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Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Newsletter Permanent Link

This newsletter describes the diverse ecosystems and the issues and threats surrounding the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in southwest Florida. The Rookery Bay NERR covers 110,000 acres of coastal lands and waters in Collier County on the Gulf coast of Florida. The Reserve takes its name from the mangrove rookery islands that serve as a roost and nesting site for dozens of coastal birds. Learn more about the Rookery Bay Reserve and its ecosystems in this newsletter! Produced in collaboration with Rookery Bay NERR staff.



Report card of the Meta River Basin, Colombia Permanent Link

Evaluation of Colombian tributaries of the Orinoco

This newsletter summarizes the outcomes from the first workshop to develop the Meta River Basin Report Card. This is one of three tributaries to the Orinoco River that report cards are being developed for in Colombia. Values, threats, and indicators were the key items determined in the three day workshop that took place in Puerto Lopez, Colombia.



Reporte de Salud de la Cuenca del río Meta, Colombia 

Permanent Link

Evaluación de los tributarios colombianos del Orinoco

Este boletín resume los resultados del primer taller para desarrollar el Reporte de la cuenca del río Meta. Este es uno de los tres afluentes del río Orinoco que las boletas de calificaciones se están desarrollando en Colombia. Los valores, las amenazas y los indicadores fueron los elementos clave determinados en el taller de tres días que tuvo lugar en Puerto López, Colombia.



The changing North Woods and moose Permanent Link

Scenario planning to inform land and wildlife management

A scenario planning exercise focused on climate change, land use, and moose
in the Northeast U.S. is being undertaken by the Wildlife Conservation Society,
North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Northeast Climate Science
Center (U.S. Geological Survey), and the University of Maryland Center for
Environmental Science. Phase 1 of the scenario planning process involves
the identification of key features and drivers within the focus system. This
newsletter summarizes the scientific state of knowledge and associated
uncertainties from a workshop held at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries
and Wildlife headquarters in Westborough, MA on 4–5 February 2015.



Climate change, the boreal forest, and moose: Scenario planning to inform land and wildlife management Permanent Link

A pilot project for boreal forests in Northeastern United States

While moose have documented thermal tolerances and habitat requirements, uncertainties remain regarding the pathways through which climate change might affect the species and the nature and timing of its response, presenting an opportunity to proactively consider the implications for the management and conservation of this species into the future from a multi-state perspective.

Scenario planning is one decision support method that can help managers incorporate information about future changes in climate and other drivers into their management decisions. The development of future scenarios (of climate change, socioeconomic conditions, land use changes, and ecological responses) can help state and federal managers understand plausible ecological futures, vulnerabilities, and opportunities as a result of climate change and related stressors.

 



Missouri River Basin report card workshop newsletter Permanent Link

The America's Watershed Initiative Report Card project continued with regional workshops for the Missouri River Basin, held in Rapid City, South Dakota, May 22–23, 2014 and in Kansas City, Missouri, August 26, 2014. At the workshop, stakeholders and experts from social, economic, and environmental sectors identified easily understood and transparent ways to measure status and trends for the Missouri River Basin in relation to six broad goals. Similar workshops have been convened in all of the basins and results will be integrated into a report card for the entire Mississippi River Basin.



Mississippi River Report Card whole watershed report card workshop newsletter Permanent Link

The America's Watershed Initiative concluded the series of workshops in the five basins with a meeting in Arlington, Virginia to discuss the integration of basin results into the overall watershed results. The meeting also addressed issues that are applicable at the scale of the entire watershed, but that were not evident from the basin workshops. This meeting built on the results of the workshops held in each of the basins in the watershed over the previous year.



Arkansas River and Red River Basins report card workshop newsletter Permanent Link

The America's Watershed Initiative Report Card project continued with a regional workshop for the Arkansas River and Red River Basins, held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 14–15, 2014. At the workshop, stakeholders and experts from social, economic, and environmental sectors identified easily understood and transparent ways to measure status and trends for the Arkansas River and Red River Basins in relation to six broad goals. Similar workshops have been or will be convened in each of the four remaining sub-basins and results will be integrated into a report card for the entire Mississippi River Basin.



Lower Mississippi River Basin report card workshop newsletter Permanent Link

The America's Watershed Initiative Report Card project continued with a regional workshop for the Ohio River Basin, held in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 25-26, 2014. At the workshop, stakeholders and experts from social, economic, and environmental sectors identified easily understood and transparent ways to measure status and trends for the Lower Mississippi River Basin in relation to six broad goals. Similar workshops will be convened in each of the remaining sub-basins and results will be integrated into a report card for the entire Mississippi River Basin.



Ohio River Basin report card workshop newsletter Permanent Link

The America's Watershed Initiative Report Card project continued with a regional workshop for the Ohio River Basin, held near Cincinnati, Ohio, on December 12–13, 2013. At the workshop, stakeholders and experts from social, economic, and environmental sectors identified easily understood and transparent ways to measure status and trends for the Ohio River Basin in relation to six broad goals. Similar workshops will be convened in each of the four remaining sub-basins and results will be integrated into a report card for the entire Mississippi River Basin.



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

Goals

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.

Authorship

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.

Color

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.

Audience

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.