Connecting Geoscience and Decision Makers Through a Common Interface

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Geoscientists and decision makers often use different words to describe the same thing. The American Geosciences Institute has developed a consistent definition for the geosciences (Wilson, 2014); however this definition often varies from how decision maker groups at the national, state, local, and regional levels often categorize geoscience topics. Where geoscientists may to refer to geoscience, decision makers may use terms like energy, environment, and natural resources. How may the geoscience community provide geoscience information to decision makers in a context they understand while at the same time providing a simple, yet consistent representation of all that the geosciences include? The American Geoscience Institutes (AGIs) Critical Issues programs main goal is to connect decision makers at all levels with decision-relevant, impartial, expert information from across the geosciences. The program uses a multi-faceted approach to reach different decision maker groups, including policy makers and government employees at the federal, state and local level. We discuss the challenges the Critical Issues program has overcome in representing the geosciences to decision makers in a cohesive fashion such that decision makers can access the information they need, while at the same time becoming aware of the breadth of information the geosciences has to offer, and the value of including geoscience in the decision-making process.

References: Wilson, C.E. (2014) Status of the Geoscience Workforce 2014. American Geological Institute. Alexandria, VA.

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  • Leila Gonzales*
  • Charlotte Wood*
  • American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2015