2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 303-4
Presentation Time: 9:45 AM


TUBMAN, Stephanie C., GONZALES, Leila M. and BOLAND, Maeve A., American Geosciences Institute, 4220 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22302

The geosciences are central to many critical issues facing society, from energy, mineral, and water resources to the environment, climate change, and natural hazards. In this context, geoscience information is an important component of evidence-based decision-making. Under the typical time constraints of decision-making, however, there are a number of barriers to information use. Our challenge is to provide timely, accessible, trustworthy, decision-relevant information to those who need it.

The American Geosciences Institute’s (AGI) Critical Issues Program website serves as a portal to decision-relevant, expert geoscience information for use by non-expert audiences. Geoscience information providers include the state geological surveys, federal agencies, professional societies, and others. Target audiences include legislative staff, county and municipal managers, engaged citizens, and geoscientists.

The site provides interpreted content on critical issues, including top-level summaries, answers to common questions, and fact sheets, rich with links to geoscience information providers. A research database indexes freely available information products from state geological surveys, the U.S. Geological Survey, and other geoscience information providers. The database allows users to search decision-relevant documents from multiple providers in one central interface, linking users to documents on the information providers’ websites.

The program also connects decision makers to geoscientists through virtual meetings (aka webinars) and in-person meetings such as AGI Critical Issues Forums.

By synthesizing and linking into information from multiple geoscience information providers, the Critical Issues website serves as a hub to facilitate the flow of information and ideas between the geoscience and decision-making communities.