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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Scientists Communicating Challenging Issues
10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Room 210ABEF (San Jose Convention Center)

What makes a scientific issue particularly prone to public ‘controversy’? Explore insights from social science research on how and why scientific research can trigger societal tension. Learn practical tips for communicating challenging issues and hear how scientists navigate these issues. Climate change will be used as a case study, but the discussion will address many topics.

Moderator:
Susanne C. Moser, Susanne Moser Research and Consulting & Stanford University, Center for Ocean Solutions 
Speakers:
Noah S. Diffenbaugh, Stanford University 
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, University of Pennsylvania 
Lisa Krieger, San Jose Mercury News 

Center for Ocean Solutions AAAS Networking Reception
4:00-5:30pm
Winchester Room, San Jose Hilton

Join the Center for Ocean Solutions to raise a glass to the ocean, the coast, your research, and the science-policy interface! Opening remarks by Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief of Science Magazine. Attendance is open to the public (no conference registration required). 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Avoiding Collapse: Human Impacts on the Biosphere
10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room 220C (San Jose Convention Center)

Human impacts on the biosphere have accelerated dramatically over the last five decades, leading many scientists to envision a planetary tipping point that would have widespread societal consequences. The drivers are climate change, extinctions, ecosystem loss, pollution leading to environmental toxicity, and population growth and consumption patterns. This symposium examines how recent innovations in information, analyses, and science-policy linkages can help guide the planet in favorable, rather than “doomsday,” directions.

Organizer:
Anthony D. Barnosky, University of California 
Co-Organizer:
Paul R. Ehrlich, Stanford University 
Discussant:
Elizabeth Hadly, Stanford University 
Speakers:
Lee Gunn, CNA Corp. 
Tyrone Hayes, University of California 
Dawn J. Wright, Environmental Systems Research Institute 

Can Our Ocean Commons Be Sustainably Managed? Innovative Strategies for the High Seas
10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room 210G (San Jose Convention Center)

The high seas, or areas beyond national jurisdiction, are the last great oceanic commons. But management is failing. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, two-thirds of high seas fisheries are depleted or overfished, including highly valuable straddling stocks such as bluefin tuna. This interdisciplinary panel brings together biology, law, economics, and science communication to present the latest and most innovative strategies toward sustainability on the high seas. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources has been leading the way toward high seas marine protected areas (MPAs), as has the United Nations in its work on an implementing agreement for conserving areas beyond national jurisdiction. Dynamic MPAs that move in space and time to protect migratory species have yet to be implemented on the high seas but are receiving increasing attention as a valuable management tool. Others have argued for more bold action, such as closing the high seas to fishing altogether. This symposium also highlights the powerful role of media in galvanizing public support and creating policy pressure toward generating the world’s largest MPAs, particularly in the Antarctic. By bringing together leaders in oceans academia, policy, and media, our symposium will present the newest and boldest ideas in marine conservation on the high seas, while providing hope that we can reverse the downward trend and move toward sustainably managing this last great oceanic commons.

Organizer:
Cassandra M. Brooks, Stanford University 
Co-Organizer:
Larry Crowder, Stanford University 
Speakers:
Cassandra M. Brooks, Stanford University 
Larry Crowder, Stanford University 
U. Rashid Sumaila, University of British Columbia 

Dynamic Ocean Management: Supporting Ecological and Economic Sustainability
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room 210G (San Jose Convention Center)

Dynamic ocean management is a new approach to management of marine resources that explicitly takes the dynamic movements of the oceanographic environment, marine animals, and human users into account. Many highly mobile marine species and human users follow dynamic ocean features such as fronts and eddies that change in space and time. Thus, static spatial management, including marine-protected areas with stationary boundaries, may be less effective than protections that incorporate dynamic movements through time. To narrow the geographic and temporal scope of regulations, protected zones may need to function in near real-time and be dynamic -- like the processes and species they aim to protect. Advances in remote sensing and shipboard technology have made it possible to regulate and communicate to users the changing locations of dynamic boundaries. This session will introduce the concept of dynamic management to the larger scientific community; explore examples of dynamic management that exist in fisheries and shipping industries around the world, and the necessary scientific components; codify key elements for effective adoption by managers, with an emphasis on economic considerations; and explore the feasibility of dynamic management in the form of mobile marine-protected areas. Speakers will explore how dynamic management can be a key tool to increasing both ecological and economic sustainability of marine resources and coastal marine communities across sectors.

