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You are browsing all 7 communication products for Coastal Louisiana, Gulf of Mexico

“This is your shield… this is your estuary” Building community and coastal resilience to a changing Louisiana coastline through restoration of key ecosystem functions (Report) Permanent Link

Carruthers TJB, Hemmerling SA, Barra M, Saxby TA, Moss L

The coastal communities of Louisiana are highly vulnerable to coastal change, and the potential benefits of protecting, restoring, and enhancing intact ecosystems are particularly important. However, there is a current lack of synthesized information on potential benefits of ecosystem-based restoration options at a parish, basin, or coastwide scale.

This synthesis report aims to provide key insights and communication tools that can assist in filling the knowledge gap through development of synthesized information on the potential of ecosystem-based adaptation approaches to build community resilience in coastal Louisiana, combining both technical scientific and community input.

Restore vs. Retreat: Securing ecosystem services provided by coastal Louisiana (Newsletter) Permanent Link

February 2007

This newsletter is based on the findings of the Conceptual Ecological Model Focus Group—March 2006 and considers restoration options in the context of the valuable national ecosystem services supplied from Coastal Louisiana. Ecosystem goods & services provided to Louisiana & the nation by coastal landscapes include wildlife & fisheries habitat, support for petrochemical production,improved water quality & flood protection, ecotourism & aesthetic appeal. The flood protection afforded by intact coastal lanes is a key aspect of coastal Louisiana restoration; however, the multitude of ecological services provided by intact coastal landscapes produces the most compelling argument for an integrated & comprehensive restoration plan.

Enhancing Landscape Integrity in Coastal Louisiana: Water, Sediment & Ecosystems (Newsletter) Permanent Link

July 2006

This newsletter is based on the findings of the Conceptual Ecological Model Focus Group—March 2006 and provides a number of key conclusions and recommendations. The natural & human landscapes of coastal Louisiana are characterized by complex relationships among water, sediment & ecosystems. The sustainability of these landscapes is dependent upon critical processes that support the integrity of ecosystem features.

A New Framework for Planning the Future of Coastal Louisiana after the Hurricanes of 2005 (Report) Permanent Link

Working Group for Post-Hurricane Planning for the Louisiana Coast

This report was prepared by a working group of scientists & engineers as a rapid response to the national imperative to develop & execute a strategy for reducing hurricane risks in New Orleans & along the Louisiana coast, while sustaining the wetland-dominated landscapes that surround those population centers.

Reducing flood damage in coastal Louisiana: Communities, culture & commerce (Newsletter) Permanent Link

January 2006

This newsletter is the product of the Conceptual Ecological Model workshop, held in Louisiana in November, 2005. Coastal Louisiana is home to the nation’s largest port complex in both tonnage and infrastructure, and produces or transports nearly one-third of the nation’s oil and gas supply. In addition, the coastal Louisiana ecosystem provides nationally-important fish and wildlife habitat that supports the nation’s second-largest commercial fishery and over $1 billion per year in recreational fishing and hunting revenues. All of these activities are supported in Louisiana because of the close proximity of its skilled workforce to the Gulf of Mexico. Coastal land loss has placed these economic and natural resources at increased risk of loss due to the intense effects of waves and storm surges from hurricanes. Restoration of the coastal ecosystem can work synergistically with levees and floodgates to provide an integrated flood protection system that allows continued resource production and sustains the ecosystem services on which the nation relies.

Hurricane Isabel in Perspective: Proceedings of a Conference (Book) Permanent Link

Chesapeake Research Consortium

The Hurricane Isabel in Perspective: Proceedings of a Conference volume documents the proceedings of a conference convened 15-17 November, 2004. The Hurricane Isabel in Perspective conference was organized as a venue for the lessons learned from Hurricane Isabel, which visited the Chesapeake Bay region in September 2003. Planners, scientists, emergency responders, and academics alike agreed that the numerous lessons learned from Hurricane Isabel will greatly assist our society’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the next major storm event. The presentation of these lessons forms the contents of this proceedings volume.

