Building capacity for societally engaged climate science by transforming science training


Rozance, M., M. Krosby, A.M. Meadow, A. Snover, D.B. Ferguson, and G. Owen. (2020). Building capacity for societally engaged climate science by transforming science training. Environmental Research Letters 15(12), 125008.


A major barrier to achieving wide-spread progress on planning for impacts from climate change is the lack of trained scientists skilled at conducting societally-relevant research. Overcoming this barrier requires us to transform the way we train scientists so they are equipped to work with a range of different societal partners and institutions to produce the science needed to address climate change and society’s other pressing environmental challenges. As researchers at climate research organizations that work directly with decision-makers and stakeholders to produce decision-relevant science, we are entrenched in advancing actionable climate science. Based on our experience preparing scientists for similar careers, we offer a perspective on a path for the academy to better develop, train and support scientists to conduct societally relevant research. We emphasize the need for science training that builds collaborative science skills at different career stages to develop a strong community of practice around actionable climate science. We offer insights from our training and capacity-building programs to demonstrate this transformation, and point to strategies that can be adopted at other universities to grow the capacity of scientists to support society in achieving rapid progress on climate action.