CSTPR has closed May 31, 2020: Therefore, this webpage will no longer be updated. Individual projects are or may still be ongoing however. Please contact CIRES should you have any questions.
Ogmius Newsletter

Project News

Science Policy Assessment and Research on Climate (SPARC)

The Center’s NSF project, Science Policy Assessment and Research on Climate (SPARC), is now in its third year.  As the following summary of activities indicates, SPARC has been very productive in addressing the connection of climate science policies to climate-related decision-making.

  • Eva Lovbrand from Sweden joined SPARC in January 2007 as a postdoctoral researcher.  Eva’s research will extend the scope of SPARC to the European research arena by building upon a case study of a large European climate research network, the ADAM programme (Adaptation and Mitigation strategies for climate change).  The ADAM programme has a very explicit aim to reconcile its knowledge supply with stakeholder demands, and is therefore of great interest in the SPARC context.
  • Follow-up activities continue from the May 2006 Workshop on Climate Change and Disaster Losses: Understanding and Attributing Trends and Projections.  A summary brochure was distributed at the FCCC COP in Nairobi in December.  Peter Hoeppe and Roger Pielke, Jr. have prepared a summary that will appear in the Munich Re annual GeoTopics summary of disasters.  The workshop report is available online and has been featured in various journals and news media.
  • Netra Chhetri has been leading an effort to conduct a sensitivity analysis of water resources to multiple stressors in the southwestern United States.  One of the outcomes of this work has been the development of a draft white paper on “Decision Making under Uncertainty: Ranking of Multiple Stressors on Central Arizona Water Resources”. The white paper served as the basis for a workshop on “Ranking of Stressors on Water Resources” that brought together 30 experts from 15 institutions.  The findings from the paper, which was endorsed by workshop participants with comments, reveal that water used for outdoor irrigation for single family residences and irrigation for agriculture play a larger role in creating future impacts than does climate change, and are arguably more amenable to policy makers for managing demand in these sectors.
  • Mark Neff is working on a bibliometric study of the output of the field of ecology in order to map changing research priorities as background research for the ecosystem sensitivity analysis. He presented his research at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting and the Gordon Research Conference on Science and Technology Policy. Mark attended the recent meeting of the Association for Fire Ecology in San Diego to assess the possibility of using western forests as the subject of SPARC’s second ecosystem sensitivity analysis. The subject of the meeting was the role of climate change in fire ecology.
  • Myanna Lahsen is conducting research for SPARC on development issues related to climate, including adaptation, vulnerability assessments and, more generally, how science is used or not used in determining climate policy and associated development decision making. An end product is an article manuscript seeking to explain why Latin American countries appear to have been particularly disinclined to consider the merits of adaptation as an element of overall policy responses. Her data will be mostly from Brazil and the article will specifically focus on this country context.
  • Elizabeth McNie is in the data collection phase for her SPARC dissertation work on the Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISAs).  She is currently working with Bill Clark’s group at Harvard researching boundary organizations in Indonesia as part of a recently funded project.
  • Nat Logar’s dissertation research on Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is continuing, as part of larger comparative study on how agencies reconcile supply and demand for information.  In addition to expanding the breadth of this research, Nat will focus on how ARS integrates its research with other relevant bodies within the USDA, such as the Natural Resource Conservation Services, Extension Services, and Economic Research Services.
  • Ryan Meyer has been mapping the US Climate Change Science Program’s (CCSP) strategic plan, and has presented preliminary results at the Gordon Research Conference on Science and Technology Policy, and at the annual meeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science.  He is currently developing plans to map the decision making (or agenda setting) landscape of the supply side of climate science in the US.
  • Genevieve Maricle's dissertation is looking at the role of science studies in science policy, and human dimensions research related to climate change.
  • Two recent special sessions were organized by SPARC members.  Genevieve Maricle and Roger Pielke, Jr. co-chaired “Questioning Relevance: Exploring the boundary between STS and STP” at the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S) and Lisa Dilling, Nat Logar, Genevieve Maricle and Rebecca Morss (NCAR) co-chaired: “Creating usable science in the 21st Century: Strategies for more effectively connecting science to societal needs” at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting.
  • SPARC members also presented at The Second Symposium on Policy and Socio-Economic Research, 87th AMS Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas and at the AAAS Special Session on “Decision-Making Under Uncertainty: The Challenge of Sustainable Well-Being,” which highlighted the work of the DMUU centers, including SPARC.

Recent SPARC Publications

Pielke, Sr., R.A. and R.A. Pielke, Jr. 2006. Climatology: between Science and Politics, Heartland: Eurasian Review of Geopolitics, 2, pp. 59-63.

Pielke, Jr., R. A. 2006. Climate change is serious, but we have to have a realistic response, Guardian Unlimited, London, United Kingdom, 13 October.

Pielke, R.A., 2006. What just ain’t s It is all too easy to underestimate the challenges posed by climate change. Book review of Kicking the Carbon Habit: Global Warming and the Case for Renewable and Nuclear Energy by William Sweet, Nature, Vol 443, pp. 753-754.

Höppe, P. and R.A. Pielke, Jr. (eds.), 2006. Workshop on Climate Change and Disaster Losses: Understanding and Attributing Trends and Projections, Final Workshop Report. Hohenkammer, Germany, 25-26 May.

Dilling, L. (ed.), 2006. Workshop on Decision Support and Carbon Cycle Science: Practical Strategies to Reconciling the Supply of and Demand for Carbon Cycle Science, Final Workshop Report. Boulder, Colorado, 13-14 June 2005.

Chhetri, N., 2006. Decision Making Under Uncertainty: Ranking of Multiple Stressors on Central Arizona Water Resources, Workshop on Water Stressor Ranking, 2-3 November.