by SM MCNEELEY · 2012 · Cited by 13 — recommendations for catalyzing scientific frontiers in use-inspired water–climate–society research. We realize that there are some who have been working on

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APRIL 2012AME RI CAN METEO ROLOGICA L SOC IETY |477AFFILI ATIONS : MCNEELEY , TESSE NDORF , AND LAZRUS ŠNCAR, Boulder, Colorado; LAZRUS ŠUniversity of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma; HEIKKILA ŠUniversity of Colorado, Denver, Colorado; FERGUSO NŠColorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado; ARRIGO ŠEast Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina; ATT ARI ŠColumbia University, New York, New York; CIA NFRA NIŠHampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts; DILLI NG AND KIRC HOFF ŠUniversity of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado; GURDAK ŠSan Francisco State University, San Francisco, California; KAMPF ŠColorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; KAU NECKIS ŠUniversity of Nevada, Reno, Nevada; LEE ŠSan Jose State University, San Jose, California; LINTN ER ŠRutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey; MAHONEY ŠUCAR, Boulder, Colorado; OPI TZ-STAPLE TONŠInstitute for Social and Environmental Transition, Boulder, Colorado; RAY ŠUniversity of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii; SOU TH ŠUniversity of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom; STUBBLEFIELD ŠHumboldt State University, Arcata, California; BRUGGER ŠUniversity of CaliforniaŠDavis, Davis, California CORRE SPON DIN G AU THOR: Shannon M. McNeeley, Advanced Study Program, Research Applications Laboratory/Integrated Science Program, NCAR, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307 E-mail: smcneele@ucar.ed uDOI:10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00221.1 ©2012 American Meteorological Society Catalyzing Frontiers in Water -Climate -Society Research A View from Early Career Scientists and Junior Faculty BY SHANN ON M. M CNEELEY , SARA H A. TESSE NDORF , HEA TH ER LAZRUS , TANYA HEIKKILA , IAN M. FERGUSO N, JENN IFER S. ARRIGO , SHAHZEE N Z. ATT ARI , CHRIS TINA M. CIA NFRA NI, LISA DILLI NG, JASO N J. GURDAK , STEP HANIE K. KAMPF , DEREK KAU NECKIS , CHRIS TINE J. KIRC HH OFF , JUNESEOK LEE , BENJ AMIN R. LINTN ER , KELLY M. M AHONEY , SARA H OPI TZ-STAPLE TON, PALLAV RAY , ANDY B. SOU TH , ANDREW P. STUBBLEFIELD , AND JULIE BRUGGER Changes in the availability and distribution of water have substantial effects on humans and the eco -systems upon which we depend. While we have al -ways experienced variability in the availability of water across a variety of time scales, anthropogenic climate change will likely bring substantial additional effects on water cycles and water resource management, such as changes in timing, amount, and patterns of precipi -tation; decreasing snow packs; enhanced droughts; and more frequent and intense floods and storms, among others. The scientific community faces the challenge of helping societies plan for climate and water uncertain -ties in the context of complex and changing socioenvi -ronmental processes such as multiple and competing water demands, population growth, land-use changes, and energy extraction and production. Meeting this challenge requires utilizing the strengths of diverse disciplines and working in synergistic collaboration with key stakeholders. In the spirit of this effort, a group of 27 junior faculty and early-career scientists, composed of social scientists, atmospheric scientists, and hydrologists, met in Boulder, Colorado, in July 2010 for a Junior Faculty Forum sponsored by NCAR ( jff/ p). Expert presentations and discussions focused on adaptation of human societies and water systems to climate change. In this article, the mem -bers of this group present a synthesis of our ideas and recommendations for catalyzing scientific frontiers in use-inspired waterŒclimateŒsociety research. We realize that there are some who have been working on this intersection and deserve to be cred -ited, but doing so is beyond the scope, word limit, and style of this article. To address this, we created a fiWe have to ask ourselves, are we doing the right thing? Or are we using scientific information to do the wrong thing more precisely?fl ŠR˜˚˛˝ P˙ˆˇ˘˝ (Director, NOAA National Integrated Drought Information System), NCAR Jr. Faculty Forum, July 2010