Organizer:
Sara M. Maxwell, Stanford University 
Co-Organizer:
Rebecca Lewison, San Diego State University 
Discussant:
Larry Crowder, Stanford University 
Speakers:
Rebecca Lewison, San Diego State University 
Elliott L. Hazen, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
David Wiley, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Roland Arsenaul, University of New Hampshire; Moira Brown, New England Aquarium; Michael Carver, NOAA/NOS/Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, 1 
Catherine E. O'Keefe, University of Massachusetts; Greg DeCelles, University of Massachusetts; Steven X. Cadrin, University of Massachusetts
Matt Merrifield, The Nature Conservancy 
Sara M. Maxwell, Stanford University 

The Case for Mobile Marine Protected Areas
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room 210G (San Jose Convention Center)

Sara M. Maxwell , Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA
As dynamic ocean management advances, it is opening the door to the creation of dynamic or mobile marine protected areas. Mobile marine protected areas would utilize boundaries that follow the movements of highly- or semi-mobile marine species (e.g., whales, sea turtles, tunas) or dynamic marine habitats (e.g., eddies, fronts) that may serve as important pelagic ecosystem features or hotspots for many marine species. Mobile marine protected areas could better protect mobile species and habitats than stationary marine protected areas following animals and habitats as they vary over across time scales, including seasons, years and due to climate change. Different than dynamic management areas for specific industries (e.g., dynamic fishery closures), mobile marine protected areas could focus on protecting specific habitats or species, not on managing a specific marine industry, thereby protecting species or habitats from a suite of impacts.  While no examples of mobile marine protected areas currently exist, the scientific, analytical and information-sharing technologies exist to support their design, designation, monitoring and enforcement. To make dynamic marine protected areas a reality, several gaps need to be filled. First, some issues of compliance and enforcement, some of which extend to stationary marine protected areas as well, need to be addressed.  Second, we need case studies in politically tractable regions of the world, demonstrating the feasibility of mobile marine protected areas. Third, we need to be able to better link animal movements and protection to population level impacts on species.  Finally, we need legislative capability to apply dynamic marine protected areas, particularly on the high seas where many mobile species spend large portions of their life histories.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Whole Lotta Shakin’: Man-Made Earthquakes and Energy Development
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Room 230B (San Jose Convention Center)

Recent increases in earthquake activity in the midcontinent of North America, along with seismic activity associated with geothermal energy, have led to public concern about earthquakes caused by human activities. Hydraulic fracturing has been directly linked to only a few felt earthquakes. However, substantial evidence indicates that geothermal development, wastewater injection, and other activities can lead to earthquakes -- generally referred to as “triggered earthquakes” or “induced seismicity.” Fluid disposal, particularly disposal of saltwater produced along with petroleum, has been linked to earthquakes in Colorado, Texas, and  especially Oklahoma, which experienced a record number of magnitude 3.0 and greater earthquakes in 2014. This session will provide current data about seismic activity in the United States and discuss the connections between earthquakes and saltwater disposal, geothermal-resource development, carbon dioxide injection, and other human activities. It will address the development of mitigation practices to respond to induced seismicity. Teasing apart the difference between induced and natural seismicity, and responding appropriately, requires improved information -- better monitoring, subsurface imaging, data handling, and interpretation. Explaining those results, and the uncertainty of those results, to the public and decision-makers poses additional challenges.

Organizer:
Rex Buchanan, Kansas Geological Survey 
Co-Organizer:
William Savage, Seismological Society of America 
Moderator:
Rex Buchanan, Kansas Geological Survey 
Speakers:
William Ellsworth, U.S. Geological Survey 
Mark D. Zoback, Stanford University 
John Parrish, California Geological Survey 

Going Negative: Removing Carbon Dioxide From the Atmosphere
8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room 220C (San Jose Convention Center)

Reducing carbon dioxide emissions may not be enough to curb global warming according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The solution will also require carbon-negative technologies that actually remove large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen by roughly 40 percent since before the industrial revolution, causing a 0.85 degree Celsius increase in global mean temperature. Currently, the energy sector is a major contributor to the increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. A growing global population and increased energy demand will cause an additional rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide unless we seek alternative energy resources. Renewables such as solar, wind, hydro, and bioenergy and direct emissions reductions technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) could help curb carbon dioxide emissions. To augment these, technologies exist that remove atmospheric carbon dioxide and can potentially keep it out of the atmosphere -- bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, direct air capture, and biochar. These technologies have benefits and downsides and vary drastically in predicted cost. This symposium seeks to discuss technologies, strategies, and research that could enable net negative reductions in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Organizer:
Jennifer Milne, Stanford University 
Co-Organizer:
Sally Benson, Stanford University 
Moderator:
Sally Benson, Stanford University 
Speakers:
Pete Smith, University of Aberdeen 
Jennifer Wilcox, Stanford University 
Lisamarie Windham-Myers, U.S. Geological Survey 
Peter Byck, Arizona State University 
Ken Caldeira, Carnegie Institution for Science 
James A. Edmonds, Joint Global Change Research Institute 

