ESAC Earth Science Astrobiology Collaboratory


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Tahoe Basin
Pilot Project




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  Image: Westfjords, Iceland

Translation across disciplines and across institutions is a prerequisite for Ecosystem Forecasting and collaborative problem-solving.

The diagram shows the complexity of the Tahoe Restoration Project. The large number of regulatory agencies engaged in analysis and regulatory issues, and the many research institutions and disciplines whose science findings should impact policy, are trying to improve their communication channels. And other stakeholders also want to be heard.

Where organizations have entrenched systems and responsibilities, a "not invented here" syndrome resists implementation of new tools and methods that might more effectively address a problem. The best way to develop and implement decision support frameworks entails working outside existing organizational hierarchies in project-focused teams where tools can be tested independently of traditional ways of doing business. Through workshops and discrete projects we will enlist knowledge and expertise from representatives of organizations that may later adopt Eco-Infosphere processes and tools for decision-making.

Project-focused customization enables each decision support framework to
  • educate potential users, while tapping their domain expertise in designing a framework that addresses their needs,
  • serve applications, evolving into a domain-independent system that can incorporate new data and tools to meet future needs,
  • serve as a project-focused learning environment,
  • evolve into a "system of systems" that integrates and cross-links methods and tools developed by affiliate organizations.
Individuals involved in the ESAC (Earth Science Astrobiology Collaboratory) pilot project are bridging the translation gap, starting with the following institutions:

Primary Collaborators:
BASIC - Basic & Applied Spatial Information Collaborative, NASA Ames Research Center
TRPA - Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
USGS - US Geological Survey

Advisory Collaborators:
EPA - Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Lab
PGE - Pacific Gas and Electric
TERC - Tahoe Environmental Research Center


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