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APRIL 2012|478supplementary website, wcs, which includes many of the seminal works across multiple disciplines that we encourage readers to visit for references and additional resources. We intend this site to be dynamic, and we invite readers to contribute to it via the fiSubmit a Resourcefl func -tion in order to populate the site with what the peer community deems most relevant. THE WATER ŒCLIM ATEŒSOCIETY NE XUS. fiWe move water around to satisfy our needs in places we want to live. So, for adaptation, the places that we move water from, if they™re vulnerable to climate change, we are also vulnerable .flŠR˜˚˛˝ P˙ˆˇ˘˝ (Director, NOAA National Integrated Drought Information System), NCAR Jr. Faculty Forum, July 2010 Water is critical for all human and natural systems, from ecosystems and environmental sustainability to agriculture, food security, and public health, as well as to energy production and industry. Water is part of the fundamental dynamic, thermodynamic, and physical processes of the climate system, with complex nonlin -ear interactions and feedbacks across a broad range of spatial and temporal scales. Water is thus a primary nexus between climate and society, and the impacts of climate change on societies are likely to manifest most severely through impacts on water resources and societal responses to these impacts. The anticipated hydrological, ecological, and societal impacts from climate change challenge a number of long-held assumptions in water resource management. Climate change science teaches us that long-term planning (e.g., decadal or longer) can no longer rely on the past as a primary predictor of future conditions (i.e., assumptions of stationarity must be replaced with considerations of nonstationarity). We are likely to see climatic and hydrologic conditions that are outside of our range of direct experience, even for short-term planning (e.g., days, months, a year, 5Œ10 years), and could ultimately shift to a new finormalfl or baseline state. The uncertainties in climate change projections and impacts on social and ecological systems present profound scientific and planning challenges. One scientific challenge is to develop robust scenarios of future climate impacts on hydrology. Predicting human behavior adds layers of complexity to projecting future impacts, vulner -ability, and adaptation to environmental changes. It also presents challenges as to how we organize the production of scientific knowledge on climate and water and its use in society. Adaptation to climate change will require innova -tive, flexible institutional and organizational struc -tures to meet the challenges presented by complex patterns of change. It will also necessitate overcoming the difficulty of integrating various worldviews and ways of knowing across disciplines and cultures. The heavy reliance on highly uncertain model outputs at scales relevant to decision making along with a broad array of management regimes from water to energy underpin this challenge. Climate change adaptation compels the need for a new relationship between society and science that drives advances across all disciplines. Historical analogues are often invoked to show the human capacity for such huge endeavors (e.g., the race to space, the Manhattan Project); how -ever, the scale and pace of climate change on multiple time and space scales require a degree of unity beyond anything accomplished in the past. This is of greatest concern given the barriers that can cause inaction or resistance to proactive change in societal systems. THE NEED FO R A BI GGER TOOLBOX. A spectrum of research, from basic to applied to participatory, is needed to develop a dynamic and usable fitoolboxfl of innovative approaches, methods, and technologies that are truly integrative. Table 1 includes some of the frontiers in waterŒclimateŒ society research that we see as vital to this enterprise. We must insure a balance of opportunities for re -search from myriad disciplines without prioritizing certain ones at the expense of others, which can otherwise lead to disciplinary fiturf wars.fl Using the example of optimizing water systems in the arid American West, alterations to water system design and operation might be implemented under a more robust, comprehensive adaptation strategy instead of outdated ficommand and controlfl top-down strategies that can either negate or conflict with smaller-scale ecosystem or community processes. Water management systems based on stationarity assumptions (i.e., that water and climate cycles re -main within a certain range of variability) could be replaced by analytical and numerical strategies and techniques based on a nonstationarity framework, borrowing from understanding in geography and applied and physical climatology. This would neces -sarily involve water managers to integrate the sci -ence with real-world applications and expectations.

