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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1049

Science in the Public Sphere: Greater Sage-grouse Conservation Planning from a Transdisciplinary Perspective

By Alicia Torregrosa, Michael L. Casazza, Margaret R. Caldwell, Teresa A. Mathiasmeier, Peter M. Morgan, and Cory T. Overton


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Integration of scientific data and adaptive management techniques is critical to the success of species conservation, however, there are uncertainties about effective methods of knowledge exchange between scientists and decisionmakers. The conservation planning and implementation process for Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; ) in the Mono Basin, Calif. region, was used as a case study to observe the exchange of scientific information among stakeholders with differing perspectives; resource manager, scientist, public official, rancher, and others.

The collaborative development of a risk-simulation model was explored as a tool to transfer knowledge between stakeholders and inform conservation planning and management decisions. Observations compiled using a transdisciplinary approach were used to compare the exchange of information during the collaborative model development and more traditional interactions such as scientist-led presentations at stakeholder meetings. Lack of congruence around knowledge needs and prioritization led to insufficient commitment to completely implement the risk-simulation model. Ethnographic analysis of the case study suggests that further application of epistemic community theory, which posits a strong boundary condition on knowledge transfer, could help support application of risk simulation models in conservation-planning efforts within similarly complex social and bureaucratic landscapes.

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Contact Information, Western Geographic Science Center
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Menlo Park, California 94025

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Suggested citation:

Torregrosa, Alicia., Casazza, M.L., Caldwell, M.R., Mathiasmeier, T.A., Morgan, P.M., Overton, C.T., 2010, Science in the public sphere; Greater Sage-grouse conservation planning from a transdisciplinary perspective: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1049, 31 p.





Case Study


Results and Discussion

Transdisciplinary Research Structure

Conclusions and Future Research

References Cited

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