Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies

  • Icon for: Wayde Morse

    Wayde Morse

    Faculty
    May 21, 2013 | 04:32 p.m.

    Very important and interesting project.
    Questions:
    What is the coupled social ecological perspective?
    Is the integration the observation of the policy process and providing information to policymakers?
    I guess I see the coupled SES in the examples of how climate change impacts shellfish growers and reduced water supplies or how to reduce emissions that are spelled out in the legislation.

    A follow up of how the policy might changes (due to your physical science) could impact human systems would be an interesting next stage.

  • Icon for: Ashley Maloney

    Ashley Maloney

    Presenter
    May 21, 2013 | 07:24 p.m.

    Dear Professor Morse,

    Thank you for your questions.
    1. The coupled social-ecological perspective is the framework the IGERT Program on Ocean Change trains us to apply to ocean change investigations (rather than a pure natural science perspective which our individual disciplinary programs train us to use).
    2. The IGERT trainees working on this project come from disciplinary backgrounds in natural science. This group project will give us a chance to learn how science is used in the development of policy that addresses ocean change. We are particularly interested in how science is used in legislation concerning greenhouse gas emissions versus ocean acidification. Additionally, we are interested in bridging the gap between policy and science, and therefore have offered to apply our connections and resources at the University of Washington to answer any questions about climate and ocean science that the Workgroups may have.
    3. Indeed, ocean acidification will impact not only natural systems but also social industries such as the shellfish aquaculture.
    4. Finally, we are also curious if scientific findings will influence either ocean acidification or greenhouse gas emissions WA State policies.

  • Icon for: Sandra Pinel

    Sandra Pinel

    Faculty
    May 21, 2013 | 09:07 p.m.

    Ashley. Your project is very important. You mentioned that the goal was to have findings used by policy makers. What research questions is your team using to understand the best policy leverage points or method and context for communicating results to achieve that impact? Specifically, what interests are on the Marine Advisory Council and what strategies are being evaluated – what actors have to change their behavior to make such strategies operational?

  • Icon for: Ashley Maloney

    Ashley Maloney

    Presenter
    May 22, 2013 | 08:26 p.m.

    Dear Professor Pinel,
    Thank you for your question. Our research question is simple: how is scientific information incorporated into decision making? Furthermore, can graduate students trained in STEM disciplines make meaningful contributions to the formulation of policies concerning ocean acidification, greenhouse gas emissions, or both? We will evaluate the outcome by tracking the information we provide as it is utilized in the policy discussion to establish whether or not our participation as scientific staffers in the political process is an effective model for bridging the gap between science and policy. For instance, in the early stages of this project we were asked to comment on the scientific language in early versions of SB 5603 and SB 5802. Because all the language we commented on was cut from the bills before they were passed, we have early evidence that we did not contribute much to the discussion in those two cases. However, as the workgroups meet during the next several months to carry out the directives of each bill, we may be able to identify specific strategies that successfully incorporate scientific findings into policy recommendations. We may find that our model of participation is a better fit with the workgroup process than with the legislative process itself.
    In addition to our research question, we have an important learning objective: to learn first-hand how the legislative process works in Washington state. We have a rare opportunity to work directly with state legislators as they address difficult problems facing society, giving us the opportunity to learn through participant-observation.

  • Icon for: Jeffrey Lidz

    Jeffrey Lidz

    Faculty
    May 21, 2013 | 10:43 p.m.

    This sounds like a very important project. Can you say more about how you will evaluate the role that scientists have in shaping policy decisions?

  • Icon for: Ashley Maloney

    Ashley Maloney

    Presenter
    May 22, 2013 | 08:27 p.m.

    Thank you Professor Lidz. We are participating in two very different processes currently taking place in the State of Washington. Two workgroups have been established. One workgroup is considering options that the State has to meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets and another workgroup will consider options to mitigate local sources of ocean acidification. While these issues are closely related, we are interested in following both because it offers us the opportunity to compare the two processes. The two workgroups have very different structures (size as well as composition) and so we will be looking to identify how the differing political environments and stakeholder interests in these Workgroups influence how scientific information is incorporated into decision making. In that sense we are not strictly evaluating the role that scientists have in shaping policy decisions, but evaluating the path and outcomes of the two different processes and asking why they might be different. Furthermore, as mentioned in the above response, we want to know if this is a good model for bridging the gap between science and policy. To evaluate whether graduate students can play a role in shaping policy decisions we will keep track of our comments and recommendations and note if they are used or not.

  • Icon for: Aurora Sherman

    Aurora Sherman

    Faculty
    May 21, 2013 | 11:26 p.m.

    Hi Ashley,
    I think the translation of basic science, like Pacific lake core samples, into legislation is a terrifically important goal for science practitioners. However, I’m confused by both your poster and video which doesn’t really lay out clearly how you are integrating your basic science with legislative activities. Could you provide more information? Also, how will your team cope with the lack of science training on the part of some (many?) elected officials?

  • Icon for: Ashley Maloney

    Ashley Maloney

    Presenter
    May 22, 2013 | 08:28 p.m.

    Aurora,
    While each of us independently pursues our own highly disciplinary research, we are not focused on integrating our own particular research in current legislative activities. Instead we are serving as “science-staffers” for interested legislators to help bring decision-relevant science to the table, and to determine whether and how scientific information is used. You mention “the lack of science training on the part of some (many?) elected officials”, and that is exactly why we are excited to participate in this project and to discover whether or not our science training is a useful resource that can contribute to the political process in a meaningful and identifiable way.

