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TitleThe challenge of collaborative environmental geoscience
AuthorBates, J L; Parsons, M B
SourceAtlantic Geoscience Society Abstracts: 2008 Colloquium & Annual General Meeting; Atlantic Geology vol. 44, 2008 p. 4-5
LinksOnline - En ligne
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20080081
MeetingAtlantic Geoscience Society 34th Colloquium and Annual General Meeting; Dartmouth, NS; CA; February 1-2, 2008
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
Subjectsenvironmental geology; Health and Safety; geological research; health hazards; governments; environmental impacts; human health
AbstractThe nature of environmental geoscience challenges the geoscience community to better its interaction with the public. Researchers need to be ready to discuss their scientific results and to address questions about non-geoscience topics such as implications for human health risk and property assessment values. Perhaps what is not as obvious, although equally important, is the need to accurately convey the same science to collaborators from other disciplines in multi-partner projects. Partners in these science teams initially need to define the problem to be addressed. Perhaps this is the first challenge of the group. Then, the varied aspects of the study must be divided up among the specialists in the team. Delineation of the responsibilities is critical and could require negotiation. All partners need to agree on the ways by which the results will be shared among project members, and how these can be integrated to better understand complex natural systems. Generating a common understanding of terms and processes that will act as a foundation for communication can be a learning experience for all. The science collective also needs to decide how it will address society’s right to know and the anticipated questions from the public. Material prepared for specific audiences, appropriate venues, timeliness, and informed and media-savvy presenters are key factors. For many projects, conveying science to politicians of various levels, community leaders and regulatory agencies can be an important requirement. While the level of language is often similar to that of the public audience, these groups likely have a specific focus and objective and have an interest in the information that matches their mandate. This poster will introduce some of the challenges faced by the interdisciplinary, multi-partner project team investigating the environmental impacts of historical gold mines in Nova Scotia.