Assessment of the application of climate information in wildfire management and decision-making in Alaska

Measuring and evaluating progress in climate adaptation and decision support science necessitates a robust understanding of science co-production and communication within different management contexts.

For example, in Alaska, climate change is contributing significantly to wildfire activity and effects, which are expected to intensify in coming years. Wildfire managers at the state and federal level have therefore identified climate change and its ecological impacts as a top research need.

In order to better apply science and climate information in wildfire management in Alaska, it is critical to better understand how scientific information can most effectively contribute to decision-making through effective knowledge co-production and communication between scientists and managers.

The Alaska Fire Science Consortium (AFSC) is a boundary organization that convenes scientists and managers to better develop and apply science for decision-making. AFSC is formally partnering with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP) to better assist in this process.

In 2016, Melanie began conducting research to reflexively measure and evaluate the process of science co-production and communication within this context. Specifically, she will investigate the decision contexts of wildfire management in Alaska, explore organizational frameworks for connecting science with users, analyze the innovation of decision-support services and evolution of use-inspired science, and contribute to generalizable knowledge to inform decisions through science application.