Ideas for Outreach
For restoration lessons on best management practices to flow from the practitioner to interested parties, project managers should consider the provision of project descriptions, lessons learned and future suggestions to stakeholder groups as a regular part of their work. Outreach does require additional investment, and we are aware that most individuals in the restoration community do not have the training, money or time to, for example, organize a three day meeting centered on their work. However, there are strategies for initiating and strengthening knowledge sharing in restoration that do not require substantial resource input.
Since stakeholders are typically diverse in type and priorities, knowledge sharing efforts must be similarly diverse. Choose methods that hold personal interest and are applicable to your context.
This could be as simple as including your name in a database of researchers and/or practitioners interested in discussing their work to the general public (e.g. @SciCommSwarm on Twitter), posting more frequently on social media platforms (and using a restoration hashtag in your posting), or reaching out to relevant podcasts such as the Resonant Restoration and the Urban Farmer to describe your work. These free, easily accessible online resources are typically preferred venues for information.
Describing restoration projects to special interest groups or collaboratives is an excellent way to provide outreach to targeted stakeholders with a single action. Most special interest groups have semi-regular mailings via email or the postal service and would welcome a short description of your restoration outcomes and proposed management implications to include in these materials. Many of these groups host semi-regular meetings and workshops at which a formal (powerpoint) or informal (a discussion) overview of the project can be provided.
A group of stakeholders in a region can also develop informal or formal networks that co-produce science, increase science delivery and communication, and synthesize existing research to make it more useable. One example is the U.S. Geological Survey’s Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest (RAMPS) that links stakeholder groups doing ecological restoration in the Southwestern U.S., a place where restoration is challenging, often not monitored, and can be improved with more links between scientists, land managers, and restoration practitioners. These types of networks enhance information transfer and improve land conditions across a region by leveraging resources, enhancing the use of science-based decision making for land managers, and improving research with increased input from diverse stakeholder groups.