RMC is evaluating Hubbard Brook Research Foundation’s Forest Science Dialogues project, a model for engaging ecosystem scientists and local citizens/network leaders in action-oriented dialogue around urgent local issues and concerns.
For evaluation purposes, the project can be considered to take place in three phases. The initial phase will serve as a needs assessment that brings together the Core Science Team and community leaders for a focused discussion of climate change and its impact on the local economy at a two-day Roundtable session. At the end of this phase, participants will have generated a list of topic areas of interest to the surrounding communities and which the scientists’ knowledge can inform related to climate change. In the second phase, Hubbard Brook Research Foundation (HBRF) will host two additional Roundtables that will 1) further refine the topic area; and 2) further generate ideas for a community activity (e.g., community forum or workshop) that the scientists and the community can jointly work on related to the topic and involving a broader audience. Finally, Phase Three will involve the scientists and citizens working together on the community activities that came out of the Roundtables as a way to expand the dialogue to additional community members/network leaders.
RMC will evaluate the successes and challenges of the project in order to provide useful and timely feedback to HBRF. At the end of the two-year project, RMC will provide HBRF with a summative evaluation intended to further HBRF’s interest in sustaining the model of engagement between the scientists and the community on issues regarding the Northern Forest.