Section V. Integrating LTER science and resource management with regional environmental change through co-production
The BNZ LTER has a long history of collaboration with state and federal agencies regarding forest and wildlife management since it was jointly funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Forest Service in 1987. While much of what is known about forest ecosystem dynamics and response to environmental change in Alaska’s boreal forest derives from BNZ LTER research, our findings have not necessarily informed forest, wildfire, or wildlife management policies.
There is a growing consensus that collaboratively co-produced science that directly addresses stakeholder needs and strengthens science literacy and communication will be increasingly required to address environmental challenges, and that LTER sites are uniquely positioned to serve as bridge institutions to foster these interactions.
Here, we initiate a new collaborative program with wildfire and wildlife management institutions within Alaska to:
- Pursue coordinated science with stakeholders to fill management knowledge gaps
- Assess the outcomes of policy decisions with models that incorporate cross-scale feedbacks in the context of regional ecosystem dynamics
- Communicate syntheses of these activities to policy makers in meaningful ways
By fostering collaboration across diverse interests, sectors and institutional arrangements, we seek to contribute to a developing ecosystem stewardship framework that guides Alaskans to identify pathways of social-ecological change that enhance ecosystem resilience and long-term community wellbeing.