Climate Intervention and Geoengineering: Albedo Modification
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room 220C (San Jose Convention Center)

The 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes that since the last assessment, collectively, nations have made no progress in reducing total greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, the rate of investment in climate change adaptation is estimated to be orders of magnitude below what is needed to address the growing risk of climate change, particularly in the densely populated coastal zone. The topic of this session is albedo modification, which is a form of climate intervention that temporarily offsets the warming effects of carbon dioxide by altering Earth’s radiation balance and is a companion to the session "Going Negative: Removing Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere." This session will explore the scientific and technical underpinnings of albedo modification, including its risks, governance, and sociopolitical considerations.

Organizer:
Marcia McNutt, AAAS/Science 
Moderator:
Marcia McNutt, AAAS/Science 
Discussant:
Ken Caldeira, Stanford University 
Speakers:
James R. Fleming, Colby College 
Lynn M. Russell, Scripps Institution of Oceanography 
Alan Robock, Rutgers University 
Riley Duren, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 
Ted Parson, University of California 
Stephen Gardiner, University of Washington 

Using Cartoons To Convey Science
3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 210AB (San Jose Convention Center)

Cartooning is an effective way for both professionals and amateurs to convey what they know about science. Professional cartoonists can seamlessly integrate words and images to create compelling narratives that explain scientific topics with a consistent visual framework and rich forms of language -- in speech balloons, in narration, in notation -- to engage readers with drama and humor. Amateur cartoonists, including those on both sides of the classroom, can also benefit from creating visual explanations, and a glance at XKCD or Dilbert shows that you don’t have to be Picasso to participate. This panel will cover both ends of the spectrum, from a leading cartoon expositor of science -- who has created book-length cartoon guides to chemistry, genetics, statistics, and more -- to a bioengineer and self-described “hack cartoonist” who uses drawing in his teaching and in conjunction with the origami-based paper cutout microscope he has developed. Joining these practitioners to provide evidence of pedagogical effectiveness is a cognitive psychologist who has done broad research in visual communication.

Organizer:
Yoram Bauman, StandUpEconomist.com 
Moderator:
Yoram Bauman, StandUpEconomist.com 
Speakers:
Larry Gonick, LarryGonick.com 
Manu Prakash, Stanford University 
Barbara Tversky, Stanford University/Columbia Teachers College 

Polar Bears or People?: Exploring how Teachers Frame Climate Change in the Classroom
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Kirstin Busch , Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Not only will young adults bear the brunt of climate change’s effects, they are also the ones who will be required to take action – to mitigate and to adapt. The Next Generation Science Standards include climate change, ensuring the topic will be covered in U.S. science classrooms in the near future. Additionally, school is a primary source of information about climate change for young adults. The larger question, though, is how can the teaching of climate change be done in such a way as to ascribe agency – a willingness to act – to students? Framing – as both a theory and an analytic method – has been used to understand how language in the media can affect the audience’s intention to act. Frames function as a two-way filter, affecting both the message sent and the message received. This study adapted both the theory and the analytic methods of framing, applying them to teachers in the classroom to answer the research question: How do teachers frame climate change in the classroom? To answer this question, twenty-five lessons from seven teachers were analyzed using semiotic discourse analysis methods. It was found that the teachers’ frames overlapped to form two distinct discourses: a Science Discourse and a Social Discourse. The Science Discourse, which was dominant, can be summarized as: Climate change is a current scientific problem that will have profound global effects on the Earth’s physical systems. The Social Discourse, used much less often, can be summarized as: Climate change is a future social issue because it will have negative impacts at the local level on people. While it may not be surprising that the Science Discourse was most often heard in these science classrooms, it is possibly problematic if it were the only discourse used. The research literature on framing indicates that the frames found in the Science Discourse – global scale, scientific statistics and facts, and impact on the Earth’s systems – are not likely to inspire action-taking. This study indicates that framing may be a useful theory for investigating how climate change is taught and learned in classrooms. Suggestions are made for how to develop effective professional development for teachers to improve their communication of climate change.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Scientists Engaging with Reporters, the Public, and Social Media: Survey Findings
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Room LL21E (San Jose Convention Center)

