Bridging the Gap: Tailor-made Information Products for Decision Makers

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The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is launching a new information platform designed to link decision makers with information generated by geoscientific research. Decision makers, especially those at the state and local level, frequently need scientific information but do not always have easy access to it, while scientists create new knowledge but often lack opportunities to communicate this knowledge more broadly to the people who need it the most. Major differences in communication styles and language can also hinder the use of scientific information by decision makers. AGI is building an online portfolio of case studies and fact sheets that are based on cutting-edge research presented in a format and style that meets the needs and expectations of decision makers. Based on discussions with state and local decision makers around the country, AGI has developed a template for these products. Scientists are invited to write short (500-700-word) summaries of their research and the ways in which it provides useful tools and information to decision makers. We are particularly interested in showcasing actionable information derived from basic or applied research. Researchers are encouraged to contact AGI to discuss topics that may be an appropriate basis for case studies or fact sheets, and AGI may also contact researchers based on scientific needs identified during our discussions with decision makers. All submissions will be edited and reviewed by AGI staff and an external peer review team before being published online and made available to decision makers through AGIs Critical Issues web platform and extensive professional networks. Publicizing the results of scientific research to key legislative, regulatory, advisory, and engaged citizen groups and individuals broadens the impact of scientists research and highlights the value and importance of the geosciences to society. By presenting the information in a format that is designed with the end-user in mind, this initiative provides a much-needed service to decision makers at all levels and serves the geoscience community by increasing the distribution and dissemination of research findings. We will discuss early results and challenges from this program, and feedback from state and local decision makers.

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  • Ben Mandler*
  • Cassaundra Rose*
  • Leila Gonzales*
  • Maeve Boland*
  • American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2016