To encourage conservation biologists and natural resource managers to work together, the Committee for the National Institute for the Environment (CNIE) will provide them with an electronic meeting place. For instance, managers can post research projects they would like to see done and scientists can post projects they would like to do, says Washington DC-based CNIE senior scientist David Blockstein in the June issue of Conservation Biology.
In urging conservation biologists to become more involved, Blockstein says, "The stakes are high and the consequences of inaction are unacceptable."
Called the Managers-Researchers Exchange Bulletin Board, this electronic meeting place will be at the CNIE's National Library for the Environment website (www.cnie.org) in time for the 17-21 June Society of Conservation Biology meeting.
While important, the electronic meeting place is just a first step. To answer resource managers' questions, scientists will also need to do more interdisciplinary, large-scale studies. But doing such studies is difficult because the "science funding infrastructure has no home for what we do," says Blockstein.
To increase funding for research designed to improve the scientific basis of environmental decision making, the CNIE is promoting a National Institute for the Environment (NIE). Endorsed by the Society for Conservation Biology, the NIE had 92 bipartisan co-sponsors in the last Congress and is gaining supporters in the current Congress.