Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

James Lindholm, Ph.D.

California State University, Monterey Bay

Behind the Green Curtain:
Applied Research at the Interface of Science and Policy

Wednesday — April 20, 2011
Pacific Forum — 3:00 p.m.

The desire for sound marine policy is clearly increasing, evidenced in California by the recent efforts at bolstering the implementation of marine protected areas (MPAs), and at the national level by an increasing emphasis across Federal agencies on ecosystem-based management and marine spatial planning. However, major challenges persist, including:

A significant disconnect between much of the science conducted by academia and the actual needs of those responsible for management and policy development. The explanations for this disconnect are numerous and can be attributed to both academia and to government agencies. Well-intentioned academic efforts often fall short in addressing specific government needs due to a fundamental lack of understanding as to how the government functions and what its precise needs are. Government agencies, in turn, responding to the exigencies of management, are often compelled to act without communicating with academic scientists to determine precisely what data are available or needed.

Insufficient financial support from either State or Federal agencies directed towards conducting the critical science necessary to underlie major policy initiatives. These unfunded mandates undermine the success of the initiatives and ultimately the marine environment loses.

In response to these challenges, the IfAME was established in 2007 within the Division of Science and Environmental Policy (SEP) at CSUMB to bridge the divide between academia and government.


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