Please join us at the Earth System Science (ESS) Wed Seminar on Feb. 14, 2018 at 12:30pm, Y2E2 111, for "Advancing Knowledge Bases for the Management of Environmental Risk."

Speaker: Katharine Mach, Director of Stanford Environment Assessment Facility - Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment; Senior Research Scientist - Department of Earth System Science; Visiting Investigator - Carnegie Institution for Science

Abstract

Given rapid global change, knowledge about the environment is essential in real-time to societies making complex decisions. There is acute need among scientists and decision-makers for improved methods that evaluate overall understanding of the risks, possible responses, and implementation over time.  Innovations in assessment that I am developing add such value. Priorities include integrating diverse evidence and expert judgment, exploring possible futures linked to ongoing choices, and incorporating interactions among experts and decision-makers. Integrative creation of new knowledge also must grapple with deep and difficult-to-quantify uncertainties and the contested priorities relevant to risk management. This presentation will unfold, through these priorities for innovation, the ways assessment shapes how people think about issues, define universes of options, and make choices. The examples of risks and responses will be wide ranging, from global-scale assessment of dangerous climate change, to local evaluation of erosion and the attempted relocation of an indigenous village. Whether the issue is violent conflict or carbon dioxide removal, relevant understandings not only span disciplines, but also   inextricably connect science and societies. Assessment-based research provides insight through ambitious integration. It empowers societies to manage diverse risks from global environmental change and thus sustain our world.