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APRIL 2012AME RI CAN METEO ROLOGICA L SOC IETY |479TABLE 1. Scienti˜c frontiers of waterŒclimateŒsociety science (see s for additional details and frontiers). Scientific frontier Description Examples Recommendations Incorporating non -stationarity into water research and planning These methods include the use of paleoclimate or historic data to expand the model range of hydrologic variability beyond the instrumental measurement record. Multiple hydroresearch projects in Europe funded nationally or by the Eurpean Union (see Kundzewicz 2011) Research on the development and implementation of new water-management strategies that are inherently flexible and adaptive enough to account for nonstationarity. Adaptation mainstreaming Incorporating adaptation science and strategies into existing decisions and policies. Mainstreaming adaptation to climate change into water resources management and rural development ( /virtual-library/113 2)Require applied research to understand how to mainstream adaptation initiatives into water resource-related areas such as agriculture, flood control, wastewater management, ecosystem health, fisheries, human health, and energy by supporting these initiatives as they are underway. Evaluation Adaptation research and planning is incomplete without a better understanding of whether scientific information is usable and is leading to better decision making. fiUsable Sciencefl handbook (http://cstpr /sparc/outreach /sparc_handboo k)Require the development and improvement of robust theoretical frameworks for defining performance indicators (i.e., what constitutes successful adaptation?), and longitudinal empirical work to assess how climate information is perceived and if it benefits users. Demand-side climate adaptations such as research on fivirtual waterfl Virtual water means accounting for the exchanges of water for goods and services produced in one place but used in another. The Water Footprint Network (www .waterfootprint .org/?page=files /hom e)Account for the effects of climate change and create a full fiwater footprintfl of local and remote consumption of water sources, especially as urban populations grow and increasingly depend on virtual water to sustain them. WaterŒenergyŒ climate nexus research Exploring the links between energy needs for water use and water needs, for energy extraction and production, and the implications under climate change. The WaterŒEnergy Nexus in the Western States ( /publications/ id/37 0)More research on this critical topic for sustainability to understand the complex linkages and tradeoffs be -tween climateŒwaterŒenergy under different energy-use scenarios and as new energy technologies evolve. Although disciplinary pieces have been and con -tinue to be developed, a completely interdisciplinary, participatory framework to address nonstationarity is not currently available. A common barrier to interdisciplinary work is the simple fact that disciplines often hold different points of view or entry points into problems, define concepts differently, and have conflicting priorities and scales of analysis. As an example, consider use of terms such as fismall scalefl and filarge scalefl that can exist even within disciplines, such as the time and spatial scales of weather phenomena versus longer-term, larger-

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APRIL 2012|480scale processes of climate. Therefore, a first step in interdisciplinary work is to assure use of shared concepts or, where that is not entirely feasible, to offer explicit explanations of the language that is used by each discipline. To define the language we use herein, adaptation means a process and/or an outcome of de -cision making that results in the fundamental, long- term systemic change of a social system in response to or in anticipation of climate variability or change. Adaptation assessment includes understanding the vulnerability of systems to suffer harm from climate variability and changes to hydrological cycles and water resources. It also examines adaptive capacity, which implies the potential of a system or population to modify its features and behavior so as to better cope with existing and anticipated climatic stresses. Climate change adaptation assessment neces -sarily implies working within a context of decision making and human responses to change. WaterŒ climateŒsociety adaptation research requires an inter -disciplinary, problem-oriented focus by the very nature of the questions involved. For example, understanding how water and populations in the western United States might respond to climate change implies that climatologists, hydrologists, social scientists (and other scientists and engineers), and stakeholders must all ad -dress pieces of the problem in an iterative and ongoing fashion. We know, for example, that the Colorado River Basin fiLaw of the Riverfl compacts were negotiated in a relatively wet time period and when society did not understand or have data on long-term climate trends to place early twentieth-century streamflow amounts into perspective. Despite our best efforts, we still see a chasm between scientific understanding about an -thropogenic climate change risks and water resource management and governance in the western United States. This multifaceted and complex problem has catalyzed efforts in academia (e.g., the Western Wa -ter Assessment at CU Boulder: http://wwa.colorado .ed u); the federal government (the Bureau of Reclama -tion Colorado Basin Study: /programs/crbstudy.htm l); and nonprofits (e.g., Carpe Diem West; http://carpediemwest.or g), to name a few, who are evaluating various aspects of the same waterŒclimateŒsociety problem. Yet, truly interdisci -plinary, integrated social-natural sciences adaptation research is on the periphery at best, and at worst it is nonexistent. While the study of climate-change adaptation is now several decades old in some corners of academia (e.g., in human geography, economics, political sci -ence), connecting this science to practice is in its infancy when viewed on a societal scale. The array of adaptation literature that exists offers specific recommendations and case studies, but also warns of those adaptation models that fail when discon -nected from context and social and policy priorities (which