Evolving the practice of Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments

Adam S. Parris, Gregg M. Garfin, Kirstin Dow, Ryan Meyer, Sarah L. Close

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Formed in 1995, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program grew into the current network of eleven teams comprised of well over a hundred scientists in regions all over the United States. Through publicly funded research, the program successfully delivers climate services to water suppliers, city managers, homeowners, farmers and a variety of other people making decisions impacted by climate and its varied effects. RISA scientists embrace and seek to understand the complexity of decisions situated in institutions, technologies, and social norms, all changing at least as rapidly as weather and climate. The deliberate strategies RISA teams develop to connect science and decision-making through services continue to be an area of discovery, ripe for further research, reflection, and evaluation. However, the core principle for successful RISA work remains iterative and actively managed engagement between scientists and non-scientists, who have much to learn together. RISA services extend beyond data and information products to the pursuit of shared knowledge through collaborative problem solving. The success of the RISA program, as a whole, suggests the need for an enduring partnership between science and society to tackle climate adaptation. This partnership requires two new critical features in science policies that, to date, remain elusive: an emphasis on a well governed and diverse engagement strategy across various parts of the United States; and a new vision of knowledge, with a deliberate balance between theory and what we learn from a complex and evolving societal context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationClimate in Context
Subtitle of host publicationScience and Society Partnering for Adaptation
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781118474785
ISBN (Print)9781118474792
StatePublished - Apr 29 2016


  • Climate services
  • Coproduction
  • RISA
  • Science policy
  • Usable science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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