Science to Action at AGU Fall Meeting 2019

 

What is Science to Action at AGU all about?

AGU Fall Meeting is the largest Earth and space science gathering in the world, with approximately 24,000 attendees annually. This year, it will be in San Francisco, California on December 9-13, 2019.

Within this meeting, a group of members who organize themselves under the banner of Science to Action are planning a collection of sessions, workshops, and networking events that are about how we connect science with action through partnering with communities and working with decision makers. Another group, Native Science, is hosting events that explore the connections between science and indigenous ways of knowing. All of us – Thriving Earth Exchange, Science to Action, and Native Science – share the goal of helping all communities thrive by increasing science engagement to improve daily life and better confront concerns posed by extreme events, climate and land cover change, and natural hazards. We share an evidence-based conviction that co-created science or community science is a good way to do this important work.

Email ThrivingEarthExchange@agu.org for an introduction.

Click here for review Science to Action activities from previous years.

Additional information about these and other events, sessions, workshops and more coming soon!

 

Thriving Earth Exchange Events

Workshops          Native Science at AGU          Science to Action Sessions

 

 

Thriving Earth Exchange Events

Building a Community Science Movement: A networking reception hosted by Thriving Earth Exchange
Community Science is defined as the process by which scientists and communities do science together to advance local priorities and move science to action. By re-imagining science as a partnership with communities, community science builds support for science, tackles pressing global issues like climate change, and improves lives and livelihoods in communities around the world. It re-frames science as a democratic, participatory, equitable activity, and connects scientific knowledge to community wisdom. Join us in celebrating the accomplishments of community science – including over 100 community science projects that are part of AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange program – and help build a movement.

Tuesday, 10 December: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Grand Hyatt, Grand East, Ballroom Level

Community Science 101: Practical Tips and Real-world Strategies for Engaging with Communities
Community science can help you transform your science into an impactful force for good! Join Thriving Earth Exchange staff for this workshop to learn and practice the skills needed to build effective relationships with communities to address critical local needs in climate change, natural hazards, and natural resource management.

Wednesday, 11 December: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Marriott Marquis, Golden Gate Ballroom, B2

Science and Society: Panel Discussion and Networking
Thursday, 12 December: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Centennial Theater, Main Stage

 

Workshops

Growing into Principled Climate Change Adaptation Professionals and Transforming the Adaptation Field

(Pending)

“A climate change adaptation professional is anyone who considers data and information about future climate change in their research or practice. This includes earth and space scientists along with colleagues from many other sectors. What shared values and objectives unite climate change adaptation professionals? What strategies and actions help ensure effective, equitable, and ethical climate change adaptation practice? What professional training do YOU need to confidently implement those strategies and actions? In this workshop you’ll use American Society of Adaptation Professionals’ (ASAP) Living Guide to the Principles of Climate Change Adaptation (Living Guide) to holistically assess how you are integrating climate change adaptation into your research or practice and identify your professional training needs. You will also have an opportunity to hear from people and organizations about their experience integrating these principles into their work, as well as interact with climate adaptation professional education providers to discover new education and training opportunities.

Workshop Objectives:

  • Access dedicated, facilitated time to think critically about how you want or need to grow in your career
  • Assess your individual professional development needs and identify next steps for addressing them
  • Share with colleagues your knowledge and experience about what it means to be a principled climate change adaptation professional
  • Gain exposure to a framework through which to assess your climate adaptation practice or research approach- the ASAP Living Guide to the Principles of Climate Change Adaptation (Living Guide)
  • Increase your knowledge of existing resources for climate change adaptation professional education and training”

Native Science at AGU

Click each session title for information about session conveners and to submit an abstract! Abstract submissions are due 31 July!

Arctic coastal hazards like erosion, flooding, and permafrost thaw are intensifying due to climate warming creating social and economic impacts and risks for coastal communities. In this session, we discuss the co-production of knowledge and tools for forecasting coastal hazards and risks as well as the generation of scenarios for communicating these hazards and risks. Communities, researchers, and agencies are collaboratively developing coastal monitoring programs that generate data to understand coastal change and support hazard forecasting. Through this effort, a new hazard, usteq (Yup’ik word meaning catastrophic land collapse) was identified and included in the 2018 Alaska Hazard Mitigation Plan. We are also collaborating in the collection of data to quantify the social and economic impacts of coastal hazards. The collaborative effort to define and forecast coastal hazards and risks is setting the stage for wise and long-term sustainable adaptation to the climate change challenge.