is, unfortunately, the rule rather than the exception). When we are working with common definitions and understandings, physical and social scientists can better address problems of adaptation and vulnerability. However, the level of support and capacity for such interdisciplinary efforts lags behind the need. Within academia, where there is considerable potential for pursuing transforma -tive, interdisciplinary work, it may be a firiskfl for early-career academics and scientists to pursue such work, given the need to cross disciplinary (and often departmental or programmatic) boundaries. This problem also applies to the difficulty of funding agencies or sponsors finding appropriately qualified reviewers of interdisciplinary proposals, as well as journal editors who must find reviewers who are knowledgeable in various disciplines. Increasingly, interdisciplinary proposals and journal submis -sions are reviewed by people who are likely very competent in their respective fields, but perhaps do not have the cross-disciplinary understanding to provide fair and/or substantive critiques of submis -sions outside their purview. In our view, a question that needs to be addressed is: What can be done to move past such institutional barriers? THE P ATH FORWARD . There is a clear need to engage in interdisciplinary research in order to address complex issues related to water, climate, and society. This in itself is not new, and yet many barriers remain for early career academics that inhibit engaging in such efforts. The infrastructure of our research institutions, such as university departments, funding programs, and government and nongovernment research orga -nizations, often do not readily facilitate researchers to work collaboratively or develop a basic understanding of the theories and methodologies of other disciplines. Compounding this problem is the challenge of iden -tifying avenues and outlets for conducting applied research within academic settings (such as is found within industry and other partnerships). For those wishing to engage in collaborative, interdisciplinary research that addresses pressing societal problems, how do we break disciplinary and institutional inertia and move forward? The appeal

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APRIL 2012AME RI CAN METEO ROLOGICA L SOC IETY |481to understand water use in the northeastern United States. At the initial investigators™ meeting, expecta -tions, deliverables, and time lines for each group were mapped out visually, providing a reference for the entire team to see how each discipline™s contri -bution fit together to satisfy project objectives. The investigators essentially had a fimetamethodologyfl for how the project would unfold, including ensur -ing adequate time and resources for each discipline™s methodological applications. Increase education and training across disciplines on applied waterŒclimateŒsociety problems . Developing shared frameworks and methodologies for interdisci -plinary research will be facilitated by educational and training opportunities that bring together new and seasoned scholars in the water, climate, and society research communities. From the undergraduate level through the upper tiers of continuing professional development, there are many ways to improve upon the fidisciplinary stovepipefl educational methods that have traditionally been the basis of scientific learning. While interdisciplinary programs, such as environmental studies, have been around for many years, some universities have recently developed more integrative programs to train the next generation of researchers and academic professionals in a diverse array of theory, methodology, and ways of conducting waterŒclimateŒsociety research (see www.ral.ucar. edu/projects/wc s for examples). Expanding opportunities within both traditional and interdisciplinary degree programs may be es -pecially appropriate at the undergraduate level, the state at which many students™ career plans are tenta -tive, and exposure to less traditional opportunities might spark innovation. Some of the fioff-the-shelffl mechanisms for providing these opportunities in -clude interdisciplinary minors or concentrations, internships, and double majors, which do not add significantly to a student™s graduation timeline but can yield important dividends. More fundamental restructuring of undergraduate curricula may also be in order, though it is recognized that doing so is challenging because course requirements are influenced by industry standards and accrediting bodies. For example, undergraduate programs in meteorology commonly conform to the American Meteorological Society (AMS)™s guidelines, and AMS has long used the GS-1340 National Weather Service series standards as its basis. However, the AMS Board on Education has the capacity to influ -of interdisciplinary research between climatologists, hydrologists, and social scientists is attested to by the cutting-edge ideas and work of the NCAR Junior Faculty Forum participants and speakers and the new and innovative waterŒclimateŒsociety initiatives that are already underway at universities and institutes in the United States and elsewhere (many examples are included in Table 1 and the supplementary website). However, the sustainability of these efforts is part of a much neededŠyet slow to transformŠculture change. The lessons learned from successful previous interdisciplinary initiatives can guide subsequent projects. Based on forum participants™ experiences, we have compiled four general suggestions for tack -ling the applied and interdisciplinary realm of waterŒ climateŒsociety research challenges. Create fimetamethodologiesfl and frameworks. We argue that a productive initial step of any interdisciplinary research team is the development of a metamethodol -ogy, or firoad map,fl for the project. A metamethodol -ogy is an agreed-upon set of guidelines to facilitate working together across disciplines while also al -lowing team members to retain the space for their own rigorous pursuit according to their discipline. Working across disciplines demands the awareness that others are operating with different viewpoints, approaches, and methodological practices, includ -ing different time lines and scales of analysis. For example, an anthropologist would require sufficient time to develop