In January 2015, the Pew Research Center will release major survey findings on AAAS scientists’ and general public attitudes about the state of science in the U.S. and on major science-related public policy issues, including climate change, medical treatments and devices, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), energy policy, food policy, and vaccinations. During this session, Pew Research will release new findings from a second report and survey data on how scientists interact with reporters covering their work, use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to engage the public about their findings, and leverage other online tools such as blogs to remain updated of developments in their field. These new findings come from a survey of more than 3,000 AAAS members about their media habits, their use of social media, and their sense of how reporters and the public connect to their work. A science communication scholar will comment on the Pew findings and present related research on scientists and public engagement. A scientist active on social media will discuss her experiences.

Organizer:
Lee Rainie, Pew Internet and American Life Project 
Moderator:
Joel Achenbach, Washington Post 
Speakers:
Lee Rainie, Pew Internet and American Life Project 
Elizabeth Hadly, Stanford University 
Dominique Brossard, University of Wisconsin-Madison 

21st Century Global Food Security and the Environment: Improving or Deteriorating?

8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room LL20A (San Jose Convention Center)

This session will include multidisciplinary discussion on global food security (GFS) and sustainable Earth in the following areas: current and future climate impacts; agricultural losses from weather extremes; ensuring food for 9 billion people; limiting climate and land degradation constraints; avoiding water, land, and energy competition; building resilience and adaptation strategies for a changing world; innovative observational systems, including satellites, for monitoring and prediction of environmental impacts on GFS; and possible adaptation strategies. This brainstorming session will discuss whether GFS is improving or deteriorating and the ways to strengthen food security and avoid regional food riots; how much a warmer climate has already reduced agricultural output and expectations for the future; how to avoid climate-related crop losses in the main growing regions; 2–3 month advanced drought prediction from space; if 4- to 6-month predicted food shortages help to avoid hunger and malnutrition; and how to prevent deterioration of Earth resources. These discussions will be relevant to decision-makers, international policymakers, relief organizations, private sector, academia, and users dealing with growing population, climate, food supply/demands, weather extremes, agricultural technology, policies, and observational systems.

Organizer:
Felix Kogan, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
Co-Organizer:
Alfred M. Powell, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
Moderator:
Kathy Sullivan, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
Speakers:
James Gerber, University of Minnesota 
Paul R. Ehrlich, Stanford University 
Jerry Hatfield, U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Kenneth E. Kunkel, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
Felix Kogan, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
Information Accelerators: Using Online Tools To Address Sustainability Challenges

Information Accelerators: Using Online Tools To Address Sustainability Challenges
8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room LL20C (San Jose Convention Center)

With another two billion people expected on the planet by 2050 and mounting pressure on our lands, waters, and vital natural resources, information about how to steward natural systems and the people who depend on them has never been more precious. Fortunately, the pace of advancement in information technology has been accelerating, and there is enormous potential to provide better support for the innumerable decisions that regularly affect the sustainability of coupled human and natural systems. For over a decade, the rate of online data storage has doubled every two years, internet connection speeds have increased 50 percent per year, and the price of computational hardware has halved every 14 months. This creates an alluring opportunity for natural scientists to consider the distribution and collaborative generation of scientific data and endeavors on a global scale. This symposium will highlight online tools and initiatives that bring together large social and environmental datasets and environmental science to support conservation, advance science, and raise public awareness of complex environmental issues. Speakers will share the vision for a particular online initiative, address design issues, discuss insights on barriers to using their data and tools to their full potential, and chart a path forward using the power of information technology to influence positive outcomes for science and sustainability.
 

