Regional Graduate Student and Early Career Researcher Training II

Funding Amount and Duration:

$58,917 from October 1, 2015 - September 30, 2016

Funding Source:

US Geological Survey

Principal Investigators:

Derek Rosendahl, South Central Climate Science Center

Cooperators & Partners:

  • Aparna Bamzai (Co-PI), University of Oklahoma
  • Renee McPherson (Co-PI), University of Oklahoma
  • John Zak, Texas Tech University
  • Kristine DeLong, Louisiana State University
  • Keith Dixon, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab
  • Victor H. Rivera-Monroy, Lousiana State University
  • April Taylor, Chickasaw Nation, South Central CSC
  • Duncan Wilson, Oklahoma State University
  • Graduate students and post docs from across the consortium collaborated on training development. 

About:

Final Report

Recorded Training Talks

Investigating the complex natural and cultural resource management challenges we face today requires building diverse, interdisciplinary research teams. Robust stakeholder engagement is also critical for ensuring that publicly funded science answers questions that are relevant to natural and cultural resource management decisions. Early career scientists who learn how to engage with multi-disciplinary research teams and stakeholders in the early stages of their career have a competitive advantage in the workforce and can help develop actionable science that addresses critical management questions.

This project builds upon the successes of the 2014 Early Career Training to develop a week-long professional development training for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and early-career environmental professionals within the South Central Climate Science Center (SC CSC) region. The training will provide a foundation for working in today’s interdisciplinary, stakeholder-driven research contexts and remove institutional barriers at an influential time of development for participants. Participants will be encouraged to continue networking across the SC CSC through their research pathways and be leaders in outcome-oriented, interdisciplinary research that addresses stakeholder-driven research questions.

Online Climate Change Impacts Course

Funding Amount and Duration:

$144,132 from August 15, 2015 - January 30, 2018

Funding Source:

US Geological Survey

Principal Investigators:

Aparna Bamzai, South Central Climate Science Center

Cooperators & Partners:

  • Renee McPherson (Co-PI), OU
  • Jeff Muehring (Co-PI), NextThought LLC
  • Jean Ann Bowman, TAMU
  • A range of collaborators from the SC CSC consortium, USGS and DOI partners, and associated Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs)

About:

View Course Videos on YouTube

View Course Materials at Janux.ou.edu

Most resource managers need to take climate impacts into account when making decisions during the course of their career, whether their work protects native species populations, reduces the impact of extreme storms on infrastructure, or improves water quality in a watershed. Professional training that develops an understanding of the climate system, how it is changing, and what that means for various natural and cultural resources can help improve long-term management outcomes. However, not all agencies or organizations have the capacity to provide this important training, limiting the ability of managers to interpret complex climate data and address climate-related questions.

Therefore, this project developed an online, interactive course titled “Managing for a Changing Climate.” The course is free and available worldwide for anyone with an internet connection through the Janux platform. Course content and assignments provide students with an integrative understanding of the climate system, the role of natural variability in the climate system, external drivers of climate change, and the implications of climactic shifts for natural and cultural resources. Resources managers, tribal environmental professionals, staff and students at other Climate Science Centers and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, and members of the general public can participate freely.

Material for this course was developed in partnership with NextThought LLC, NASA through the Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium, and the University of Oklahoma College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences. The course is also offered as a 3-credit upper division undergraduate course in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma.

Regional Graduate Student, Post-Doc, and Early Career Researcher Workshop

Funding Amount and Duration:

$50,959 from October 1, 2013 - April 30, 2014

Funding Source:

  • U.S. Geological Survey

Principal Investigators:

  • McPherson, Renee (OU)
  • Rosendahl, Derek (OU)
  • Bamzai, Aparna (OU)

Cooperators & Partners:

  • Taylor, April (Chickasaw Nation)
  • Rivera-Monroy, Victor H. (LSU)
  • Zak, John (TTU)
  • Wilson, Duncan (OSU)
  • Dixon, Keith (NOAA GFDL)

About:

Early Career Training “How-To” Guide

Final Report

Led by the consortium of the South Central Climate Science Center (SC CSC), this project will develop and implement a professional development workshop for graduate students, post-docs, and early career researchers within the SC CSC region. The objectives are to: (1) introduce participants to the goals, structure, and unique research-related challenges of the SC-CSC and its place within the U.S. Department of the Interior and the larger CSC network, offering them insight into how their research fits into the broader research priority goals and its eventual applicability to end user needs across the region; (2) provide an opportunity for participants to present their research to fellow peers; (3) facilitate interdisciplinary interactions between participants within the SC-CSC purview in an effort to foster collaboration opportunities; and (4) generate a set of digitally recorded presentations on the SC-CSC enterprise, a “how to” guide for conducting similar workshops, and a collection of project outlines from small group discussions for internal use. The desire is to remove the institutional barriers, or “silos,” at an influential time of development for these early career professionals and to build a cohort who can continue networking through their research pathways and who can understand and eventually lead outcome-oriented, interdisciplinary research.

Building Capacity within the CSC Network to Effectively Deliver and Communicate Science to Resource Managers and Planners

Funding Amount and Duration:

$50,000 from September 1, 2012 - December 1, 2013

Funding Source:

  • U.S. Geological Survey

Principal Investigators:

  • Dennis Patterson, TTU

Cooperators & Partners:

  • Katharine Hayhoe, TTU
  • Riley Dunlap, OSU

About:

Final Report

A limited amount of valid scientific information about global climate change and its detrimental impacts has reached the public and exerted a positive impact on the public policy process or future planning for adaptation and mitigation. This project is designed to address this limitation by bringing together expertise in the social and communication sciences from targeted academic institutions affiliated with the Department of the Interior’s Climate Science Centers (CSCs) by means of a workshop. Workshop attendees will address and examine barriers to climate communication and methods for communicating science for policy application and engaging media and outreach. Results from the workshop will be published and made available as a resource to CSCs, scientists, land managers, and policymakers. This effort will bring together the expertise needed to ensure that the nation’s CSCs are able to effectively communicate the science of the important but often misunderstood issue of anthropogenic climate change and meaningfully support effective policy across the United States.