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Manassas National Battlefield Park Natural Resource Condition Assessment - Executive Summary Permanent Link

Natural Resource Report NPS/NCRN/NRR—2011/414

Thomas JE, Campbell JP, Carruthers TJB, Dennison WC, Gorsira B, Lehman M and Nortrup M

This is a 12-page Executive Summary of the Manassas National Battlefield Park Natural Resource Condition Assessment.



Monocacy National Battlefield Natural Resource Condition Assessment - Executive Summary Permanent Link

Natural Resource Report NPS/NCRN/NRR—2011/415

Thomas JE, Banasik A, Campbell JP, Carruthers TJB, Dennison WC, Lehman M and Nortrup M

This is a 12-page Executive Summary of the Monocacy National Battlefield Natural Resource Condition Assessment.



Assateague Island National Seashore Natural Resource Condition Assessment Permanent Link

Natural Resource Report NPS/ASIS/NRR—2011/405

Carruthers TJB, Beckert KA, Dennison WC, Thomas JE, Saxby TA, Williams MR, Fisher T, Kumer J, Schupp C, Sturgis B, and Zimmerman C

Assateague Island National Seashore with lands and waters in Maryland and Virginia receives some two million visitors per year. After determining key habitats on Assateague Island, potential indicators were identified and data sourced. Attainment of reference condition was assessed for each metric and summarized by habitat and ultimately for the whole park. Based on these key findings, management recommendations were developed. Overall, the natural resources of Assateague Island National Seashore were assessed to be in fair condition. Download the PDF or purchase a hard copy from Lulu.



Assateague Island National Seashore Natural Resource Condition Assessment - Executive Summary Permanent Link

Natural Resource Report NPS/ASIS/NRR—2011/405

Carruthers TJB, Beckert KA, Dennison WC, Thomas JE, Saxby TA, Williams MR, Fisher T, Kumer J, Schupp C, Sturgis B, and Zimmerman C

This is a 12-page Executive Summary of the Assateague Island National Seashore Natural Resource Condition Assessment.



2011 Chesapeake Bay Dissolved Oxygen Forecast Permanent Link

For the past several years, Chesapeake Bay scientists have collaborated with EcoCheck to forecast summer dissolved oxygen conditions, based on flow and nutrient loading conditions through May. The 2011 anoxia forecast is supported through research at Johns Hopkins University, Old Dominion University, UMCES-Horn Point Lab, and the Chesapeake Bay Program. This forecast uses the same basis as previous anoxia forecasts—nitrogen loads—but adds other elements that may provide a better understanding of anoxia in the mainstem Bay. The forecast was divided into early summer and late summer predictions because for the past several years there has been a noticeable change in anoxic volume following wind events in late June and early July. The early summer anoxia forecast predicts moderate to poor conditions, based on nitrogen loads from January to April as well as high flow in May.



Science-to-Action Guidebook Permanent Link

a) a decision-maker's guide to using science
b) a scientist's guide to influencing decision-making

Karrer L, Beldia II P, Dennison WC, Dominici A, Dutra G, English C, Gunawan T, Hastings J, Katz L, Kelty R, McField M, Nunez E, Obura D, Ortiz F, Quesada M, Sivo L, and Stone G

Conservation International

Recognizing the importance of informed decisions and the differences between the scientific and decision-making processes, this guidebook provides practical tips on how to best bring these worlds together. It emphasizes the roles of facilitating, synthesizing, translating, and communicating science to inform conservation action. It includes two "guides" in one publication, one intended for scientists, and the other for decision-makers. It begins with the decision-maker's guide. To read the scientist's guide, go to the last page of the PDF and then read backwards page by page. The two documents culminate in a summary centerfold. Visit the Science to Action website for printed copies and further information.



Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment of the Verde Island Passage, Philippines Permanent Link

Boquiren R, Di Carlo G, and Quibilan MC

Conservation International

This report produced in collaboration between Conservation International and IAN contains the scientific studies of the Verde Island Passage (VIP) Vulnerability Assessment project that underpin the immediate and substantial actions needed to increase the adaptive capacity of Verde Island Passage's ecosystems and the people that depend on them. For more publications on the VIP Vulnerability Assessment project, see the IAN Press booklet and policy brief both entitled "Adapting to Climate Change: Maintaining ecosystem services for human well-being in the Verde Island Passage, Philippines".



2010 Trust Fund Water Quality Monitoring Strategy Permanent Link

This Monitoring Strategy was designed to identify nutrient reduction efficiencies of best management practices (BMPs) and provide information to determine what type of monitoring is needed by Trust Fund recipients to evaluate the effectiveness of BMP implementation. The main objective is to provide a comprehensive protocol that serves all water quality assessment needs when monitoring urban and agricultural non-point nutrient and sediment fluxes. The methods and results of several intensively monitored case studies indicate that BMP implementation can be highly effective at reducing nutrient and sediment fluxes to receiving waters.



Sampling and data analysis protocols for Mid-Atlantic tidal tributary indicators Permanent Link

EcoCheck in collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic Tributary Assessment Coalition

Wicks EC, Andreychek ML, Kelsey RH, Powell SL

This document provides guidelines for the successful production of tidal ecosystem health report cards. Specifically, this document develops clear and consistent protocols for the identification, collection, and analysis of indicators to be used by report card-producing organizations in the mid-Atlantic region.The overall objective of this protocol document is to encourage and enable comparisons of monitoring results from report card-producing organizations and to increase the scientific validity of report cards as outreach tools. This document is intended for use in tidal areas only, as the ecosystem health indicators and thresholds discussed are pertinent only to tidal ecosystems.



Case studies of Regional Ecosystem Research Permanent Link

Integration & Application Network in collaboration with the NOAA Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research

Eight case studies highlight lessons learned in conducting regional-scale research and incorporating this information into management. The case studies represent a wide variety of physical and ecological contexts; these include the Great Lakes (Lake Erie), a river-dominated coast (northern Gulf of Mexico), tropical lagoon systems (Micronesia and South Florida), and coastal ocean systems (California coast, Bering Sea, Gulf of Maine, and the Northwest Atlantic). Case studies were chosen to display the variety of issues, funding, and participation involved in regional ecosystem research. Each case study provides perspectives on planning and implementation of regional ecosystem research from the point-of-view of scientists and managers.



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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.

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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.