Scientific information for decision makers needs to be discoverable and transparent so that decisions are more easily based on scientific evidence. One way to achieve these goals is to specify a robust model that structures this scientific information. This paper presents a model that governs the scientific activities, inputs and products for bioregional assessments (BAs), which provide information on the ecology, hydrology, geology and hydrogeology of a bioregion with explicit assessment of the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of coal seam gas and coal mining development on water resources. This scientific information will be available for all interested parties – including Australian federal and state decision makers, industry and the community – when considering coal seam gas and coal mining developments. This model shows the flow of information – including uncertainty – through a BA; the linkages between disciplines, data and numerical models; and ‘decision points’ which can be used to adaptively manage the BAs. The model is illustrated as a 4-meter-long diagram that specifies: a standard structure and language for products, with codes for ‘chunks’ of content. This ensures consistency when BAs are undertaken in many different bioregions, and also enables moving away from traditional reports (with linear narratives) to modern delivery on multiple channels – ensuring that the information is discoverable a standard structure for on-demand reporting of provenance of scientific datasets – ensuring transparency. This model is useful not only because it documents the logic behind a BA; it also visually communicates the linkages within this interdisciplinary programme, ensuring that the science – and the reported information – is better integrated.
Schmidt, Rebecca Kristine; Barrett, Damian; and Gallant, Simon, "A Model To Structure Scientific Information For Decision Makers" (2014). CUNY Academic Works.