Lessons from First-Generation Climate Science Integrators
Brugger, Julie ; Meadow, Alison ; Horangic, Alexandra
Année de publication
There is an increasing demand for climate science that decision-makers can readily use to address issues created by climate variability and climate change. To be usable, the science must be relevant to their context and the complex management challenges they face and credible and legitimate in their eyes. The literature on usable science provides guiding principles for its development, which indicate that climate scientists who want to participate in the process need skills in addition to their traditional disciplinary training to facilitate communicating, interacting, and developing and sustaining relationships with stakeholders outside their disciplines. However, the literature does not address questions about what specific skills are needed and how to provide climate scientists with these skills. To address these questions, this article presents insights from interviews with highly experienced and respected "first generation” climate science integrators from across the United States. The term “climate science integrator” is used to refer to climate scientists who specialize in helping decision-makers to integrate the best available climate science into their decision-making processes. The cadre of scientists who participated in the research has largely developed their methods for working successfully with stakeholders without formal training but often with the guidance of a mentor. Their collective wisdom illuminates the kinds of skills needed to be a successful science integrator and provides mentoring for aspiring science integrators. It also suggests the types of training that would cultivate these skills and indicates ways to change academic training and institutions to better encourage the next generation and to support this kind of work.