Paper No. 4-5
Presentation Time: 9:25 AM
ASSESSING STAKEHOLDER SCIENCE NEEDS TO PRIORITIZE INTEGRATED DROUGHT-RELATED SCIENCE IN THE COLORADO RIVER BASIN
The Colorado River Basin (CRB) has been experiencing widespread drought conditions. The USGS has identified that working with stakeholders is necessary to address the complex challenges brought on by drought. For this project, a stakeholder includes any agency, organization, group, or individual that is interested in topics or issues related to drought science, is interested in the CRB landscape, or both. To provide a snapshot of stakeholders’ science needs, we conducted a systematic review of more than 200 recently published literature items including webpages, reports, priorities, strategies, issues, and mission statements related to concerns about drought. From this review, we compiled more than 480 stakeholder science needs, linked the needs to Earth-system themes and topics and identified integrated-science opportunities and science priorities that are shared among different stakeholder groups. Each science need was linked to an average of 3 unique Earth-system science themes, with a maximum of 10 themes identified. The Earth-system theme most frequently linked was surface and groundwater, appearing in 288 entries, followed by the themes human, flora, fauna, and atmospheric, which appeared in 241, 189, 174, and 154 entries, respectively. In addition, each science need listed an average of 6 unique science topics, with a total of 73 unique science topics identified. Terms used as science topics were taken from the USGS Thesaurus. Frequently used science topics included climate and weather processes, effects of changing land-use patterns on ecological systems, streamflow, habitats and wildlife, hazards including wildfire, and water quality and water use. These stakeholder analyses allow the USGS to prioritize stakeholder science needs by identifying common science themes and topics that are shared by multiple stakeholders. The high degree of overlap in Earth-science themes and topics indicates an underlying connected structure that would benefit from an integrated science research approach that represents interactions among processes and potential unknown linkages. Additionally, identifying shared science needs among stakeholders facilitates USGS engagement with the appropriate stakeholders to begin integrated drought research towards a common goal.