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Guanabara Bay Report Card (Report card) Permanent Link

This report card provides a transparent, timely, and geographically detailed assessment of health in Guanabara’s Bay and basin using data from 2013-2015. Guanabara Bay health and Guanabara Bay Basin health are defined as the progress of five water quality indicators toward scientifically-derived thresholds or goals. The indicators are combined into two water quality scores, one score for the Bay, and one for the Basin. The overall score for Guanabara Bay water quality was a D. The overall score for Guanabara Bay Basin water quality was a D. More information can be accessed on the report card website at guanabarabay.ecoreportcard.org.



Boletim de Saúde Ambiental da Baía de Guanabara (Report card) Permanent Link

Este boletim de saúde ambiental fornece uma avaliação transparente, oportuna, e geograficamente detalhada da saúde da Baía de Guanabara e sua bacia hidrográfica usando dados de monitoramento de 2013-2015. A saúde da Baía de Guanabara e da sua bacia hidrográfica são definidas através da análise de cinco indicadores comparados com limites ou metas cientificamente determinadas. Os indicadores são combinados em duas pontuações gerais, uma para a Baía e uma para a bacia hidrográfica. A pontuação geral para a qualidade das águas da Baía de Guanabara foi um D. A pontuação geral para a qualidade das águas da Bacia Hidrográfica da Baía de Guanabara foi um D.



Assessing bacterial levels in Charleston Harbor (Newsletter) Permanent Link

Project status newsletter

This newsletter describes the collaborative project between the University of South Carolina, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association to assess levels of bacteria in recreational waterways in Charleston Harbor. The goal of this project is to better inform the public on safety risks in various recreational waterways due to bacteria levels. This newsletter illustrates how bacteria enter recreational waterways and details the future of the How's the Beach? project and website.



2017 Summer Forecast (Presentation) Permanent Link

Forecasts of early summer anoxia, late summer anoxia, and July hypoxia in 2017

This website describes forecasts of three different components of dissolved oxygen in the mainstem of Chesapeake Bay. Early summer anoxia, late summer anoxia, and July hypoxia are forecasted by scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and the University of Michigan. The early summer anoxic volume is forecasted to be average in 2017. The late summer anoxic volume is forecasted to be slightly above average in 2017. The July hypoxic volume is forecasted to be slightly above average in 2017.



2016 Chesapeake Bay Report Card (Report card) Permanent Link

This report card provides a transparent, timely, and geographically detailed assessment of Chesapeake Bay. In 2016, the report card includes five water quality indicators and two biotic indicators. In 2016, the overall grade for Chesapeake Bay is a 54%, a C. This means the Bay is in moderate health. Long term trends of each reporting region health and a fisheries index are also presented. For further details, visit the Report Card Website.



Exploring Everglades ecosystem health (Newsletter) Permanent Link

Working together to develop a report card - meeting newsletter

This newsletter describes the results from the first workshop to develop the Everglades Report Card and provides a roadmap for the future of this project. Members of the RECOVER (REstoration COordination VERification) team met with the Integration and Application Network to begin work on the Everglades Report Card and 2019 System Status Report. This workshop, held in West Palm Beach, Florida, took a system-wide view and is the first of four workshops to create these two documents. The system status report will give results on restoration progress and current projects being completed to achieve restoration success in the Everglades. The Everglades Report Card will be a synthesized and integrated report on the current health of the Everglades ecosystems.



Tidal water quality indicator factsheets (Brochure) Permanent Link

In partnership with Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative and Chesapeake Bay Program

The Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative (CMC), as part of the Indicator Effectiveness Matrix objective, produced 12 factsheets describing 14 tidal water quality indicators. These indicators are part of the CMC's tidal water quality Quality Assurance Project Plan and Method Manuals. The factsheets are intended for nontraditional and volunteer monitoring groups to include as part of their water quality monitoring programs as education materials for their volunteers. The factsheets will be available during CMC training workshops as well as posted online.



Researchers and stakeholders address coastal vulnerability and freshwater security (Newsletter) Permanent Link

Belmont Forum Synthesis Workshop

The Belmont Forum is a consortium of research funders that have targeted funds toward research that actively integrates stakeholders into a co-design/co-development process with researchers. It is committed to fostering solutions to global sustainability challenges through innovative transdisciplinary research. On 10-12 December 2016, the Belmont Forum Synthesis Workshop was convened by the Belmont Forum and facilitated by FutureEarth Coasts and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in San Francisco, CA. Eleven of the thirteen funded project teams from around the globe addressing complex coastal vulnerability and freshwater security issues were present. This newsletter represents a synthesis of the results of the 13 funded projects, revealing real solutions for informed and deliberative decision making about sustainable resource use and development. The results provide further evidence that intense stakeholder engagement to co-develop locally based solutions is an approach that should be continued, expanded, and refined. This Workshop summary provides a brief overview of each project, identifies common themes that emerged, and provides recommendations for future Belmont Forum projects. 

 
 

 

 



“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.



IAN Report Card 2015 (Report card) Permanent Link

The aim of this report card was to complete IAN's first annual report. IAN staff reflected back on accomplishments from 2015 and developed indicators in 3 categories: social impacts, ecological outcomes, and partnership satisfaction. IAN received an overall grade of a B+.



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About

"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.