Hurricane Isabel and Sea Level Rise (Newsletter) Permanent Link

October 2003

This newsletter discusses the effects of sea level rise, land subsidence and ground water extraction on the flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Isabel. The damage caused by Hurricane Isabel was significantly worse than an unnamed hurricane of the same magnitude (category 2) in 1933. Sea level rise in Chesapeake Bay (30 cm / 1 ft in the last 100 years since the 1933 hurricane) is nearly double the global average suggesting that the effects of tropical storms and hurricanes may increase in severity in the future. Global sea level rise in the 20th Century is an order of magnitude higher than for the past several millenia. Chesapeake Bay islands are generally less than 1 m elevation, and many are suffering from erosion and submergence. Sharps Island is completely drowned, Poplar Island has lost more than 90% of its land, and Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge has lost around 2,000 hectares, or one-third of its total marsh area between 1938 and 19881. Erosion may also contribute to the decline of submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV), through an increase in water turbidity due to suspended sediments.


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"Writing crystallizes thought and thought produces action." Paul J. Meyer


A goal of IAN Press is to empower scientists to directly communicate their ideas and concepts. Publications from IAN Press are designed to transform the uninterested to interested; the interested to involved and the involved to engaged.

IAN Press products are designed to be examples of good science communication principles, and the hope is that others will employ these principles so that scientific understanding can be disseminated widely as possible. The production of IAN Press communication publications involves experimentation with communication techniques and, as such, provides various ideas for science communication that can be emulated.

The comparisons and contrasts that IAN Press provides on environmental subjects intend to stimulate scientists, managers, practitioners, policy makers, students and other readers to think more broadly and expansively about the region and issues that they face. The extensive use of visual elements accesses a broader cultural diversity as well, which allow for more global perspectives.

The conclusions and recommendations presented in IAN Press publications are crafted to empower actions, plant seeds of ideas and provide justification for people to take appropriate action to find solutions to environmental problems. The conclusions are made as explicit as possible by employing active titles and featuring them prominently (e.g., front section of books or back cover of newsletters).

On costs

IAN Press does not provide author royalties and the design and layout of the publications conducted by a talented team of Science Communicators is underwritten by various grants and contracts. Marketing is limited to the internet and word-of-mouth, also reducing costs. Thus, the price of IAN Press publications is solely to reimburse the actual printing costs entailed. The intent is to provide the broadest possible readership, thus keeping costs as low as possible is paramount. Typically, full color is used, virtually on every page, which does increase print costs, however, the use of color is a key element in providing accessible information to a wide audience and the lack of author royalties or design/layout charges.

Peer review

IAN Press undertakes a rigorous review process by both peer scientists and resource managers. In addition, Integration and Application Network Science Integrators and Science Communicators read, edit and review all aspects of IAN Press publications, including text, conceptual diagrams, photographs, maps, figures and tables. Many IAN Press publications are multi-authored, and each author contributes to the review and editing of the entire publication. This is not the classical peer review system of a limited number of anonymous reviewers working with an editor to recommend changes, rather a larger number of non-anonymous reviewers that develop consensus on each word, visual element and recommendation. The review process is often accelerated by IAN Press to accommodate timely publication.


IAN Press attempts to be as authorship inclusive as possible and to provide attribution to each visual element. Authorship is not ranked or ordered, and the credibility of the IAN Press product should be based on the scientific data presented and the collective effort of a multiple of contributors, both with and without formal academic training.

Science Communicators are the key element in the production of IAN Press documents. They design the layout of the document, obtain and edit the visual elements, designate the amount and style of text, and orchestrate the review and editing process. IAN Press documents are produced using a 'storyboard' approach, in which the central message(s) are identified and various visual elements selected to support the central message(s). This is in contrast to the more traditional method of writing text and adding in visuals subsequently. In video and film production, storyboards are used and the producer is key to assembling the visual elements. Science Communicators serve in an equivalent role in terms of assembling all the pieces that go into the publication.


