Break Out Group 2: Stream, Riparian Areas, and Wetlands

Breakout Discussion Groups: Streams, Riparian Areas, & Wetlands
2015 Open Science Conference
Friday May 22, 2015
This discussion revolved around understanding system dynamics and compounding changes in
relation to ecology, hydrology, climate change, and land use. There is a need to understand how climate
change and land use change affect ecosystems which can further impact hydrology. An understanding of
the legacy effects of water law is also crucial to the system as well as planning for future water demand.
Participants discussed the need for models that couple social and ecological systems, and qualitative as
well as quantitative research. Discussion promoted collaborative integration of federal, private, and
public water users to communicate, build trust, and transfer knowledge to collaborate across
frameworks and address the gaps in access between groups. One participant suggested finding
meaningful and long lasting collaborations upstream, be strategic in partners, be proactive, and address
problems instead of symptoms. Participants also had an in-depth discussion on the importance of
creating a neutral space to meet with stakeholders that allows for comfortable disagreement,
discussion, and engagement.
The most pressing management issues related to climate change that still need to be addressed:
Multiple sources of uncertainty: (water, land use, etc; not just climate) How do you
communicate and manage uncertainty?
How can scientists be concise so managers can act? Relate science to applied benefit of end
users, transfer knowledge and increase communication between science and end users.
What is relevant scale? What size is reasonable (temporal as well as spatial)?
The most pressing gaps in scientific knowledge related to climate change in our region:
Indirect impacts of climate change (how does climate change affect ecosystems which then
affect hydrology)
Understanding incentives for actors
How water flows through social systems (private ownership to federal management, to public
Examples of collaborations that work:
Face to face interactions complimented with technology to increase reach
Creating a “safe space” to speak openly without fear or constraints
Trust and building equal relationships
What the NC CSC can do to foster and facilitate successful collaboration:
Continue to provide networking opportunities and workshops
Build a community that crosses boundaries, help build an interdisciplinary network
Define shared vocabulary/terminology so that language is useful for managers