Science for Society
Science for society is about creating knowledge and tools that are directly useful for establishing policies and making decisions. This form of science is critical for managing our natural resources, including water, land, minerals, and ecosystems. It is important in assuring conservation of biological diversity as well as achieving and maintaining the long-term sustainability of our cities, businesses, livelihoods, and social processes. Science for society initiatives assess and respond to decision makers’ needs in coping with existing environmental problems and foreseeing the likely environmental issues of the future. Science-society collaborations are crucial in improving our understanding of the many dimensions of environmental hazards, risks, and vulnerability, and in developing effective theories, methods, tools, and strategies to adapt in our changing world. Environment and society issues are naturally multidisciplinary, and the UA is home to outstanding faculty in the social and behavioral sciences as well as in the natural and physical sciences. The UA, often in collaboration with tribal, state, federal and NGO partners, also hosts a number of well-respected centers that administer active environment and society programs on regional, national, and international scales.
Adaptation to climate variability and change is at the core of the University of Arizona’s Science for Society research and outreach. UA is a leader in developing experimental scenario analysis methods for adaptation planning, providing the tools for resource managers, urban planners, federal agencies, and others to develop robust plans to prepare for a variety of environmental risks. A strong focus on outreach to rural communities on the use of best environmental and agricultural management practices helps citizens improve the resilience of rangelands, forests, and agricultural systems to the vagaries of environmental changes.