Kenney, Leshner Fellows Say Universities Can Lead the Way Supporting Engaged Geoscientists

A group of AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellows, including ESSIC / CICS-MD Associate Research Professor Melissa Kenney, recently published an opinion article in EOS titled, “Universities Can Lead the Way Supporting Engaged Geoscientists”.

The piece discusses the opportunity to build on and expand the engagement activities of current geoscientists at universities to increase their collective impact to address difficult societal challenges such as climate change, disaster preparedness and response, sustainable water management.  The authors suggest that universities play a central role in both bottom-up cultural change and top-down support for public engagement, as they train and develop new geoscience knowledge that is relevant to decision-makers, communities, businesses, and citizens.

The authors suggest five initiatives that universities could adopt that support public engagement: creating networks, developing best practices, convening stakeholders, establishing incentives, and facilitating regular evaluation.  The specific implementation of these initiatives should consider the priorities and culture of the university to better enable groups within the university to work together towards shared goals.

In addition to her role as an Associate Research Professor with ESSIC / CICS-MD, Kenney is an affiliate at the Department of Geographical Sciences.  Her research focuses on participatory processes and tools to advance environmental decision support science by integrating scientific knowledge and societal values into decision-making under uncertainty.

To read the piece in full, click here: “Universities Can Lead the Way Supporting Engaged Geoscientists”.