IAN Press relies extensively on color for photographs, maps, conceptual diagrams, figures and even text and tables to a limited degree. The use of color allows for an increased data density and provides a bigger visual impact considering the amount of the human brain devoted to visual discrimination of colors. Color allows for greater discrimination of visual elements and in data presentation, a closer juxtaposition of different elements and greater comparative utility. The preponderance of color printers and the ability of electronic versions to be displayed in color promote the inexpensive dissemination of full color documents. In order to help color-blind people compensate, an effort is made to provide other visual clues in graphics, such as symbols with different shapes or map delineations with different shading or texture, but some of the visual impact will be compromised.


IAN Press does not target a narrow, specific audience, rather attempts to be as inclusive as possible. As the world becomes more specialized, with marketing forces that promote highly targeted advertising campaigns, IAN Press products attempt to reach the broadest audience possible. IAN Press attempts to raise the bar rather than dumb down the message by using non-technical language, defining all terms and reducing acronym use. By providing synthesis, visualizations and context, we feel that relatively sophisticated concepts can be grasped by a non-technical audience. In fact, science has become highly specialized and often the language, tools and approaches used in various scientific disciplines are relatively incomprehensible to specialists in other disciplines. Thus, one audience of IAN Press is scientists from other specialties to encourage inter-disciplinary thinking and approaches.

Why use print media?

With the growing popularity of electronic media, the carbon footprint involved in producing and distributing paper products, and the ability to provide infinite resources via the web, it could be argued that IAN Press should disseminate entirely via electronic means. While IAN Press provides downloadable, web accessible materials, IAN Press continues to produces written products for the following reasons:

  1. There is rigor and discipline required in producing science communication products that have limited 'real estate', that, is limited amounts of space to convey a message. A paper product maintains focus, while web links can lead to tangential issues. The priority setting required to establish the final layout and include various communication elements is important in conveying information. Fixed 'real estate' forces condensation, synthesis and integration. Every visual element is uniquely created for the purpose of conveying the specific information intended, rather than repurposed from other sources.
  2. The written product invites non-linear reading, and a quick scan allows readers to delve into the visual elements most interesting to them. If a reader is most attracted to photographs, maps, conceptual diagrams, or figures, they can migrate to these elements and the figure legends should be self explanatory. Alternatively, if reading text is the preferred way of obtaining information, the text is designed to be self sufficient. The juxtaposition of text and various visual elements also conveys important information, something that can be lost via hyperlinks on the web. In addition, electronic books with the current technology do not support color graphics.
  3. Since various IAN Press products are intended to inform a broad community from policy makers to the general public, the weight of scientific support that can be marshaled can be a factor in empowering people to action. In order to make an impact, the difference between hundreds of web pages and hundreds of printed pages is one reason to provide print versions of IAN products. In addition, internet access is not equally applied globally or socially, and in some societies and sectors of society, a written product provides a more accessible source, particularly through libraries and schools.
  4. Printed materials provide a 'time stamp', a fixed point of time when the data are assembled and the conclusions are reached. Rather than constantly updating the data and conclusions, drawing the line in the sand as to what is known at a particular time point is what printed products do. The shelf life of science communication products should be somewhat limited due to the increased scientific understanding based on ongoing research, yet the record of what is known, and when it is known, provides an important archival body of information.
  5. "The product drives the collaborative process"; in that the science communication product forces an intensely collaborative process of obtaining and refining visual elements, drafting and editing text, and experimenting with layout and design. While this collaborative process can be conducted with the production of web materials, print deadlines are a good way to insure timely delivery. In addition, to obtain buy-in from many scientists whose training and experience are in producing printed papers and books, printed copies are often necessary.