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The broader impacts of GLEON

There are tremendous opportunities for the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) to facilitate greater public understanding of lakes and enable evidence-based decision making for freshwater ecosystems. To investigate this potential as well as the scope of outreach activities currently underway, we surveyed the 46 GLEON sites active as of 2013, about the uses of the high-frequency lake data (HFD). Twenty-six responded and we found that 69% engaged in or were aware of the use of GLEON HFD beyond academics. In order to highlight some of the outreach activities conducted in collaboration with GLEON scientists, we elaborate on three categories of data use (1) engaging with citizens, (2) educating students and teachers, (3) aiding in decision making.  When synthesized with a discussion of examples of broader engagement activities in the network from the perspective of participants, the results suggest GLEON’s network science approach enables the diffusion of ideas and tools for conducting effective outreach.  Results also point to opportunities for GLEON to build on existing experience to encourage greater engagement of member scientists in lake protection, restoration, and management. In light of the growing challenges in managing water quality and quantity, our findings will help determine best practices and provide guidance to scientists on how to engage a broader range of stakeholders in lake research and management.

2013-09-07 to 2015-11-07
Project Working Group: 

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