and carry out fieldwork and conduct analysis of data and be working at a community scale, while a hydrologist may be using existing data col -lected over several years or decades and be working within a specific watershed that encompasses multiple communities and scales of governance. A project metamethodology is an opportunity for investigators to explicitly outline expectations about what deliverables will be achieved and when in the course of a project they will be available. A metame -thodology explains how to identify team members from multiple disciplines (i.e., What expertise is needed to answer specific research questions?), estab -lishes a common language for the project (i.e., How is the project operationalizing a term such as fivulner -abilityfl?), and outlines a framework for project de -velopment and implementation that clearly delineates the roles and expectations of each team member at each phase. One forum participant gave an example where historians, engineers, hydrologists, and social scientists came together in an interdisciplinary effort

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APRIL 2012|482ence curriculum change as it periodically examines the undergraduate requirements for a bachelor of science degree in meteorology and offers recom -mendations that reflect advances in the discipline. This is but one example of a mechanism for expand -ing innovative curriculum requirements to train students across the social and natural sciences and better prepare them for a career in use-inspired research on these vexing problems. At the graduate level, the National Science Foun -dation Integrative Graduate Education, Research, and Traineeship (IGERT) program ( www.igert. org) is a good model for creating capacity for cross- departmental, interdisciplinary research and training across the social and natural sciences. The IGERT program provides a mechanism to institutionalize the connections between a group of students and their faculty advisors from different departments around classes and theses that are problem-oriented while still maintaining a firm grounding in their respec -tive home disciplines. There are a number of waterŒ climateŒsociety IGERT programs throughout the United States that are educating a cadre of academics and practitioners to work between the science and decision-making interface. See projects/wcs/# g for a list of graduate programs that includes several IGERTs that focus on waterŒclimateŒ society interactions. The challenge for those who want to stay in academia is to get adequate training in their home discipline to land a faculty position, because departments still tend to hire based on disciplinary criteria. IGERT faculty, however, would ideally work with their departments to create more flexibility for a new cadre of interdisciplinary faculty. Work with fiboundary organizations. fl fiBoundary or -ganizationsfl is a term for entities that bridge the sci -entific community with implementation and policy- making organizations. [NCAR Jr. Faculty Forum speakers came from such boundary organizations as the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET), the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), and The Rand Corporation (RAND); visit www. c for their URLs and other examples.] In many cases, these organizations transfer basic research into useful information for management and policy; in other cases, they span coalitions and act as policy entrepreneurs. Since boundary organizations connect academic science and real-world policy and decision making, they can facilitate research to span the boundaries of existing organizational networks in commerce, research, planning and development; communicate the needs and interests of decision makers to the climate and hydrologic modeling community to improve research and models; devise new methods of planning for long-term impacts that take into account uncertainty, risk, and equity; and communicate relevant research outcomes and model projections to diverse audiences with com -peting interests. Because of their unique role, boundary orga -nizations need to integrate rigorous research and analysis from a broad set of disciplines in order to adequately address the intersection of human agency, system dynamics, and processes of change that give rise to vulnerability. These organizations also recruit individuals with strong interdisciplin -ary backgrounds and offer new opportunities for collaboration as well as alternative career paths to individuals interested in pursuing research in non -academic settings. Find champions for institutional reform. Despite the emergence of educational programs, training oppor -tunities, and venues for engagement with stakeholders and decision-makers, much of the academic scientific community remains entrenched in career pathways and incentive structures that make it difficult for indi -viduals who engage in applied research transcending disciplinary boundaries to achieve tenure. Again, not all tenure-track individuals or professional research -ers need to engage in such work, but for those who do wish to engage in collaborative, problem-oriented research, alternative incentives are needed to evalu -ate, encourage, and reward such research. These in -centives could include interdisciplinary review panels at funding agencies, interdisciplinary journals and/ or special issues of journals, specialized tenure-track positions, new degree programs, and restructured departments. It should also include job review and promotion systems that truly value (via appropriate metrics) interdisciplinary research as well as working with stakeholders and the alternative outcomes and outreach this requires. Examples of such outcomes and outreach include gray literature, reports, com -municating results to stakeholder meetings, and multimedia products as much as traditional bench -marks such as getting external funding, presenting

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APRIL 2012|484[Available online at outreach/sparc_handbook .]Steele, T. W. and J. C. Stier, 2000: The impact of in -terdisciplinary research in the environmental sci -ences: A forestry case study. J. Amer. Soc. Inf. Sci., 51, 476Œ484. Please see our supplementary website for additional refer -ences and resources: s.

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