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May 22, 2017

Scoping a report card for the Yangtze River basin, China.

In April I travelled to China with Michele Thieme and Judy Takats from the World Wildlife Fund U.S. (WWF). The trip was planned to discuss with WWF China whether our report card process would work within the Chinese context. It was my first trip to China, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I […]

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May 15, 2017

What are these data trying to tell us?

“Let the data speak for themselves,” is a quote frequently attributed to Sir R. A. Fisher. Fisher was biologist who was drawn to the task of sifting through 70 years of data on crop yields and genetics accumulated at Rothamsted Experimental Station. The challenge of making sense of all this data led Fisher to develop […]

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May 9, 2017

Chesapeake Bay report card released in Baltimore

I was joined by our Master of Ceremonies, Don Boesch (President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science), Ben Cardin (the senior United States senator from Maryland), Nick DiPasquale (Director of the Chesapeake Bay Program), Ben Grumbles (Maryland Secretary of Environment), and Mark Belton (Maryland Secretary of Natural Resources) in presenting the 2016 Chesapeake […]

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April 27, 2017

Making the Grade

Annie Carew and Qiurui Zhu We’ve spent a lot of time this semester discussing the intersection between science and the public – how can we communicate the importance and urgency of our science without alarming or confusing people? This week, we discussed environmental report cards, which could provide a solution to this tricky balancing act […]

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April 14, 2017

Evolving ecosystem health report cards to address issues of scale, acceptance, engagement, and behavior change

At the recent commOcean2016 conference in Bruges, Belgium, I attended a short discussion session on effective science communication tools and strategies. Although the conversation was not exactly brisk, there was one exchange that triggered a new direction in my thinking about science communication, behavior change, and ecosystem health report cards. During the discussion, there was […]

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April 12, 2017

To get the grade: Collaborate! Stakeholder engagement and the missing link between research and action

Veronika Leitold, Alec Armstrong An international activist, a fly fisherman, an NGO manager, a food & beverage consultant, a water quality researcher and an indigenous elder are all gathered around a table… Why? They have come together to make a decision: either approve or veto the construction of a new hydroelectric dam upstream in the […]

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April 3, 2017

Turning the report card spotlight back on ourselves: The first Integration and Application Network report card

Our Integration and Application Network (IAN) team has been traveling the globe to help various partners develop rigorous report cards. When we starting working with Tina Bishop and Peter Tuddenham from the College of Exploration to develop an evaluation approach for IAN, we realized that using the same process to develop report cards for our […]

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March 17, 2017

The first thing people ask: Where is Guam, anyway?

Guam is in the western Pacific Ocean, approximately equidistant from Tokyo (north), Manila (west), and Papua New Guinea (south). And, on January 28th, Heath Kelsey, Alex Fries, and I traveled to Guam from Hawaii. Guam is a U.S. territory and is one island in the chain of islands that make up the Mariana archipelago. Guam […]

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March 13, 2017

Meet Saipan, one of America’s forgotten territories

On February 1st 2017, Heath Kelsey, Caroline Donovan, and I traveled from Guam to our last stop on the Pacific Islands trip, Saipan. Saipan is an island in the Mariana Archipelago, and is part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a US territory. Saipan, Rota, and Tinian are the only islands currently […]

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March 3, 2017

IAN Returns to Honolulu for the Hawaiian Islands and the Remote Pacific Islands Coral Reef Report Cards Workshops

As part of the NOAA Coral Reef Report Card Project, Alex Fries, Caroline Donovan, and Heath Kelsey facilitated two workshops in Honolulu to create report cards for the Hawaiian Archipelago and the Remote Islands of the Pacific where NOAA has responsibility for coral reef management and assessment. The workshops were held January 23, 24, 26, […]

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