Dr. Kirstin Dow - University of South Carolina

April 28, 2017 - 11:00 AM

Dr. Kirstin Dow - University of South Carolina http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/geog/kirstin-dow

Title:  Looking ahead for Climate Services: Lessons from NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program   


For 20 years, NOAA-supported Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment (RISA) project teams have utilized iterative engagement with decision makers to guide the development of climate science and support climate adaptation. The broader RISA mission is “to expand and build the nation's capacity to prepare for and adapt to climate variability and change decisions.” Over these years, RISA teams have gained numerous insights into methods to understand the complexities of decision maker needs for climate information and the contexts within which they manage resources and plan for the future. This paper draws on a cross-RISA collaboration to synthesize these lessons for the future of climate services (Parris et al. 2016).  

While many research projects are designed within research teams, RISA teams typically work with the regional decision-makers and organizations over years to identify climate and associated science questions (e.g., hydrology, social sciences). The RISA programmatic approach to building capacity involves making a long-term commitment to developing trusted, collaborative relationships in the region. As a result, the climate services research takes a layered approach, with methodological design of individual projects embedded in a broader approach to engagement (Simpson et al., 2016).  This raises broader science policy issues of how to best support and evaluate climate services.     


Parris, A., G. Garfin, K. Dow, R. Meyer and S. Close, eds. 2016. Climate in Context. Wiley and Sons: New York.  
Simpson, C. F. , L. Dilling, K. Dow, K. J. Lackstrom, M.C. Lemos, and R. E. Riley. 2016.  Assessing needs and decision contexts: RISA approaches to engagement research. In: Parris, A., et al., eds. Climate in Context. Wiley: New York. pp. 3-26.

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