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Project Work Plan

U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES)

Fiscal Year 2005 Study Work Plan

A. GENERAL INFORMATION:

Project Title: Improving linkages and integration between management issues and science needs
Project start date: 2004 Project end date: 2007
Project Funding:
Principal Investigator: G. Ronnie Best
Email address: ronnie_best@usgs.gov
Phone: 305 903-5743 Fax: 305/553-0338
Mail address: 15631 SW 48th st, Miami, FL 33185

Other Investigator(s): Laura A. Brandt
Email address: laura_brandt@fws.gov
Phone: 561 735-6004 Fax: 561 375-6008
Mail address: A.R.M. Loxahatchee NWR, 10216 Lee Rd. Boynton Beach, FL 33437

Project Summary: Restoration of the Everglades and other ecosystems will require a coordinated, integrated approach to addressing management issues using the best available scientific information. USGS is in an ideal position to provide the scientific information necessary for managers and decision makers. Recent reviews of two science focused programs, the Critical Ecosystems Study Initiative (CESI), and Science Coordination in South Florida, conducted by the National Academy of Science (2003) and the General Accounting Office (2003), respectively have identified improving science coordination, synthesis and integration of research data, and communication of research findings as high priority tasks that are necessary for Everglades Restoration. In addition, the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and United States Geological Survey have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Integration of Research, Planning and Interagency Coordination which was established to "...integrate and facilitate coordination among the Parties for all ongoing and future monitoring, research, planning, and interagency coordination activities supporting Everglades Restoration". This project will address the science coordination, synthesis, and integration needs identified in the above mentioned documents.

Project Objective and Strategy: This project will accomplish several tasks related to science coordination, synthesis, and integration through a combination of workshops, meetings, and synthesis documents. The main objectives of this project are:

  • Work with DOI managers to identify and clearly articulate management issues and questions that require science support.
  • Work with DOI scientists to identify and clearly articulate existing and past research that provides science support for high priority management issues.
  • Work with DOI scientists and managers to identify immediate and future high priority science needs.
  • Synthesize, integrate, and communicate science information for use by managers and decision makers.

Potential Impacts and Major Products:

  • Annual science/management workshop focused on the issues and science needs of one or more DOI management units (refuges, ecological services, national parks).
  • Increased communication among managers and scientists through the development and implementation of a process for articulating the linkages between management issues and science needs.
  • Production of synthesis documents that describe how existing science is connected to management issues and restoration objectives.
  • Annual report with performance measures on how results from USGS projects were communicated to and used by managers.

Collaborators:
Clients: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service

Literature Cited

General Accounting Office. 2003. South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Needs to Improve Science Coordination to Increase the Likelihood of Success. GAO-03-345. General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.

National Academy of Sciences. 2003. Science and the Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration. An Assessment of the Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative. National Academies Press, Washington, DC.

U.S. Department of Interior. 2003. Memorandum of Understanding for Integration of Research, Planning and Interagency Coordination. U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, DC.

B. WORK PLAN

Title of Task 1: Research and management workshop for DOI management units
TaskLeaders: Laura A. Brandt
Phone: 561/735-6004
FAX: 561/735-6008
Task Status (proposed or active): Proposed
Task priority: High
Budget and Time Frame for Task 1: 2004-2007
Task Personnel:

Task Summary and Objectives: Communication is one of the challenges faced in developing a truly integrated science program that addresses management issues. Managers and scientists may have different perspectives on restoration issues and needs based on their different backgrounds and job responsibilities. Managers are faced with having to make day to day decisions based on existing information, regardless of the level of certainty, while scientists seek to increase the level of certainty through hypothesis testing which may require multiple years and multiple studies. Often there is a disconnect between how an individual study and foundation science will contribute to the managers ability to make better decisions. A part of this disconnect comes from incomplete communication from managers as to their real issues and needs, and incomplete communication from scientists to managers on how their projects contribute to the fulfillment of the managers needs. The workshops held with managers and scientists over the three year duration of this project (a minimum of three) will help to bridge this communication gap by engaging managers and scientists in focused presentations and discussions of management issues and science needs.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: During FY04 a workshop will be organized that focuses on current management issues at the A.R.M. Loxahatchee NWR. The one day workshop will consist of a presentation by the Refuge Manager on current management issues and suggested science needs, presentations of ongoing research in the refuge, a facilitated discussion of how current research is addressing management issues, and what additional information is needed. Participants in the workshop will include refuge staff, researchers from various agencies conducting research in the refuge, South Florida Water Management scientists and managers, and USGS scientists who are conducting research that may be relevant to refuge needs. Lessons learned from this workshop will be applied to the next workshop which will likely be with refuges in southwest Florida (J.N. Ding Darling complex, Florida Panther, and Ten Thousand Islands).

Planned Outreach: A summary document will be prepared that will include abstracts of each presentation, a summary of the discussions, and a list of the management issues and linkages to existing science and identification of future needs. Mechanisms will be developed and implemented to facilitate continued communication.

Title of Task 2: Synthesis of existing science information and its contribution to greater Everglades restoration objectives.
Task Leaders: Laura A. Brandt
Phone: 561/735-6004
FAX: 561/735-6008
Task Status (proposed or active): Proposed
Task priority: High
Budget and Time Frame for Task 1: 2004-2007
Task Personnel:

Task Summary and Objectives: A wealth of scientific data, analyses, papers, and reports have been and continues to be generated regarding the Everglades Ecosystem. These data, paper, and reports have value to both the scientific and management communities by providing foundation science that can be used to assist in management decisions. However, the existence of the information does not necessarily mean that it is available for making decisions. The information must be synthesized and presented in a format that is understandable to the user. This task will result in a series of synthesis documents that are focused on communicating with managers what science currently exists that can help to address specific management issues.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: During FY04 the management questions associated with issues related to hydrologic restoration targets in the A.R.M. Loxahatchee NWR will be articulated. Existing scientific information from the Everglades and other ecosystems that could help to address the issue will be identified and summarized. A draft synthesis document will be prepared for review in FY04 and completion in FY05.

Planned Outreach: A synthesis document that outlines the management issue, summarizes the existing scientific information, and discusses future science needs will be produced. In addition, a summary fact sheet will be prepared and made available on the South Florida Information Access website.

Title of Task 3: Development of performance measures to track how science outputs are being used by managers and their impacts on restoration goals.
Task Leaders: Laura A. Brandt
Phone: 561/735-6004
FAX: 561/735-6008
Task Status (proposed or active): Proposed
Task priority: High
Budget and Time Frame for Task 1: 2004-2007
Task Personnel:

Task Summary and Objectives:

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: During FY04 a set of performance measures to track how science information is being applied to decision making will be developed. The performance measures will be applied on a limited basis to ensure that they are appropriate (reflect desired responses and can be measured). Modifications will be made as necessary in order to have a working set of performance measures for application in FY05.

Planned Outreach: A summary report on the development and application of the performance measures as well as the results of the initial test application.

C. BRIEF DESCRIPTION ON HOW PROJECT TASKS SUPPORT THE DOI AND USGS EVERGLADES RESTORATION SCIENCE PLANS:

These tasks support both the DOI and USGS science plans by improving communication among scientists and managers, assisting in the articulation of science needs, and integrating and synthesizing existing information for use by scientists and managers.



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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:08 PM(KP)