Perspectives of Indigenous peoples can bring deep insight to the study and management of complex environmental systems through their holistic approaches to problem solving and ways of knowing. These perspectives can inform and enrich western scientific research and discussions of policy in areas related to sustainability, human-environment interactions, ecosystems, climate adaptation, geohealth, and more. Although western science started to acknowledge the importance of indigenous knowledge, voices of indigenous peoples are largely absent from scholarly discourse. With this in mind, we welcome submissions focusing on indigenous voices and perspectives in environmental sciences and policy emphasizing meaningful collaborations between western scientists and indigenous communities, or on indigenous scholars’ experiences walking in both worlds. Submissions may be case studies, syntheses, or other scholarship focusing on one or more indigenous tribe, group, or organization. We also welcome perspectives discussing relevant issues surrounding community based participation, ethics, mutual understanding, and respect for sacred knowledge.

We erroneously think stories are shaped by people; in fact stories shape people. Critical stories have connections to the best science, best practices, and relationship to the art of survival. Could the science of storytelling be directly linked to the art of survival? Is our capacity to adapt directly linked to our ability to communicate? As remotely sensed and ground based science capabilities increase, science communication relies even more on storytelling to convey this research; moving content from data collection to stories, anecdotes and narratives which are much easier to comprehend. Non-expert audiences often get the majority of their scientific information from mass media relying on stories that are relevant and resonate. We welcome abstracts that show examples of traditional storytelling, yet more importantly, demonstrate multiple ways of knowing including practices that encourage sustainability and communicate lessons learned today through more effective storytelling, artful, compelling media, and more impactful results.

 

Science to Action Sessions

Click each session title for information about session conveners and to submit an abstract! Abstract submissions are due 31 July!
Don’t forget to check out AGU diversity and inclusion sessions too!

From school to play to work, education takes place in a wide variety of venues. By viewing education as taking place in an ecosystem that includes all of these venues, we can strengthen and connect learning. As noted by the Federal Committee on STEM Education in their 2018 report, the broad and inclusive engagement that develops through partnerships within a healthy STEM ecosystem builds stronger, more informed communities and a more diverse workforce with the skills needed by local employers. A learning ecosystem approach is particularly relevant in the geosciences as we seek to develop resilient communities that can respond to a changing environment. This session will discuss the learning ecosystem model and provide examples of ecosystems that include geoscience components.

Water plays a vital role in sustaining and regulating the health of ecosystems and societies. Natural variability and human driven alterations to the hydrologic cycle (i.e. water quantity) drive complex dynamics within human-hydrologic systems and pose challenges to understanding and managing the resource. With respect to water quality, natural geogenic contaminants (e.g. arsenic, fluoride) and anthropogenic contaminants (e.g., microbial pathogens, PFAS, lead) threaten the health and well-being of society and ecosystems. This session will highlight research that addresses historic and emerging problems concerning water quantity or quality through transdisciplinary science. Presentations involving citizen science or community engaged research are encouraged, as are those that demonstrate convergence of methods or theory across fields.

Connecting hydrologic science to stakeholders is critical for a sustainable future. Water management directly impacts the public from providing clean drinking water to flood risk prediction and mitigation. While all hydrological research is highly relevant to many, it can be challenging to bring research to action and connect researchers to the public and decision-makers. Even if work is down in a community’s “backyard,” the science can often remain unseen. During this session, a panel of experts in science engagement will share their experiences connecting hydrologic science to decision making and action. They will address questions of how to build relationships with stakeholders, the benefits and challenges to science engagement, and engagement outcomes. While we will focus on hydrological applications, lessons learned science communication and outreach applies to all geosciences. To strengthen interaction among panelists and participants, small group discussions will be held to develop next steps beyond Fall Meeting.

Arctic coastal hazards like erosion, flooding, and permafrost thaw are intensifying due to climate warming creating social and economic impacts and risks for coastal communities. In this session, we discuss the co-production of knowledge and tools for forecasting coastal hazards and risks as well as the generation of scenarios for communicating these hazards and risks. Communities, researchers, and agencies are collaboratively developing coastal monitoring programs that generate data to understand coastal change and support hazard forecasting. Through this effort, a new hazard, usteq (Yup’ik word meaning catastrophic land collapse) was identified and included in the 2018 Alaska Hazard Mitigation Plan. We are also collaborating in the collection of data to quantify the social and economic impacts of coastal hazards. The collaborative effort to define and forecast coastal hazards and risks is setting the stage for wise and long-term sustainable adaptation to the climate change challenge.

Global changes happening now and into the future imply the need for aggressive action by society. Many researchers are keen to inform, or even impel, these actions. In other words, their aim is to produce actionable science. These laudable aspirations also raise fundamental questions about how science can serve society better than it already does. What is actionable science? How is it produced? Who is responsible for it? How do we evaluate it? In exploring these questions systematically, we may build a better evidence base to guide changes to research funding, practice, and dissemination. For this session, we invite perspectives from the spectrum of disciplinary and practical perspectives. We invite the exchange of hypotheses, results, and critical appraisals that could serve to make more systematic sense of the changing norms, practices, and resulting outcomes that arise from socially-engaged research.

