framework to natural resource management tools
DOI 10.1002/fsh.10982
Authors Aaron R. Cupp, Andrea K. Fritts, Marybeth K. Brey, Christa M. Woodley, David Smith, Mark Cornish, Amy McGovern, Rob Simmonds, Neal Jackson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Fisheries
Index ID 70252793
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center