The science review consists of the following:
- Design scientific review process and compile necessary documents.
- Recruit and assemble science advisory team.
- Initial science advisory team meeting.
- Conduct reviews and write draft report.
- Independent external review of reports.
- Produce final reports.
- Panel discussion with the Board of Forestry.
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Task 1: Design scientific review process and compile necessary documents
- Design a review process that would apply to ODF’s 2009 environmental, economic, and social analyses, taking into initial consideration the following primary documents:
- Compile primary documents and the initial set of secondary documents (i.e., references in the primary documents). Once the Science Review Committee is assembled all other necessary and requested information will be compiled
Task 2: Recruit and assemble science advisory team
Identify key faculty and faculty research assistants and/or graduate students. The Science Advisory Team (SAT) members will be sought out within the Oregon University System (OUS), and if necessary outside of the OUS. The intent of the SAT selection process is to have available, knowledgeable and credible scientists participate on the SAT. All SAT members should have familiarity with Oregon State Forests Management Plan (this version of the Plan contains suggested changes to the original Plan).
- General characteristics of the SAT: The team will be clearly interdisciplinary to ensure to the degree possible that the social, economic and environmental aspects of the question(s) are understood and the current knowledge is relayed to the Board of Forestry in a manner that reflects these aspects of the problem.
- Independence: Members of the SAT will be independent of the Board of Forestry and of the Oregon Department of Forestry. The Chair is a senior professional with knowledge of the situation in Oregon who is not affiliated directly with the Board or with ODF.
- Credibility: Members of a SAT should be senior scientists with tenure or a comparable level of job security who are recognized by their peers as being reasonably objective on natural resource issues.
- Balance: Despite the desire to be objective in interpretation of scientific information, everyone comes to interpretation with their own biases. The SAT for a given issue should represent to the degree possible philosophies that span a range of views.
- Interdisciplinary: Members of the SAT should be not multidisciplinary (different disciplines with each given a take), but truly interdisciplinary in their approach to the problem. In this approach the resulting analysis of the existing state of knowledge is truly different than a result that would be achieved through individual reports from multiple individuals.
- Consensus: The SAT should agree at the outset that each of the resulting report(s) will be those that represent a consensus of the appropriate sub-committees (i.e., environmental, economic, and social) of the SAT. The SAT should also agree at the outset that the integration report will be a consensus report. In only rare cases would a minority report be offered in addition to the SAT integration report.
- Transparency: The report(s) issued by the SAT will be available for input by other scientists for a specified period to allow additional input to the assessment. Using the approach that with enough eyes on a problem even complex problems are solvable, a SAT can take advantage of input from other scientists and stakeholders to ensure that they have thought through the issues as completely as possible.
- Reliability: The report(s) produced by a SAT should clearly explain the levels of certainty where possible and uncertainty associated with their report.
- Advisory: The SAT needs to realize that their information is only part of a decision-making process. The SAT is being asked to assess the technical basis for management decisions, they are not being asked to give management recommendations.
- The SAT will be divided into three sub-teams (environment, economic, and social), each composed of 2 faculty experts and 1 faculty research assistant.
- Each member of the SAT will be given a briefing document which will include a purpose statement, the primary documents listed under Task 2, and a draft review protocol.
- Each sub-team will be asked to submit secondary review questions to the Chair of the SAT.
- All review teams will be provided a briefing document.
Task 3: Initial Science Advisory Team meeting
An initial “orientation” meeting will be held prior to the beginning of the review. All, or part of this meeting, will be held as a public meeting to allow for an open/transparent/inclusive process.
The purpose of the meeting will be to:
- provide an overview of the project;
- provide an overview of the Oregon State Forests Management Plan and ODF’s documents for review;
- allow stakeholder comments;
- review, discuss, and refine the review questions, if necessary;
- review, discuss and refine the review protocol; and
- provide the review teams the first opportunity to request more documentation.
Task 4: Conduct reviews & write draft report
- Conduct reviews according to the established protocol.
- Provide a detailed report that:
- characterizes the environmental, economic, and social analysis that was conducted by ODF in 2009, discusses whether ODF analysis is consistent with science in each field;
- identifies and discusses gaps;
- discusses the range of uncertainty of expected outcomes as detailed in the ODF reports;
- presents other ways to conduct analysis or think about the questions, if applicable;
- assesses the applicability of new research that has been published (peer reviewed and white paper) since the publication of the ODF reports; and
- recommends, if necessary, performance measures to better measure environmental, economic, and social outcomes.
- Write a detailed report that integrates the environmental, social, and economic dimensions.
Task 5: Independent external review of reports
The external review process ensures that each report addresses only its charge and does not go beyond it, that the findings are supported by the scientific evidence and arguments presented, and that the report is impartial and objective. Each SAT sub-team must respond to, but need not agree with, the independent external reviewer comments in a detailed “response to review” that is examined by the SAT Chair and Project Manager to ensure that the report review criteria have been satisfied.
Task 6: Produce final reports
Produce and submit final reports for the Board.
Task 7: Panel discussion with the Board of Forestry
Meet with the Board to present and discuss the results of the review.