One aspect of the NERRS Science Collaborative is funding for integrated assessments that tackle priority coastal management and/or policy issues. This webpage offers some resources and example projects to help individuals developing or implementing an integrated assessment.
Integrated assessments (IAs) focus on a specific, challenging management or policy question. Projects are generally based on existing data and information and do not involve extensive field work or experimentation. This approach is most useful for situations where considerable information exists but it has not yet been synthesized in ways that allow people to evaluate options effectively for addressing the focal issue.
Most IAs use a combination of technical analyses and stakeholder engagement activities to examine the focal issue. Projects typically include the following elements:
- Collaboratively define the focal question
- Clarify the history, causes and consequences of the issue
- Identify and evaluate potential options
- Develop information to guide decisions
- An Integrated Assessment Primer (PDF) Note: This primer was developed to support teams developing proposals for the NERRS Science Collaborative 2016 RFP.
- Characterizing end users and stakeholders – A tool for integrated assessments. This worksheet will guide you through a two-step process of identifying potential end users and stakeholder participants, and developing an appropriate role for each in the project
- The Integrated Assessment Center at the Graham Sustainability Institute
- Tackling Wicked Problems through Integrated Assessment: A Guide for Decision Makers, Project Leaders and Scientists (PDF) Note: This guide provides background on integrated assessment and a long reference list of related reports and journal articles. Please note that this guide was published in 2009 and describes eight stages of IA. The NERRS Science Collaborative encourages the use of the more flexible IA framework that is outlined in this IA Primer and the 2015 RFP documents.
- Benefits of Integrated Assessment: Information for Decision Makers, Project leaders and Scientists (full report, PDF)
- Benefits of Using Integrated Assessment to Address Sustainability Challenges (article published in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences)
- Michigan Sea Grant
- The Integrated Assessment Society