Vita Wright - Rocky Mountain Research Station
Millions of taxpayer dollars are spent on fire / fuels research. Whether research results are effectively communicated and used depends on individual and organizational capacities to communicate and apply science.
Scientific information and tools can be accessed through agency publication distribution (e.g., http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us), library services (e.g., http://fsinfo.fs.fed.us/cgi-bin/gw_43_0/chameleon), searchable web syntheses (e.g., http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis, http://www.forestencyclopedia.net), workshops, and training.
These tools help agency managers who actively search for scientific information. However, the use of science by broader communities of land managers depends on more than information accessibility. Efforts to make information accessible do not generally address cultural and communication barriers to the use of science.
Insight into how potential users of science respond to new information and tools can be gained through social science knowledge on how individuals and organizations function. This knowledge is dispersed throughout a variety of social science disciplines and has not been synthesized and integrated effectively into natural resource management. This study is based on the idea that science delivery and research application efforts will be more effective if they are undertaken with an understanding of how social, psychological, and communication factors apply to specific management audiences in different agencies.
PROJECT GOALS & OBJECTIVES
This project aims to:
- identify and understand influences to effective delivery and application of scientific knowledge by fire and fuels managers in the USFS, BLM, and NPS, and
- develop recommendations that can be used strategically by researchers, science application specialists, and managers to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of science delivery.
This project will address the following types of questions:
- Who do fire and fuels specialists and decision makers communicate with when gathering information about new knowledge and tools?
- How do fire and fuels specialists and decision makers evaluate the potential for integrating research products into current management approaches? How do they decide which research products to apply?
- How do they integrate scientific information with knowledge and approaches based on their own experiences?
- What works well about the current science delivery and research application processes? What concerns do fire and fuels managers and decision makers have about current science delivery and research application processes?
- From the perspective agency fire and fuels specialists and decision-makers, how can research products be more effectively delivered and integrated into management?
To View Further information on this project, please refer to: PROJECT DETAILS
This project is supported by the:
For more information contact Vita Wright, (406) 396-5374, vwright [at] fs.fed.us