The availability and volume of Earth observation data are continuously increasing, as are the many applications of these measurements. There is a growing demand for opportunities to develop skills in the use and application of geospatial data and scientific information for societal good. This session focuses on organizations engaged in building and strengthening the capacity of individuals and institutions to use Earth observations to address environmental issues, make data-driven decisions, and develop public policy. Contributors will discuss their methods and protocols for implementing and measuring the impact of capacity building and professional development efforts across thematic topics and geographic regions. The session will address multiple approaches, along with insights into their effectiveness, challenges, best practices, and benefits. This session aims to provide the broader science community with a general understanding of the Earth science capacity building community and the resources available.

Many flood and drought forecast products have now adopted a risk-based communication approach toward better informing decision-making. The process of adoption for those climate products includes the demonstration of the increased accuracy as well as the value of the risk-based information, which comes down to customized communication, and sometimes rethinking the processing of this new information. In a multi sectoral context, hydro-climate information is typically processed, and simplified, to complement other drivers of decision-making; evolving policies, energy market, technology innovation, etc. How can we enhance the use and value of hydro-climate information in day-ahead and long term planning strategies across activity sectors? The overarching goal of the session is to understand the perceived value of climate services and discuss the value proposition for a range of sectors. We invite researchers and practitioners to discuss how hydro-climate forecasts are being or could be customized, valued and communicated into multi-sectoral decision-support processes.

Following upon the success of the Geoscience and Society Summit, held in Stockholm in March of 2019, this session will explore pathways to enhance the impact of the geosciences in solving environmental and social issues facing societies today. This session will advance the conversation around how to bridge the divides between us and better address the most pressing environmental issues facing mankind. Examples of successful innovations will be presented and abstracts on other engagement activities are welcome. The session will also include a summary of the themes that emerged from the meeting and that will guide future progress. These themes include the need to enhance the ease and effectiveness of communication between all stakeholders, the need for uniform standards to address sustainability coupled with methods to measure success, and the importance of making successful actions scalable so that programs can be scaled up (or down) to apply to other situations.

Perspectives of Indigenous peoples can bring deep insight to the study and management of complex environmental systems through their holistic approaches to problem solving and ways of knowing. These perspectives can inform and enrich western scientific research and discussions of policy in areas related to sustainability, human-environment interactions, ecosystems, climate adaptation, geohealth, and more. Although western science started to acknowledge the importance of indigenous knowledge, voices of indigenous peoples are largely absent from scholarly discourse. With this in mind, we welcome submissions focusing on indigenous voices and perspectives in environmental sciences and policy emphasizing meaningful collaborations between western scientists and indigenous communities, or on indigenous scholars’ experiences walking in both worlds. Submissions may be case studies, syntheses, or other scholarship focusing on one or more indigenous tribe, group, or organization. We also welcome perspectives discussing relevant issues surrounding community based participation, ethics, mutual understanding, and respect for sacred knowledge.

Do you consider yourself a science communicator or science communication researcher? Does your research group or institution participate in public engagement activities? Have you ever evaluated, studied, or published your education, outreach or engagement efforts? Scientists and communication practitioners engage non-peer audiences through numerous pathways including websites, blogs, public lectures, media interviews, and educational and research collaborations. A considerable amount of time and money is invested in these activities and they play an important role in how different publics come to understand scientific topics, issues, and the research process. However, few opportunities and incentives exist to optimize science communication practices and to evaluate the effectiveness of different engagement approaches. This session, run at both AGU and EGU, encourages critical reflection on science communication best practices and provides an opportunity for the community of science communicators and researchers to share best practices and experiences with evaluation and research in this field.

Data can inform and transform global and local decision-making. In water management, lack of useful data and context hampers our ability to understand water resources and decide how best to manage them. Managing water is increasingly difficult thanks to growing demand, population growth and climate change.
Today, water managers not only need more data that are useful, understandable and available long-term. They also need the right data – tailored to their needs, with the right resolution, latency and format, that can plug into decision pipelines. Moreover, organizations must be open to ingesting new data.

This session explores data-driven water management. How can silos between data producers/scientists and decision-makers be broken down? How are decision-maker priorities uncovered, then translated into needs-driven science? How is scientific uncertainty conveyed to policymakers? Speakers will share successes, challenges and lessons learned. Talks at the nexus of water and food, ecosystems, infrastructure or energy are welcome.

Research assessment and reward is weighted heavily towards scientific outputs, and research impact is measured in funding dollars awarded and research articles produced. The value of science extends well beyond contributions to the research activity itself. Researchers engage in a broad range of initiatives which accelerate scientific discovery and advancement, bettering our society and world. Yet, these efforts and their impacts are underrepresented in decision-making for career advancement and awards, and often inadvertently discouraged as they are not attached to professional recognition. This session will examine the ways scientists communicate, engage, and work directly with the public and decision makers to apply their science, and the challenges and opportunities to recognize and reward those efforts.

