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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Developing Strategies for Stakeholder Engagement and Climate Extension Services in the CASC Network: A Case Study in the Northeast CASC

Overview

Actionable science and stakeholder engagement are essential pillars in the science agenda of the nine regional USGS Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) and their national headquarters. Collaboration with and product delivery to the Department of the Interior and other resource agencies have been central to the Centers’ mission. The effective engagement of stakeholders in defining science needs, designing research projects, interpreting project results, and communicating these results to the public have contributed to the unique successes of the Centers in developing actionable science.

However, there is still significant opportunity to improve the engagement of stakeholders in climate adaptation science and to create realistic metrics of success. The primary goal of this project is to improve the Northeast CASC’s ability to effectively engage stakeholders and to deliver actionable climate adaptation science. This goal will be accomplished through four main tasks:
1) Identifying factors important to successful co-production of actionable science, stakeholder engagement, and the delivery of climate extension services in the Northeast CASC region (identified through literature reviews, past evaluations performed by the Northeast CASC, and independent reviews of past Northeast CASC projects),
2) Illustrating the role these factors play in project success by evaluating stakeholder engagement and helping stakeholders understand climate change impacts in Northeast CASC research (analysis of interviews with stakeholders and scientists);
3) Developing a User’s Guide to stakeholder engagement and delivery of actionable science for future Northeast CASC activities that covers topics ranging from project planning to final project evaluation; and
4) Applying the successful techniques identified in the User’s Guide to two or more recently initiated projects.