Organizer:
Richard Sharp Jr., The Natural Capital Project 
Co-Organizer:
Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer, The Natural Capital Project 
Moderator:
Kai N. Lee, David and Lucile Packard Foundation 
Speakers:
Anthony Lehmann, University of Geneva 
Ron Eastman, Clark Labs 
Kevin Koy, University of California 
Will McClintock, Marine Science Institute 
David Thau, Google Inc.
Mark Mulligan, King's College 

Designing a Strategy for Improving Scientific Collaboration during Crisis Response
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Lindley Mease, Center for Ocean Solutions, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Theadora Gibbs, ChangeLabs, Stanford, CA

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster required unprecedented engagement and collaboration with scientists from multiple disciplines across government, academia, and industry. Although this spurred the rapid advancement of valuable new scientific knowledge and tools, it also exposed weaknesses in the system of information dissemination and exchange among the scientists from those three sectors. Limited government communication with the broader scientific community complicated the rapid mobilization of the scientific community to assist with spill response, evaluation of impact, and public perceptions of the crisis. The lessons and new laws produced from prior spills such as Exxon Valdez were helpful, but ultimately did not lead to the actions necessary to prepare a suitable infrastructure that would support collaboration with non-governmental scientists. As oil demand pushes drilling into increasingly extreme environments, addressing the challenge of effective, science-based disaster response is an imperative. Our study employs a user-centered design process to 1) understand the obstacles to and opportunity spaces for effective scientific collaboration during environmental crises such as large oil spills, 2) identify possible tools and strategies to enable rapid information exchange between government responders and non-governmental scientists from multiple relevant disciplines, and 3) build a network of key influencers to secure sufficient buy-in for scaled implementation of appropriate tools and strategies. Our methods include user ethnography, complex system mapping, individual and system behavioral analysis, and large-scale system design to identify and prototype a solution to this crisis collaboration challenge. In this talk, we will present out insights gleaned from existing analogs of successful scientific collaboration during crises and our initial findings from the 60 targeted interviews we conducted that highlight key collaboration challenges that government agencies, academic research institutions, and industry scientists face during oil spill crises. We will also present initial solution ideas for how to improve collaboration among scientific stakeholders during crises, as well as a synthesis of leverage points in the system that may amplify the impact of those ideas.

Hearing the Unspoken: Using Text Mining to Investigate Social and Environmental Priorities
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Emily A. Grubert , Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Determining the social and environmental priorities of a community is highly relevant to making robust and resilient policy decisions. Traditionally, surveys are used as a tool of choice for assessing and ranking priorities and the reasons for those priorities in a given community. Notably, priorities are a function of time and place, and major weaknesses of survey research include the inability to go back in time to ask new or slightly different questions; the time and cost intensity of broad and representative sampling; and the need to restrict survey length in order to reduce the burden on respondents. This work presents preliminary application of text mining methods to answering questions about social and environmental priorities in English-speaking U.S. communities, with a particular focus on how energy affects society and the environment. Text mining, including such tools as topic models and sentiment analysis, is an increasingly sophisticated field applied in disciplines from literature to political science. The goal is to use existing texts, such as newspaper archives, blog posts, scientific literature, and even fiction, to make claims about a topic of interest. For example, text mining techniques can be used to evaluate and compare the style of works by various authors (like industry and its regulators), assess the frequency with which writings from a given period address a topic of interest, examine the change in prevalence of topics of discourse, and use sentiment analysis to investigate attitudinal shifts. This research has particular application to methods where large-scale survey data might be desirable but infeasible for reasons of accessibility, time, or cost. For example, a historical study investigating the attitudes of people from different regions toward a particular policy before and after it was enacted would not be able to launch an attitudinal survey, but text mining approaches with appropriate time bounds, location bounds, and source documents could potentially be used to approximate survey results. This research in particular is a first step toward applying large-scale text mining approaches to the derivation of societal preference-based weighting factors for life cycle assessment. Typically, weighting factors are based on the opinions of a few (e.g. the author or an expert panel) rather than the many. Ongoing work focuses on validating text mining-based results using various tools and corpora against more traditional survey and ethnographic approaches to deriving societal preferences in several U.S. regions.

The Fingerprint of Climate Trends on European Crop Yields
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Frances C. Moore , Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Europe has experienced a stagnation of some crop yields since the early-1990s as well as statistically-significant warming during the growing-season. While it has been argued that these two are causally connected, no previous studies have formally attributed long-term yield trends to a changing climate. Here we present two statistical tests based on the distinctive spatial pattern of climate change impacts and adaptation, and explore their power under a range of parameter values. We show that statistical power for the identification of climate change impacts is high in many settings, but that power for identifying adaptation is almost always low. Applying these tests to European agriculture, we find evidence that long-term temperature and precipitation trends have reduced continent-wide wheat, maize, and barley yields by 2.7%, 1.1%, and 3.9%, and have increased sugarbeet yields by 1.0%. This can account for approximately 10% of the yield stagnation in Europe, with changes in agricultural and environmental policies likely explaining the remainder.