The Soil and Water Conservation Society works with scientists and policymakers to collaborate to produce results-oriented guidance for conservation stakeholders.
Science and Policy Committee
Meeting Highlights - May 20, 2013
This one-hour conference call was dedicated to discussing the role of the Science & Policy Committee (SPC) in developing white papers, position statements, and other written products, how they would be prepared, reviewed internally, and presented to the SWCS Board of Directors. The SPC will be required to review for broad content and provide an executive summary of any white paper or policy document for the Board’s understanding and subsequent decision on.
Several key areas were presented for future discussion, which include but are not limited to;
A. Revisiting Soil Quality and Soil Health Indicators – it has been several years since soil quality indicators were proposed and reviewed by Doug Karlen. The SPC felt it was time to look at the state-of-our-knowledge on these indicators, as much research and quantification has been applied to the indicators over the last few years.
B. Nutrient Trading – a point-counter point assessment of nutrient trading and how it might foster or support (financially) conservation measures. There is a feeling that while nutrient trading possesses potential, it also has drawbacks and a clear, defined discussion of them is needed.
C. Phosphorus Management, Legacies, and Water quality Impacts – this could take the role of evaluating several key case studies that demonstrate a microcosm of P management, response issues, and what can we learn; for instance, Lake Erie Basin, Everglades, Lake Winnipeg.
D. Robust Economic Analysis of the Cost of Gulf Hypoxia – what is the overall impact and economic cost of not addressing Gulf Hypoxia? This is important to the discussion of conservation measures and wastewater treatment plant upgrades needed to bring about a nutrient reduction to the Gulf.
E. Green Infrastructures to Meet / Offset Drinking Water Treatment Needs – an economic assessment of conservation management across various landscapes that have multiple benefits to the landscape system and its management.
F. Training and Profession Development of Technical Service Providers in the Field – with ever tightening personnel and travel budgets, training technical service providers and keeping them up to date with scientific advances, new technology, and new more complex tools will become increasingly difficult and challenging. How can we respond to that, what mechanisms are in place, and what mechanisms need to be put in place
G. Conservation Legacies – this could again focus on Lake Erie and other areas for example, Gulf hypoxia and Chesapeake Bay restoration, so there might be some overlap with issue C.
Over the coming months, we will systematically discuss the above items one at a time and develop a plan for moving forward.
Climate Change Position Statement and Task Force Report
Science and Policy Committee PowerPoints
These files are for use by SWCS Chapters and other stakeholders to provide an explanation of how a changing climate affects soil and water conservation. They also include descriptions of actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Soil and Water Conservation Society - Climate Change Position Statement Announcement
PRESS RELEASE - July 19, 2011
Contact: Jim Gulliford
Soil and Water Conservation Society
(515) 289-2331 x113
(816) 516-3485 cell
Soil and Water Conservation Society Releases “Position Statement on Climate Change and Soil and Water Conservation”
Washington, DC - As part of the opening plenary session at the 66th Annual International Conference of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, the Society released a position statement on Climate Change and Soil and Water Conservation. The position statement is available online at www.swcs.org/policy
“We are pleased with the work of Dr. Jorge Delgado, research editor of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation and his team of scientists, in producing this comprehensive analysis of how conservation practices can contribute to the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, “ said Jim Gulliford, executive director. “This product was the basis for the Society’s Science and Policy Committee and its chair Andy Manale, to produce the position statement containing the principles of agricultural practice and guidance for outreach, research, and collaboration.”
The position statement was reviewed and adopted by the Board of Directors on July 7, 2011. This was the result of a year-long process that resulted in several products published in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation this month: a feature article on the science of conservation practices related to climate change, a research editorial that presents a review of related scientific literature, and a viewpoint article by Gulliford on how, through good conservation and agricultural practice, farmers can mitigate and adapt to climate change.
All of these products are available online at www.swcs.org/policy
- Position Statement on Climate Change and Soil and Water Conservation (SWCS Board, 7/7/2011)
- Feature Article from Journal of Soil and Water Conservation (Delgado, et al.)
- Research Editorial (Lal, et al.)
- Viewpoint article (Gulliford)
- Press Release (pdf)