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CENTER Publications

Below is a sample of recent publications by CSTPR faculty (Center personnel highlighted):

articleTen Essentials for Action-Oriented and Second Order Energy Transitions, Transformations and Climate Change Research

by I. Fazey, N. Schäpke, G. Caniglia, B. Goldstein, et al. (2018). Energy Research & Social Science, 40, 54-70.

Abstract: The most critical question for climate research is no longer about the problem, but about how to facilitate the transformative changes necessary to avoid catastrophic climate-induced change. Addressing this question, however, will require massive upscaling of research that can rapidly enhance learning about transformations. Ten essentials for guiding action-oriented transformation and energy research are therefore presented, framed in relation to second-order science. They include: (1) Focus on transformations to low-carbon, resilient living; (2) Focus on solution processes; (3) Focus on ‘how to’ practical knowledge; (4) Approach research as occurring from within the system being intervened; (5) Work with normative aspects; (6) Seek to transcend current thinking; (7) Take a multi-faceted approach to understand and shape change; (8) Acknowledge the value of alternative roles of researchers; (9) Encourage second-order experimentation; and (10) Be reflexive. Joint application of the essentials would create highly adaptive, reflexive, collaborative and impact-oriented research able to enhance capacity to respond to the climate challenge. At present, however, the practice of such approaches is limited and constrained by dominance of other approaches. For wider transformations to low carbon living and energy systems to occur, transformations will therefore also be needed in the way in which knowledge is produced and used. Read more ...

articleLearning to Expect Surprise: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Beyond

by L. Dilling, R. Morss, and O. Wilhelmi (2018). Journal of Extreme Events 4(3), doi: 10.1142/S2345737617710014.

Abstract: Extreme events often bring unexpected situations and impacts, as the sequence of hurricanes and other natural disasters in summer and fall 2017 demonstrated. To reduce the risks associated with such events, many have focused on reducing uncertainty in prediction or reducing vulnerability. Although both are worthy goals, we suggest that the research community should also be focusing on the nature of surprise itself, to investigate the role of surprise in extreme events and its implications. Surprise arises when reality differs from people’s expectations. Multiple factors contribute to creating surprise, including the dynamic nature of natural and human systems, the limitations of scientific knowledge and prediction, and the ways that people interpret and manage risks, not to mention climate variability and change. We argue that surprise is an unavoidable component of weather and climate disasters — one that we must acknowledge, learn to anticipate, and incorporate into risk assessment and management efforts. In sum, although it may seem paradoxical, we should be learning how to expect surprise. Read more ...

articleFraming in Climate Change Videos.

by B. Osnes, R. Safran, and M. Boykoff
by B. León, M. Boykoff, J. Huda, and C. Rodrigo (2018). Communicating Science and Technology Through Online Video: Researching a New Media Phenomenon, Ed. B. León and M. Bourk, 107-119, Routledge.

Online video’s unique capacity to reach large audiences makes it a powerful tool to communicate science and technology to the general public. The outcome of the international research project “Videonline,” this book provides a unique insight into the key elements of online science videos, such as narrative trends, production characteristics, and issues of scientific rigor. If offers various methodological approaches: a literature review, content analysis, and interviews and surveys of expert practitioners to provide information on how to maintain standards of rigour and technical quality in video production. Read more ...

articleTransformative Learning Networks: Guidelines and Insights for Netweavers

by B. Goldstein, et al. (2018). CSTPR White Paper 2018-01.

Summary: This report is intended to inform the design and operation of NSEC, the Network of STEM Education Centers, an NSF and Sloan funded initiative founded to help catalyze educational transformation by creating a vibrant community of STEM education centers. In addition, its primary audience included designers and members of other STEM learning networks, such as SMTI and ASCN, and the broader community of netweavers and network participants.

NSEC was created as a learning network, an inter-organizational voluntary collaborative that nurtures professional expertise. Learning networks are often attempted when deeply rooted obstacles to institutional change have proven resistant to both top-down or bottom-up change strategies. Effective learning networks have a loose structure that can amplify the potential for transformative change by combining site-based innovation with community-spanning interaction and exchange. However, many of the features that provide learning networks with transformative potential also make them difficult to organize and maintain. Learning networks require a high level of engagement and commitment in order to identify deep-rooted problems and coordinate disparate actors to implement solutions that are both site-specific and network-wide.

To address this challenge, NSEC commissioned researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and Oregon State to prepare four case studies to identify the opportunities and challenges of a learning network approach, with the purpose of informing NSEC’s design. In addition to myself, the University of Colorado Boulder project team includes Claire Chase, Lee Frankel-Goldwater, Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey, and Sarah Schweizer. In addition, the team includes Julie Risien at Oregon State University, who is Associate Director of the Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning and herself a member of NSEC. Our team assembled the case studies using interviews with netweavers, document analysis, and literature review. The four learning networks that our project team examined, along with their transformation challenges, are:

  • NABI (National Alliance for Broader Impacts): Connecting the university-based research enterprise to societal impacts and addressing the cultural divide between academy and public;
  • 100 Resilient Cities Network: Fostering resilience in response to the inability of city governments to address challenges to sustainability;
  • Fire Adapted Community Learning Network: Creating fire adapted communities after 100 years of failed wildfire management policy; and
  • START (Global Change SysTem for Analysis, Research & Training): Addressing the capacity deficit to address global change impacts in the developing world.

Read more ...