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Improving communication between researchers and practitioners

Improving communication between researchers and practitioners

ESS faculty member Virginia Matzek recently collaborated with SCU students Justin Covino (Environmental Science '13), Martin Saunders (Environmental Studies '12), and colleague Jennifer Funk of Chapman University to assess how well knowledge about invasive species is shared between academic researchers and land managers. Their surveys revealed that most practitioners do not read academic papers on invasive species and instead tend to rely on their own experience. Information flow is just as limited in the other direction.  Virginia's team recommends that, in addition to developing interdisciplinary research ideas in direct consultation with managers, academic researchers should seek new ways to make their work more accessible, including open-access publishing, presenting results at stakeholder workshops or conferences, and using citizen science.

 A paper describing their work has been published in the journal Conservation Letters. The article is open-access and can be downloaded here.