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Inside the Greenhouse

SPARC Highlights

May 2011

The May 2011 issue of Nature has an editorial about Ryan Myer's work under the SPARC Project: Value judgements, The scientific endeavour needs to deliver public value, not just research papers. Ryan’s paper, The Public Values Failures of Climate Science in the US, was published in Minerva.


April 2010

SPARC releases new handbook "Usable Science: A Handbook for Science Policy Decision Makers" for Science Policy Decision Makers. Read more ...


April 2010

On April 12, 2010 the Center and the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes (CSPO) held a briefing on "Usable Science: A CSTPR-CSPO Briefing Workshop on Science for Decision Making" in Washington, DC for science policy decision makers to unveil their new handbook, Science for Decision Making. Researchers with the Science Policy Assessment and Research on Climate (SPARC) project provided highlights from the new handbook. Former Presidential Science Advisor John Marburger gave the keynote address. Read more ...


September 2009

Linkoping University’s Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research and the University of Colorado’s Center for Science and Technology Policy Research co-sponsoreda workshop in Norrkoping, Sweden on "Linking Science to Societal Benefits: Why, How and When?". Read more ...


February 2010

Has global warming increased the toll of natural disasters? Listen to the debate with Roger Pielke, Jr., Bob Ward and Robert Muir-Wood at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. (scroll to the bottom of the ‘talking point’)

BBC News

Roger Pielke, Jr. appeared on BBC Newsnight with Professor Chris Field, the (new) head of IPCC Working Group II. Please read Roger's blog on his BBC Newsnight interview.


November 2009

Climate change and journalistic norms paper by Max Boykoff was selected for Geoforum's 40th anniversary special issue. The paper "Climate change and journalistic norms: A case-study of US mass-media coverage" is also listed as the fifth most downloaded paper in the journal here.


September 2009

News Media Coverage on Climate Change Project: This figure tracks newspaper coverage of climat e change or global warming in 50 newspapers across 20 countries and 6 continents. Max Boykoff and Maria Mansfield first assembled this figure while conducting research at the University of Oxford, Environmental Change Institute. They continue to update this figure on a monthly basis as a resource for journalists, researchers, and others who may be interested in tracking these trends. The chart contains data up to approximately six weeks from the present time, due to the timings of when some newspapers' articles are made available through search engines. Read more on this project.


June 2009

As of July 31, the CSTPR science policy weblog, Prometheus, will be retired. The Prometheus archives will remain available. We would like to thank the readers of Prometheus for their support over the past five years. Roger Pielke, Jr. has created a new blog on science, policy and politics at

Max Boykoff will be joining the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research as a faculty member in August 2009. Max was a Research Fellow in the Environmental Change Institute (ECI), as well as a Department Lecturer in the School of Geography and the Environment, at the University of Oxford. His interests include the cultural politics of climate change and transformations of carbon-based economies and societies.


March 2009

Congratulations to Roger Pielke (CU), Lisa Dilling (CU) and Dan Sarewitz (ASU) for winning a supplement from NSF for their research project SPARC: Science Policy Assessment and Research on Climate. SPARC will extend its work on the "supply of science" theme to climate adaptation efforts, and also further analyze the demand side of the equation, comparing the US and European experience in climate policy.


December 2008

Lisa Dilling was recently appointed as editor of Weather, Climate and Society, a new interdisciplinary journal devoted to connecting science and society in the area of weather and climate. She was also appointed as a new member of the President's Advisory Committee on University Relations for UCAR.


September 2008

SPARC member, Elizabeth McNie, received 2008 Student award from Society of Policy Sciences for her exemplary work.

The Student Paper Prize for 2008 is awarded to Elizabeth C. McNie for her article, "Reconciling the Supply of Scientific Information with User Demands: An Analysis of the Problem and Review of the Literature," Environmental Science & Policy 10 (2007) 17-38.

The Harold D. Lasswell Prize for 2008 is awarded to Elizabeth Lowham and Jason Vogel for their article, "Building Consensus for Constructive Action: A Study of Perspectives on Natural Resource Management," Journal of Forestry (January/February, 2007) 20-27.

The Myres S. McDougal Prize for 2008 is awarded to Ian Hurd for his book, After Anarchy: Legitimacy and Power in the United Nations Security Council, Princeton University Press, 2007.


June 2008

Characterizing the Public Value of Interagency Climate Science

At last month’s Copenhagen International Public Value Workshop, CSPO graduate research associate Ryan Meyer presented his research on the public value of interagency climate science in the United States, focusing on the 1990 Global Change Research Act’s requirement of making progress toward addressing the climate change problem. The text of Ryan’s talk is available here and other papers presented at the workshop can be accessed here.


November 2007

SPARC-ASU Researchers have long been working with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was recently rewarded a share of the Nobel Peace Prize, along with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. Netra Chhetri, an Assistant Professor with CSPO and the School of Geographical Sciences, was involved in the third and fourth assessment reports of the IPCC’s Working Group II to assess the scientific, technical, environmental, economic, and social aspects of vulnerability to climate change of ecological systems, socio-economic sectors and human health.  He contributed to the chapter on Food, fiber and forest products. Read more.


