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Staff Publications
You are currently viewing all 38 publications by Tracey Saxby. You can browse/search by year/month, and search terms to view other publications in the database.


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“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.



Conceptual Diagrams (Newsletter) Permanent Link

Tools for science communication

This newsletter details the use of symbols as a visual language. Symbols are useful for depicting unequivocal messages that transcend cultures, languages and times. The use of symbols to construct conceptual diagrams ('thought drawings') can be an effective tool for science communication and problem solving. Conceptual diagrams help to clarify thinking and provide a communication interface between scientists and non-scientists. They can be used in a variety of publications including presentations, posters, science communication publications and peer reviewed scientific papers (color or b&w). The IAN symbol libraries contain hundreds of symbols for use in scientific conceptual diagrams. These symbols are available for free from the IAN website.



2015 Willamette River Report Card (Report card) Permanent Link

In 2014, the Meyer Memorial Trust brought together more than 20 university, agency, and technical experts to help create the first Willamette River report card. With support from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the team of experts identified key indicators to capture a current picture of river health against which to measure future changes. Overall, the Willamette River scored a B-. The health of the river declines as it flows downstream, with both the upper and middle Willamette scoring a B and the lower Willamette scoring a C+. Download the Willamette River Report Card to learn more about the health of the Willamette, and what you can do to make it better.



Willamette River Report Card 2015 (Report) Permanent Link

Scoring and Methodology

Simon Costanzo, Heath Kelsey and Tracey Saxby

n 2014, the Meyer Memorial Trust brought together more than 20 university, agency, and technical experts to help create the first Willamette River report card. With support from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the team of experts identified key indicators to capture a current picture of river health against which to measure future changes. Overall, the Willamette River scored a B-. The health of the river declines as it flows downstream, with both the upper and middle Willamette scoring a B and the lower Willamette scoring a C+. Download the methodology used to develop scores and grades for the Willamette River Report Card.



2013 Chesapeake Bay Report Card (Report card) Permanent Link

This report card provides a transparent, timely, and geographically detailed assessment of Chesapeake Bay. In 2013, the report card includes five water quality indicators and two biotic indicators. In 2013, the overall grade for Chesapeake Bay is a 45%, a C. This means the Bay is in moderate health. Fisheries indicators as well as trajectories of reporting region health are also presented. For further details, visit the Report Card website.



Upper Mississippi River Sub-Basin report card workshop newsletter (Newsletter) Permanent Link

The America's Watershed Initiative Report Card project began with a regional workshop for the Upper Mississippi River Sub-Basin, held in Moline, Illinois on September 11–12, 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 Upper Mississippi River Sub-Basin in relation to six broad goals. Similar workshops will be convened in each of the five remaining sub-basins and results will be integrated into a report card for the entire Mississippi River Basin.



Maryland's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act Plan (Report) Permanent Link

"Climate change is real. Scientists agree. It's happening now. It's harmful and human-caused. We can make a difference through our actions." In 2009, Governor Martin O’Malley and Maryland’s General Assembly charged the State with developing a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan that will reduce greenhouse gases 25 percent by the year 2020. This report provides a detailed overview of Maryland’s Plan, describing Maryland’s vulnerability to climate change and detailing Maryland’s 150-plus Greenhouse Gas Reduction programs and initiatives and their associated benefits.



Helping your woodland adapt to a changing climate (Report) Permanent Link

As Maryland's climate changes, your woodland may be more susceptible to natural disturbances such as storms, droughts, insect and disease outbreaks, or other stressors that can damage trees or slow their growth. As a good woodland steward, now is the time to make smart environmental and economic decisions, and implement the most effective strategies to help your woodlands adapt to climate change. This guide explains the potential impacts of climate change in Maryland and how they may affect your woodland. Management options are described for each of these climate change impacts to reduce or avoid loss of forest cover, declines in forest productivity, and reductions in the environmental benefits of woodlands.





Maryland's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan: Executive Summary (Report) Permanent Link

"Climate change is real. Scientists agree. It's happening now. It's harmful and human-caused. We can make a difference through our actions." In 2009, Governor Martin O’Malley and Maryland’s General Assembly charged the State with developing a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan that will reduce greenhouse gases 25 percent by the year 2020. This executive summary provides an overview of Maryland’s Plan, describing Maryland’s vulnerability to climate change and summarizing Maryland’s 150-plus Greenhouse Gas Reduction programs and initiatives and their associated benefits.



An economic analysis of ecosystem-based adaptation and engineering options for climate change adaptation in Lami Town, Republic of the Fiji Islands (Report) Permanent Link

Technical report

Rao NS, Carruthers TJB, Anderson P, Sivo L, Saxby TA, Durbin, T, Jungblut V, Hills T and Chape S

The narrow coastal area of Lami Town, Fiji, is surrounded by steep hills with three rivers flowing to the ocean, making it highly susceptible to flooding and erosion. This technical report provides greater detail of the cost-benefit assessment of four adaptation scenarios to reduce Lami Town's vulnerability to flooding and erosion, both of which are projected to increase due to climate change. These four adaptation scenarios represent the spectrum of ecosystem-based and engineering-based adaptation options. Historically, engineering-based solutions such as building structures to directly increase protection from waves and flooding have been predominantly used. However, ecosystem-based adaptation approaches are increasingly recognized as they provide additional benefits beyond solely reducing the identified threat. For example, key habitats such as coral reefs, mangroves, seagrasses, and forests offer natural protection from storms, and also provide ecosystem services, supporting fisheries and tourism. This report compares the cost-benefit of each adaptation scenario in relation to the effectiveness at avoiding damages, provides key recommendations, and a step-by-step process for decision making.



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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.

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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.