RESEARCH AND NETWORKS FOR DECISION SUPPORT

IN THE NOAA SECTORAL APPLICATIONS RESEARCH PROGRAM

Panel on Design Issues for the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program

Helen M. Ingram and Paul C. Stern, Editors

Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
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Research and Networks for Decision Support: In the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program RESEARCH AND NETWORKS FOR DECISION SUPPORT IN THE NOAA SECTORAL APPLICATIONS RESEARCH PROGRAM Panel on Design Issues for the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program Helen M. Ingram and Paul C. Stern, Editors Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Research and Networks for Decision Support: In the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This project was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. DG133R04CQ0000, Task Order No.19. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-11202-4 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-11202-8 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area. This report is also available online at http://www.nap.edu. Printed in the United States of America. Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2008). Research and Networks for Decision Support in the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program. Panel on Design Issues for the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program, H.M. Ingram and P.C. Stern, eds. Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Research and Networks for Decision Support: In the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Research and Networks for Decision Support: In the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program PANELON DESIGN ISSUESFORTHE NOAA SECTORAL APPLICATIONS RESEARCH PROGRAM HELEN M. INGRAM (Chair), Southwest Center, University of Arizona HOLLY GREENING, Tampa Bay Estuary Program DENISE LACH, Department of Sociology, Oregon State University PHILIP MOTE, Center for Science in the Earth System, Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington, Seattle LAURENCE J. O’TOOLE, JR., Department of Public Administration and Policy, University of Georgia PAMELA POGUE, Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency EUGENE A. ROSA, Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service and Department of Sociology, Washington State University PAUL C. STERN, Study Director LINDA DEPUGH, Administrative Assistant

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Research and Networks for Decision Support: In the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program COMMITTEE ON THE HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF GLOBAL CHANGE THOMAS J. WILBANKS (Chair), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN RICHARD N. ANDREWS, Department of Public Policy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill ROBERT CORELL, H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, Washington, DC ANDREW FOSTER, Departments of Economics and Community Health, Brown University ROGER KASPERSON, George Perkins Marsh Institute, Clark University ANN KINZIG, Department of Biology, Arizona State University LINDA O. MEARNS, Environmental and Societal Impacts Group, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO EDWARD MILES, School of Marine Affairs, University of Washington, Seattle ALEXANDER PFAFF, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University EUGENE ROSA, Natural Resource & Environmental Policy, Washington State University CYNTHIA ROSENZWEIG, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY JOEL TARR, Department of History, Carnegie Mellon University ORAN R. YOUNG (Ex Officio), International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change Scientific Committee; Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara PAUL C. STERN, Study Director LINDA DEPUGH, Administrative Assistant

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Research and Networks for Decision Support: In the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program Preface Moving from science to action is a challenge in many policy areas, and it has been difficult in climate science. For instance, until fairly recently the construction of climate forecasts was largely producer driven, and the scientists who worked on them had little knowledge of what potential users needed. For the most part, those forecasts were not used because the intended decision makers were not aware of the significance of a changing climate for their decision domains. Moreover, the forecasts were perceived as coming from “outside” and therefore carried less trust and legitimacy than information from the decision makers’ organizations. The lack of fit between what decision makers thought would be useful and what climate forecasters were producing, along with the reluctance of decision makers to use even relevant outside information, led to new efforts to engage potential users earlier in the production process for climate forecasts. Potential decision makers and user groups were invited to engage at the point at which climate information began to be developed. Rather than a top-down decision process, scientists and users were engaged in a discourse that was aimed at influencing the orientations and actions of both parties. The Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment (RISA) program in the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) institutionalized this more collaborative and networked style of developing climate information. In these pioneering collaborative efforts, the meaning of decision support is evolving in ways supported by this report. The idea of deci-

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Research and Networks for Decision Support: In the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program sion support is gravitating from the provision of tools or products to the support of practices. Instead of some specific physical science-driven product, decision support is becoming a process of engaging a network of producers and users. This report endorses the progression of decision support away from translating the products of science into useful forms and disseminating them and toward more inclusive and iterative practices. Decision support as used in this report means creating a two-way process of communication between the producers and users of climate information. The experience of the RISA program, generally viewed as successful, along with the intellectual movements in management and public administration toward more collaborative and inclusive governance, has resulted in new challenges that this report addresses: How can social and physical science insights be integrated into processes and products that provide needed support to decision makers for areas affected by climate change? How can such collaborative efforts that strongly relate to changed processes rather than outcomes be evaluated? This National Research Council (NRC) panel, whose membership includes social and physical scientists as well as practitioners, adopted an open and collaborative process of developing its report. At a workshop on November 13, 2006, representatives from a range of different sectors and extension-type networks discussed the kinds of climate information needed and how such information could be produced, shared, and evaluated. The panel met the day after the workshop and again on March 1-2, 2007, to develop this report. In preparing this report, the panel built on a solid foundation of previous NRC studies that addressed similar issues. Understanding Risk: Informing Decisions in a Democratic Society (1996b) helpfully raised matters of process and deliberation as important aspects of making science and analysis useful and accepted. In 1999, Making Climate Forecasts Matter called attention to the importance of linking science to users. The preface drew attention to improvement in the ability to forecast climatic variability as “one of the premiere advancements in the atmospheric sciences at the close of the 20th century,” yet noted that application of this knowledge was problematic. Decision Making for the Environment: Social and Behavioral Science Research Priorities (2005a) provided a number of important insights about when science is used by decision makers. Finally, the panel was aided considerably in its discussion of issues of evaluation by the report Thinking Strategically: The Appropriate Use of Metrics for the Climate Change Science Program (2005c). This report could not have been completed without the aid of the NRC staff. Paul Stern served as study director, and full use was made of his skills in planning, organizing, negotiating consensus, and writing. The

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Research and Networks for Decision Support: In the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program members of the Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Climate Change, under whose auspices the panel was constituted, deserve both credit and thanks. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Nancy Dickson, Center for International Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Kirstin Dow, Department of Geography, University of South Carolina; Maria C. Lemos, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan; Rita P. Maguire, President’s Office, Maguire and Pearce, LLC, Phoenix, AZ; Andrew R. Solow, Marine Policy Center, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA; Brent Yarnal, Center for Integrated Regional Assessment, Pennsylvania State University. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Roger E. Kasperson, George Perkins Marsh Institute, Clark University, Worcester, MA and Robert A. Frosch, International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. Helen Ingram, Chair Panel on Design Issues for the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program

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Research and Networks for Decision Support: In the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program Contents     Executive Summary   1 1   Introduction: The Sectoral Applications Research Program   7      The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Sectoral Applications Research Program,   7      Scope of This Study,   13 2   Climate Forecasts as Innovations and the Concept of Decision Support   17      Improved Climate Forecasts as an Innovation,   18      Decision Support,   22 3   Use-Inspired Science and Communication   27      Use-Inspired Science,   27      Communication Between Science Producers and Users,   41 4   Principles for Selecting Activities and Modes of Support   48      Principles for Selecting Activities,   48      Modes of Support,   52 5   Evaluating SARP   58      Textbook Program Evaluation,   59      Practical Challenges in Evaluating SARP,   60      A Monitoring Approach to Evaluation,   64      Conclusion,   73     References   74     Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff   83

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