So you want your research to be relevant? Building the bridge between ecosystem services research and practice
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There is growing demand for information regarding the impacts of decisions on ecosystem services and human benefits. Despite the large and growing quantity of published ecosystem services research, there remains a substantial gap between this research and the information required to support decisions. Research often provides models and tools that do not fully link social and ecological systems; are too complex, specialized, and costly to use; and are targeted to outcomes that differ from those needed by decision makers. Decision makers require cost-effective, straightforward, transferable, scalable, meaningful, and defensible methods that can be readily understood. We provide illustrative examples of these gaps between research and practice and describe how researchers can make their work relevant to decision makers by using Benefit Relevant Indicators (BRIs) and choosing models appropriate for particular decision contexts. We use examples primarily from the United States, including cases that illustrate varying degrees of success in closing these gaps. We include a discussion of the challenges and opportunities researchers face in adapting their work to meet the needs of practitioners.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1016/j.ecoser.2017.06.003
Publication InfoBoyd, J; Johnston, RJ; Kagan, JS; Maguire, Lynn A; Olander, Lydia; Polasky, S; ... Yoskowitz, D (2017). So you want your research to be relevant? Building the bridge between ecosystem services research and practice. Ecosystem Services, 26. pp. 170-182. 10.1016/j.ecoser.2017.06.003. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/15181.
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Professor of the Practice Emeritus
Dr. Maguire's current research uses a combination of methods from decision analysis, environmental conflict resolution and social psychology to study environmental decision making. She focuses on collaborative decision processes where values important to the general public and stakeholders must be combined with technical analysis to determine management strategies. Her recent applications of decision analysis include the management of rare species, invasive species, and wildfire risk. Dr. Maguir
Adjunct Associate Professor in the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division
Lydia Olander directs the Ecosystem Services Program at Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. She co-leads Duke’s Ecosystem Services Working Group; and leads the National Ecosystem Services Partnership which is currently coordinating the Federal Resource Management and Ecosystem Services Project. She also works on environmental markets and mitigation, including forestry and agricultural based climate mitigation; wetland, stream and endangered species mitigation; and
Alphabetical list of authors with Scholars@Duke profiles.