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ESS Wed Seminar: Advancing Knowledge Bases for the Management of Environmental Risk BY Katherine Mach, Senior Research Scientist, Department of Earth System Science, Stanford University

Date and Time: 
February 14, 2018 - 12:30pm to 1:20pm
Y2E2, Room #111
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 
(650) 724-4739
Event Sponsor: 
Department of Earth System Science

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