SW CASC’s Natural Resources Workforce Development Fellows Kick Off in Logan, Utah

Michelle Baker
Nancy Huntly
Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center’s (SWCASC) Natural Resources Workforce Development (NRWD) Fellowship was initiated to provide graduate students with opportunities for training and practice in developing use-inspired science to inform natural resource management decisions. The inaugural cohort of NRWD fellows includes Lydia Jennings and Drew Eppehimer from the University of Arizona, John Kemper from Colorado State University, Ann Willis from UC Davis, Elizabeth (Elly) Fard from UCLA, Mike Sierks from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, Joshua Sturtevant from University of Nevada Reno, and Christina Morrisett from Utah State University. These students will be mentored by Nancy Huntly and Michelle Baker (Utah State University) and Gregg Garfin (University of Arizona) in a year-long research experience under the theme of improved understanding of the linkages between the management of headwater ecosystems and downstream water resources.

The 2019-2020 NRWD Fellowship year launched with a training program held in Logan, Utah, on October 2-5, 2020. The training began with a two-day workshop “Enabling Interdisciplinary and Team Science” put on by the American Institute for Biological Science. NRWD Fellows participated in this training along with faculty and graduate students from across the Utah State University campus. The workshop included lectures, discussions, and role-playing activities aimed at providing participants with the knowledge and skills required to become productive and effective members of scientific teams.

Next, the NRWD fellows learned principles of the co-production of science and policy from Gregg Garfin and Carolyn Enquist in a presentation adapted from the SW CASC’s Translational Ecology short course. The fellows saw these principles put to action in a day-long Science-Management-Policy Exchange sponsored by the Climate Adaptation Science National Science Foundation Research Trainee (NRT) Program at Utah State University. The exchange included panels of water resource managers and science communicators and presentations of use-inspired research and internships from NRT students.

The NRWD fellows put their new knowledge and skills to work for a half-day meeting on October 5th where they adopted operating principles for their team and brainstormed to define potential research topics related to the upstream-downstream theme. The fellows will meet monthly online to define and then accomplish project milestones before presenting the outcomes of their project at the 2020 Science-Management-Policy Exchange in Logan, Utah. The SW CASC NRWD Fellowship is an annual fellowship, with a different science theme every year. Applications for the 2020-2021 fellowship will be posted here in Spring 2020.