  • Icon for: Gary Kofinas

    Gary Kofinas

    Faculty
    May 22, 2013 | 12:42 a.m.

    Ashley, Your IGERT sounds super interesting. Tell me more about 1) how do students in the program interact? Do you do collaborative research? 2) is part of students’ work to be trained in the policy process and or are any of the students studying the ways science is and is not integrated into policy? Thanks, g

  • Icon for: Ashley Maloney

    Ashley Maloney

    Presenter
    May 22, 2013 | 08:42 p.m.

    Hello Gary,
    Our IGERT Program on Ocean Change is very interesting.
    1) The students in our program interact to many ways. During a summer retreat we had the opportunity to brainstorm potential collaborative projects that address the tough issue of ocean change, during the fall we worked together to plan a unique Topics in Ocean Change seminar and hosted each speaker during the winter quarter. Most of us have started collaborative projects that address issues of ocean change. For this particular project we find time to discuss the goals of the project during the commute from Seattle to Olympia and we actively seek advice, ideas, and information from both scientists working at the University of Washington and our fellow trainees. Finally, the IPOC students end up taking a lot of the same classes so the discussions that take place during class sometimes led to future collaborations.
    2) We are trained through coursework in the policy process and by contributing to projects such as this one. There is one student studying the ways science is and is not integrated into policy concerning the Coral Triangle Initiative in the Philippines. Check out IPOC student dissertation work here: https://depts.washington.edu/igertpoc/participa...

  • Icon for: Gary Kofinas

    Gary Kofinas

    Faculty
    May 23, 2013 | 07:25 p.m.

    Indeed. V Interesting. Thanks, Gary

  • Icon for: Sandra Pinel

    Sandra Pinel

    Faculty
    May 23, 2013 | 09:25 a.m.

    Hello again, Ashley. I have read the inquiries and your responses. I encourage you and your team to incorporate the disciplines of political science, planing, decision science, and communications into your research. The question of how science affects policy- or not – is not a yes and no answer; the variables are complex and important as separate from scientific knowledge. Sandra

  • Icon for: Ashley Maloney

    Ashley Maloney

    Presenter
    May 24, 2013 | 12:58 a.m.

    Thanks Sandra!

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.

Poster Discussion

  • Icon for: Laurel James

    Laurel James

    Trainee
    May 21, 2013 | 12:39 a.m.

    Nice video and good luck!

  • Icon for: Ashley Maloney

    Ashley Maloney

    Presenter
    May 22, 2013 | 12:15 a.m.

    Thanks Laural!

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Faculty
    May 21, 2013 | 08:10 p.m.

    Really important work. A question: I see a clear service to policy makers — do you get involved with other groups of stakeholders, like commercial fishermen? Is some of your work aimed at understanding stakeholder issues, to understand how they canhear the science you are making available? I’d love to hear more about those conversations!

  • Icon for: Ashley Maloney

    Ashley Maloney

    Presenter
    May 21, 2013 | 11:13 p.m.

    Dear Dr. Drayton,
    Thanks for your comment. At this point our project has not directly involved stakeholders that are concerned with ocean acidification or greenhouse gas emissions, however that is certainly something we are interested in.

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    Deirdre Lockwood

    Guest
    May 23, 2013 | 10:41 a.m.

    Beautiful video, Ashley! I loved seeing the diversity of research represented by the project, and great on-location filming!

  • Icon for: Ashley Maloney

    Ashley Maloney

    Presenter
    May 24, 2013 | 12:56 a.m.

    Thanks for watching!

  • Small_default_profile

    Christopher Sabine

    Guest
    May 23, 2013 | 12:50 p.m.

    Excellent video…it was nice to see the diversity of projects covered by IPOC.

  • Icon for: Ashley Maloney

    Ashley Maloney

    Presenter
    May 24, 2013 | 12:56 a.m.

    Glad you liked it!

  • Small_default_profile

    Bryce Harrop

    Guest
    May 23, 2013 | 05:25 p.m.

    Cool video, Ashley. I like the action shots of all you guys.

  • Icon for: Ashley Maloney

    Ashley Maloney

    Presenter
    May 24, 2013 | 12:56 a.m.

    Thanks Bryce!

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.

Icon for: Ashley Maloney

ASHLEY MALONEY

Presenter’s IGERT
U of Washington
Years in Grad School: 3

Understanding the role of science in current ocean and climate legislation in the State of Washington

The IGERT Program on Ocean Change at the University of Washington is committed to training scholars to use integrative, cross-disciplinary, and cross-scale approaches to investigate problems of ocean change. Trainees learn how to address these problems from a coupled social-ecological perspective and communicate with diverse groups. Our diverse disciplinary research projects have indirect implications for society, but as trainees in the IGERT Program on Ocean Change, we are interested in how scientific findings are used by policy makers for the benefit of society. To learn how environmental science is used in the development of policy, we worked with Washington State policy makers as they developed draft legislation concerning ocean acidification and greenhouse gas emissions for Washington State. Going forward, we will serve as a resource for the Marine Resources Advisory Council and the Executive Work Group on Greenhouse Gas Emissions.