PhD: Karen Hutchins, Stacia Dreyer,
Bridie McGreavy, Hollie Smith,
Masters: Sarah Marrinan,
This year 3 project will integrate three highly productive SSI K-A teams into one streamlined K-A Collaborative. Integrating teams include: 1. Researching K-A Linkages to Promote Stakeholder/ Community Engagement (Lindenfeld, Silka); 2. Modeling Stakeholder Acceptance of Solutions to Environmental Problems (Teisl, McCoy); and 3. Developing a Framework for Linking Researcher and Stakeholder Values with K-A Effectiveness (Anderson, Noblet, Teisl). Each team in this Collaborative has successfully engaged in studying one part of a three part puzzle: researchers, the general population, and stakeholders (either at the organizational or individual level). Our research has progressed to the point that these domains have meaningful overlap, and we now aim to make explicit the deeper linked nature of these K-A relationships. This new Collaborative allows for seamless flow of information across ourprojects. We have tackled the learning curve inherent in interdisciplinary work and can now maximize resources together. As we learn more about one piece of the puzzle, we will consider impacts on other components and work to co-create solutions with our partners.
The K-A Collaborative Centrality to SSI’s Broader Sustainability Science Mission
At the core of solutions-driven sustainability science rests the problem of how research teams overcome roadblocks between knowledge and action and build partnerships for sustainable solutions. This guides the Collaborative’s approach to studying how stakeholders interact with the research process and how obstacles to successful K-A processes can be overcome. In Year I, members of the Collaborative submitted a series of K-A sub-proposals that mapped out a five-year research agenda, the overall theme of which identifies stakeholder sustainability problems and outlines a design strategy to develop solutions to these problems. We have tested theories on the ways in which individual and institutional processes link stakeholders and community actions, and how the sustainability science research process influences and is influenced by these collaborations. Understanding that different stakeholders have differing knowledge and preferences, and that institutional arrangements channel decision-making and policy alternatives, the Collaborative members have undertaken fieldwork and laboratory research to study communication and decision-making processes to increase K-A efficacy.