May 2007

Roger Pielke, Jr. testified before the House Committee on Science and Technology of the United States House of Representatives on "The State of Climate Change Science 2007: The Findings of the Fourth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change". Hearing details are posted here. Roger's testimony can be read here.


April 2007

Roger Pielke, Jr. was interviewed on the website on 30 March 2007: Take Five.


March 2007

Lisa Dilling was highlighted CU-Boulder's Alumni Association's website on her climate research. Her book, Creating a Climate for Change: Communicating Climate Change and Facilitating Social Change, has also just been published in February 2007. Lisa's book was also highlighted on the Environmental Journalism Now blog by Tom Yulsman.


January 2007

Roger Pielke Jr. testified before U.S. Congress House Government Reform Committee on the subject of Political Interference in the Work of Government Climate Change Scientists. Hearing details are posted here. Roger's Congressional testimony can be read here.


December 2006

Dan Sarewitz, Steve Dovers, and Roger Pielke, Jr. have guest edited a special issue of Environmental Science & Policy which is titled Reconciling the Supply of and Demand for Science, with a focus on carbon cycle research. All seven papers in this special issue were published in 2007 and each of the papers has an author or co-author that work with SPARC.


August 2006

Roger Pielke, Jr. was awarded the Eduard Brückner Prize for outstanding achievement in interdisciplinary climate science. He will be receiving his award in Munich, Germany at the Deutsche Klimatagung (German Climate Conference) in October 2006. More details in english will be posted soon.


July 2006

On July 20, 2006 Roger Pielke Jr. testified before the House Government Reform Committee on the subject, "Climate Change: Understanding the Degree of the Problem". Hearing details are posted here. Roger's Congressional testimony can be read here.


June 2006

The Center for Science and Technology Policy Research and the Geo Risks Research Department at Munich Re co-organized the Climate Change and Disaster Losses workshop in Hohenkammer, Germany on 25-26 May 2006.

The economic costs of weather-related disasters have increased dramatically in recent decades. However, experts disagree about the reasons for this increase. Some think that the trend can be explained entirely by the ever-growing numbers of people and value of property in harms way. Others think that human-caused climate changes have led to more frequent and intense weather events and therefore account for some part of the increased damage. The workshop was organized to bring together a diverse group of international experts in the fields of climatology and disaster research. The general questions to be answered at this workshop were:

  • What factors account for increasing costs of weather related disasters in recent decades?

  • What are the implications of these understandings, for both research and policy?

The workshop was sponsored by Munich Re, GKSS Research Centre, the Tyndall Centre, and the U.S. NSF.

Click here to view the Workshop Executive Summary.


March 2006

Roger Pielke, Jr. gave a talk "Disasters, Death and Destruction: Accounting for Recent Calamities" on March 15, 2006 for the Ocean Studies Board’s Seventh Annual Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

Roger Pielke, Jr. also wrote a short essay that was distributed for his talk, "Disasters, Death, and Destruction: Account for Recent Calamities". Click here to read his essay.


October 2005

SPARC members were part of a panel "Climate Science Policy Assessment and Research" for the 6th Open Meeting of the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Research Community. Elizabeth McNie gave a panel overview. The presenters included: Roger Pielke, "Shaping Science for Decision Makers: Lessons from the RISAs"; Lisa Dilling, "Not So Basic Anymore: The challenges of producing "use-inspired" climate science; Marilyn Averill, "Litigation Demands for Climate Science"; Eva Lovbrand, "Between laboratory practice and policy involvement. Ideals, expectations and every-day concerns for Swedish carbon cycle science"; and Genevieve Maricle, Shifting Research Priorities: "The Role of Human Dimensions of Global Change Research". To read their abstracts or to view their presentations, click here.


March 2005

SPARC has a new research project named Extreme Events and Climate Change. The goal of this new activity is to investigate the relative magnitude of various causes of the growing societal impacts of weather and climate extremes in order to better understand the relation between the needs of decision makers and the priorities expressed in the climate science portfolio. To learn more, click here.


February 2005

Welcome to SPARC! The Science Policy Assessment and Research on Climate (SPARC) project is one of five interdisciplinary teams funded by NSF in 2004 to study problems associated with understanding climate-related decisions under uncertainty (DMUU). SPARC is a joint project between the University of Colorado at Boulder and Arizona State University. SPARC focuses on the relationship between climate science policy and climate-related decision making. Over the past few decades, public support of climate science has been justified on its potential to support decision making related to human activities and their potential to alter climate. Science policy decisions shape the conduct and output of climate research by guiding resource allocations, disciplinary and interdisciplinary priorities and methods, institutional design, human resources, and standards of evaluation. Society’s strategy for responding to and preparing for climate change in the face of ongoing uncertainty thus hinges upon the relationship between science policy decisions and climate policy decisions. SPARC will conduct research and assessments, outreach and education aimed at helping climate science policies to better support climate-related decision making in the face of fundamental and often irreducible uncertainties. According to Cheryl Eavey, NSF's program officer for the Decision Making Under Uncertainty (DMUU) projects, "NSF expects these teams to produce new insights of interest to the academic community, generate significant educational benefits and develop new tools that will benefit policy makers, decision makers and many different stakeholders."