port: (1) begin with users’ needs; (2) give priority to process over products; (3) link information producers and users; (4) build connections across disciplines and organizations; (5) seek institutional stability; and (6) design processes for learning.


Recommendation 2: Federal agencies should develop or expand decision support systems needed by the climate-affected regions, sectors, and constituencies they serve.

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) should expand its Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Program and Sectoral Applications Research Program (SARP) centers to serve the full range of regions and sectors of the nation where NOAA has natural constituencies.

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should expand its climate-related decision support programs to serve more regional and sectoral constituencies.

  • Other federal agencies should take similar steps for their climate-affected constituencies.

  • The federal government should selectively support state and local governments and nongovernmental organizations to expand their efforts to provide effective decision support to their climate-affected constituencies.

Learning poses difficult challenges for climate-related decision making, especially by public agencies, because frequently there are multiple participants with varied and changing objectives interacting with uncertain and evolving knowledge. We found that the most appropriate model for learning under such conditions combines participatory deliberation with expert analysis in an iterative manner. This model is quite demanding in its needs for leadership and other resources.

Recommendation 3: Federal agencies in their own decision support activities and in fostering decision support by others should use the approach of deliberation with analysis when feasible. This is the process most likely to encourage the emergence of good climate-related decisions over time. The federal government should also fund research on decision support efforts that combine deliberation with analysis and that use other appropriate learning models, with the aim of improving decision support for a changing climate.


Recommendation 4: Federal agencies and other entities that provide decision support should monitor changes in science, policy, and climate-



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