Should the State of Colorado Fund Fire Modeling Research?

Apparently NCAR (Boulder, CO) folks visited the Denver Post editorial board, who produced this editorial last Sunday. Colorado has been ravaged by large and unpredictable wildfires and floods in recent years that have left death and destruction in their wake. If we could rewind time and know 12 hours in advance what some of these …

Continue reading ‘Should the State of Colorado Fund Fire Modeling Research?’ »

Evolutionary Theory and the Practice of Policy (3): Disciplinary Fragmentation

In this section, I focus on how producing droves of scientists has led to them forming smaller groups, or disciplinary splintering. This has, in turn, led to “reinventing the wheel” plus micro-disciplinary territorial disputes, all of which might be invisible to the naked policy eye. Policy makers, to my mind, must be aware of the …

Continue reading ‘Evolutionary Theory and the Practice of Policy (3): Disciplinary Fragmentation’ »

Evolutionary Theory and the Practice of Policy For the 21st Century (2))

In this section, I address different framings of the larger issue around forests, and explore how different framings privilege different scientific and other disciplines. This can occur whether a framing is helpful or not to decision makers, or accepted or not by stakeholders, simply due to how research is prioritized and funded (most often, by …

Continue reading ‘Evolutionary Theory and the Practice of Policy For the 21st Century (2))’ »

Evolutionary Theory and the Practice of Policy For the 21st Century (1)

This summer I am celebrating my 40th year in the forestry profession. I am also going through my files and preparing for a transition to a past-forester, current theologian. I will be posting pieces that strike me as still relevant to the forest science/policy world. The first is a piece I wrote for Dr. Gene …

Continue reading ‘Evolutionary Theory and the Practice of Policy For the 21st Century (1)’ »

Minority Report: “EPA’s Playbook,” “Fraud,” and “Secret Science”

About a month ago I had a discussion with Dr. Bob Ferris on this blog, initially concerning the general quality of “government science.” Dr. Ferris is a “real scientist” who is “serious” and currently works for Cascadia Wildlands, an environmental activist group based in Eugene, Oregon. He has a number of publications to his credit …

Continue reading ‘Minority Report: “EPA’s Playbook,” “Fraud,” and “Secret Science”’ »

Science, Law, and the Press: Idealized vs. Real

I’ve been thinking about how people use the terms “science” as in ” policies are better if they’re based on science”; and law as in “environmental laws are great because Congress made them, but if Congress messes with any of the case-law derived interpretations, that would be bad.” It’s almost like there’s an idealized institution …

Continue reading ‘Science, Law, and the Press: Idealized vs. Real’ »

Spruce Beetle- Beetle Without Drama and With FS Research

One thing I noticed when panels of scientists came to talk to us about our bark beetle response (from CU particularly) is that they kept talking about our “going into the backcountry and doing fuel treatments” and why this was a bad idea. We would tell them we weren’t actually doing that, but I don’t …

Continue reading ‘Spruce Beetle- Beetle Without Drama and With FS Research’ »

High Quality Research Act, And Research Duplication

Here’s a post from David Bruggeman about a proposed bill. The High Quality Research Act is a draft bill from Representative Lamar Smith, Chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. Still not officially introduced, it has prompted a fair amount of teeth gnashing and garment rending over what it might mean. The bill …

Continue reading ‘High Quality Research Act, And Research Duplication’ »

University of Calgary Study on Human Impacts on Ecosystems

An article from Bob Berwyn’s blog here. ‘Even in protected areas, the influence of humans might be greater than we previously thought … ‘ FRISCO — As much as we’d like to believe in nature unbound, a new Canadian study suggests that human impacts are more widespread than we realize, even extending well into protected …

Continue reading ‘University of Calgary Study on Human Impacts on Ecosystems’ »

Still Looking for Equality: Happy International Women’s Day

I have been saving this article from PNAS in October for an appropriate day: Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students. Moss-Racusin CA, Dovidio JF, Brescoll VL, Graham MJ, Handelsman J. Source Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. Abstract Despite efforts to recruit and retain more …

Continue reading ‘Still Looking for Equality: Happy International Women’s Day’ »