Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Georgia
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Georgia Project

Communicating and Using Uncertain Scientific Information in the Production of ‘Actionable Science’

September 2012 - August 2014


Participating Agencies

  • Southeast Climate Science Center

Conservation practitioners must navigate many challenges to advance effective natural-resource management in the presence of multiple uncertainties. Numerous climatic and ecological changes remain on the horizon, and their eventual consequences are not completely understood. Even so, their influences are expected to impact important resources and the people that depend on them across local, regional, and sometimes global scales. Although forecasts of future conditions are almost always imperfect, decision makers are increasingly expected to communicate and use uncertain information when making policy choices that affect multiple user groups. The degree to which management objectives are met can depend on 1) how critical uncertainties are identified and accounted for, and 2) effective communication among user groups, scientists, and resource managers. The objective of this project is to help facilitate strategic decision support and synthesize the state of the science related to communicating and using uncertain information in conservation decision making. By providing a forum on the communication of scientific uncertainty, we aim to traverse traditional disciplinary boundaries, with a focus on climate change in the southeastern United States. We expect this process to generate transferable guidance that will directly assist resource managers across agencies to identify common goals and shared research priorities.

Research Publications Publication Date
Irwin, B. J., B. A. Crawford, T. Gancos Crawford, and C. T. Moore. 2016. Turning Uncertainty into Useful Information for Conservation Decisions. Southeast Climate Science Center Fact Sheet 2016-02. Available online: June 2016
Presentations Presentation Date
Irwin, B. , C. Moore, M. Gore., and A. Qureshi. 2014. Communicating and using uncertain scientific information in the production of 'actionable science'. Grand Opening of the Southeast Climate Science Center, 22 January 2014, Raleigh, NC [poster]. January 2014
Irwin, B., T. Vidal, B. Crawford, T. Gancos Crawford, and C. Moore. 2016. Quantitative Consideration of Uncertainty and Variability in Decision Analysis for Conservation and Management of Ecological Systems. Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America, 7-12 August, 2016, Fort Lauderdale, FL. August 2016