Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-cfpbc Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-22T21:34:58.088Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

What Are Working Groups and Why Should Scientists Be Involved

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 June 2017

Tony J. Svejcar*
Affiliation:
USDA-ARS, Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center, HC 71 4.51 Hwy 205, Burns, OR 97720

Abstract

The conflicts over management of natural resources, especially on public lands, have resulted in a high level of frustration among many of the interested parties. There are many underlying causes of the conflicts, but I think several major societal trends must be considered. During the past several decades, there has been increased emphasis on participatory democracy, with the public seeking more involvement in decision making and policy formulation. A related trend is the decline in the public image of science and lack of trust in state and federal agencies. Individual members of society desire to be included in decision making, and may not necessarily view scientists as capable of providing the answers to natural resource issues. One response to natural resource conflicts is to form a group of interested individuals from diverse backgrounds to develop solutions. These groups may also work toward policy development. Coalitions or working groups may take many forms. There are two basic types of groups I will mention: 1) those formed to address a specific issue over a set time period, and 2) those formed to foster communication, interaction, and education. Many working groups have been formed over controversies, but effective use of the groups might also keep controversies from arising. In my opinion, scientists should be active participants in natural resource working groups. Participation provides the opportunity to incorporate science in decision-making and may also guide research efforts insuring that the results are of value to a wider cross-section of society.

Type
Symposium
Copyright
Copyright © 1996 by the Weed Science Society of America 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Literature Cited

1. Adams, P. W., and Hairston, A. B. 1994. Using scientific input in policy and decision making. Oregon State Univ. Ext. Serv. Pub. EC 1441. 19 p.Google Scholar
2. Anderson, E. W., 1991. Innovations in coordinated resource management planning. J. Soil Water Conserv. 46:441–414.Google Scholar
3. Astroth, K. A., 1991. Getting serious about strategic alliances: conceptionalizing the collaboration process. J. Ext. 29:810.Google Scholar
4. Barlow, C. P., 1992. Managing disagreements. J. Soil Water Conserv. 47:7879.Google Scholar
5. Cleary, C. R., 1988. Coordinated resource management: a planning process that works. J. Soil Water Conserv. 43:138139.Google Scholar
6. Cleary, C. R., and Phillippi, D. 1993. Coordinated Resource Management Guidelines. Society for Range Management, Denver, CO. 265 p.Google Scholar
7. Doyle, M., And Strauss, D. 1976. How to Make Meetings Work. Berkeley Publishing Group. New York, NY. 298 p.Google Scholar
8. Trankina, M. L., 1991. Psychology of the scientists: LXIV. Work-related attitudes of U.S. scientists. Psychol. Rep. 69:443450.Google Scholar
9. Wagner, F. H., 1994. Changing institutional arrangements for setting natural-resources policy. p. 281288 in Vavra, M., Laycock, W. A., and Pieper, R. D., eds. Ecological Implications of Livestock Herbivory in the West. Society for Range Management, Denver, CO.Google Scholar
10. Whaley, R. S., 1993. Working partnerships: elements for success. J. For. 91:1011.Google Scholar