This session is part of an ongoing discussion, Project Redefining Recognition, co-convened by AGU and Wiley with participation from AMS, ASLO, EGU and JpGU.

Much environmental research will never have the social impact that it could because it is carried out in institutions that are bound to traditional approaches misaligned with current needs and developed without active engagement with decision makers. Connecting environmental science to environmental problems is more than good science communication or writing a “broader impacts” statement, yet these are too often approaches put forward as pathways to bring science out of the lab and into the real world. In this session we highlight environmental change research having demonstrable impact in the world despite institutional barriers. If you collaborate on sea level rise projections with a coastal city, work in a climate services organization that supports municipal infrastructure planning, model disease vector spread related to warming climate with a health department or do other science that is both socially and scientifically impactful, join us to share how these barriers can be overcome.

The past decade has marked a significant increase in public discourse around communities’ efforts to address shocks and stresses, particularly those related to climate change and natural disasters. Multiple scientific disciplines have contributed to the proliferation of community resilience data, information, methods, and tools. These efforts have been accompanied by unique methods to measure progress and resilience outcomes on short- and long-term time scales. This session will provide a forum where researchers can present their latest findings in advancing the science of measuring resilience and where practitioners and community leaders who are responsible for implementing these measures can talk about their challenges and successes. The session will include a dialogue between researchers, practitioners, and community leaders to identify where future research is needed to supply communities with accurate and decision-relevant measures of resilience.

Multiple organizations, including AGU, support efforts to encourage uses of scientific data and information products to inform and support decision making, management, and policy. Programs in government, non-profits, and foundations incentivize work in this space to encourage innovative applications, foster collaborations, transfer scientific knowledge into practice, and overcome technical and organizational barriers.

The session invites papers addressing programmatic models and approaches that foster and incentivize work to use scientific information in decision-making activities, processes, and operations. Papers are encouraged to include a specific example to illustrate the model in practice, present metrics that indicate its effectiveness, share where the model breaks down and is unsuitable, or provide a programmatic failure of design or implementation. The session includes submissions of programmatic approaches that support co-production as well as the reverse path – where decision-makers identify issues they face and the desired research to advance their management, policy, and actions.

Actionable science, where researchers and end users of science partner to identify, characterize and develop solutions to address environmental impacts like climate change, is becoming increasingly popular and widely-used across research disciplines and sectors. However, co-producing knowledge and delivering ‘actionable’ science requires building and navigating relationships between researchers, communities, decision-makers, and practitioners, and often crossing the science-policy interface. Because they are able to facilitate collaboration and information flow across networks and disciplines, boundary organizations are well-positioned to build capacity for scientific information delivery and use. This session emphasizes the co-production process from the perspective of boundary organizations (which include research and extension organizations, grant funders, and NGO’s) and seeks to illuminate the ways boundary organizations support knowledge co-production and how they address challenges that naturally arise within this work, such as communication, managing expectations, sustainable funding, and program evaluation. Abstracts that consider co-production with diverse communities are especially welcome.

Scientists, decision makers, and communities have accelerated their engagement and collaboration to produce decision-relevant and actionable science. Knowledge brokers and boundary organizations play significant roles in strengthening partnerships and amplifying diverse voices. Together, we continue progress toward science that is actionable and equitable.

In this session, we explore (1) how scientists build and strengthen partnerships within and outside the research community, and (2) how these novel and truly collaborative partnerships lead to decision-relevant tools, resources, or knowledge. We invite on-the-ground stories and experiences, successes and challenges, and best practices that illustrate both increased collaborative capacity and the successful co-production of actionable science including federal, state, local, university, and extension partners, to name a few. Through this collective sharing, we can harness characteristics of effective and transformative partnerships to better understand community needs and deliver stakeholder-driven and decision-relevant science.

Producing water science which informs policy and/or leads to community action can often prove illusive. Ethical, culturally appropriate, socially compelling, scientifically sound, and economically viable water related solutions will require convergence of scientific research across disciplines as well as a better understanding of and responsiveness to the values, needs and priorities of decision makers, community members, and practitioners. Leaders working on the boundary between science, environmental health, and social action will provide their perspectives as to what the needs and priorities are, while providing concrete examples and guidance for how to translate science to action across a diverse set of fields (e.g. media and communications, public health, policy making, and resource management).

This session provides a forum for an active dialog between scientists and a diverse group of decision-makers and experienced influencers that will be continued in related scientific sessions where panelists will act as discussants.

 

 

Information about other events, sessions, workshops and more coming soon!