Photo credit: Christine McConnell
Photo: Christine McConnell

PISCO’s policy and outreach program shares vital scientific information about ocean policy, management, and conservation with a diverse audience of managers, policy makers, scientists and the general public. These audiences increasingly recognize the challenges facing coastal ecosystems, and each of them contributes to decisions that influence the long-term sustainability of coastal ecosystems in a rapidly changing world.

Although science should play an integral role in decisions about ocean management, its role continues to be limited in many decision making processes. PISCO’s scientific research is designed to be responsive to the informational needs of all of these audiences—a goal that can only be realized through effective communication between PISCO researchers and information users.

Marine Protected Area policy

PISCO's broad-scale coordination enables effective communication of the science of MPAs and rapid response to policy and management needs.

Climate Change policy

Integrating research with policy and outreach programs provide a unique platform for understanding the causes and consequences of hypoxia and ocean acidification.

Marine Resources policy

Close work with a wide network of collaborators provides essential information for spatially-explicit and ecosystem-based planning and management.

Two-way Communication

PISCO’s policy and outreach program has been effective at communicating policy-relevant scientific information to ocean managers over the past 10 years. This long history has served to build unparalleled trust and respect over a large spatial scale between PISCO and the agencies we seek to inform.

A key component of the program is the initiation and facilitation of two-way communication between PISCO scientists and the targeted audience of PISCO-generated information. PISCO policy and outreach coordinators interact extensively with managers, policy makers, scientists and the general public to track marine policy issues and identify emerging opportunities to provide timely and relevant scientific information to inform decision-making processes. Coordinators work independently and in support of PISCO scientists to facilitate engagement with pressing marine policy issues and develop general and targeted tools to communicate PISCO science to managers, policy makers, scientists and the general public.

Focused Efforts

PISCO’s 10 year track record of effective interaction with public agencies has placed us in a unique position to inform decision-makers on emerging marine policy issues in the future.

Our inherently interdisciplinary nature and successful communication to marine resource management have positioned PISCO to bring science to bear broadly on a variety of marine policy and management processes. PISCO is focusing its research and communication efforts on three overarching policy arenas critical to the development and maintenance of sustainable, resilient coastal marine ecosystems and the services they provide: climate change, spatial management approaches including marine reserves and other protected areas, and ecosystem-based approaches to marine resource management. In each of these targeted policy arenas, PISCO works to ensure that scientific information and insights are communicated effectively to a broad audience. 

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