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Writing syntheses for managers: Lessons from the Rainbow Series and Fire Effects Information System


Smith, Jane Kapler; Zouhar, Kristin L.; Fryer, Janet. 2009. Writing syntheses for managers: Lessons from the Rainbow Series and Fire Effects Information System. In: Rideout-Hanzak, S.; Oswald, B.P.; Beierle, M., comps. Fourth Annual International Congress on Fire Ecology and Management: Fire as a Global Process; 2009 November 30 - December 4; Savannah, GA. Leavenworth, WA: The Association for Fire Ecology. Online: http://fireecology.net/Congress09/Abstracts/FireEco2009/prof194.html

Scientific knowledge is essential for sound wildland management, but this knowledge is a complex, ever-expanding resource. Managers often request syntheses or reviews of available knowledge, and scientists have responded with an increasing number of syntheses for managers. Unfortunately, little guidance is available for this kind of writing. While most scientists have experience writing literature reviews for other scientists, a synthesis for managers must address land management professionals working in diverse ecosystems. These managers, sometimes trained in science and sometimes not, must integrate scientific knowledge with other information to make management decisions - often within a relatively short time. A manager-focused synthesis has two purposes: first, to identify patterns and knowledge gaps (as in scientist-focused reviews) and second, to provide enough information that readers can assess its relevance to their particular management questions.

Keywords: scientific knowledge, syntheses


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Writing syntheses for managers: Lessons from the Rainbow Series and Fire Effects Information System
Electronic Publish Date: March 20, 2012
Last Update:
March 20, 2012

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