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Moser, Susanne C., David W. Cash, and William C. Clark. 1998. "Local Response to Global Change: Strategies of Information Transfer and Decision Making for Cross-Scale Environmental Risks." Summary of a workshop held 29-30 January 1998, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

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Abstract

On 29-30 January 1998 a research planning workshop entitled "Local Response to Global Change: Strategies of Information Transfer and Decision Making for Cross-Scale Environmental Risks" was convened at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Its goal was to explore the integration of scientific information and environmental policy and management processes through a focus on linkages between information and decision systems across different scales. The workshop brought together seventeen practitioners and scholars from ecology and environmental science, political science, jurisprudence, economics, geography, agriculture, rural community development, coastal studies and management, and several national and federal research institutions concerned with global change.

The workshop was conducted in the context of an emerging longer term research program on cross-scale environmental risks and the role of information and decision systems in their effective management. Two collaborative studies are being conducted to refine research hypotheses and protocols for that program. These studies examine strategies for integrating cross-scale information and decision making systems in response to climate change in two arenas: 1) the agricultural sector in the U.S. Great Plains with special focus on climate change and variability in water resource management - particularly of the Ogallala Aquifer; and 2) the U.S. coastal zone with special focus on vulnerabilities resulting from potential accelerated sea-level rise. Prior to the workshop, invitees had received for review a theoretical concept paper entitled "Information and Decision Making Systems for the Effective Management of Cross-Scale Environmental Problems" and an accompanying research protocol.

The workshop was designed as a forum to critically appraise the theoretical paper and the research protocol, and to begin the broader task of sketching a long-range, multi-institutional, interdisciplinary research program on the effective management of cross-scale environmental risks.

 

 
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