Centered on generating science to support decision making, the Yale Applied Science Synthesis Program produces quantitative, reputable, scientific syntheses that guide and inform direct actions around land stewardship.
We seek to be a space for open collaboration among practitioners, academics and policymakers to develop applied science that guides sustainable management of land.
Rationale & Approach
YASSP researchers center partners’ goals at the heart of their projects and engage with partners throughout a project’s lifespan. With this foundation, our syntheses are credible, salient, and legitimate, providing scientific evidence tailored to the environmental context and management goals for the land. Our approach is guided by the understanding that these syntheses are strongest when researchers draw expertise and information from a variety of institutions and individuals. Our Program therefore leverages the breadth and depth of expertise of Yale faculty, postdocs, and our collaborators, and adheres to the following principles:
- Collaborate with practitioner partners throughout the project lifecycle – Our projects are born from the needs of practitioner partners and engage partners throughout the project lifespan. This collaboration allows us to tailor our approach and deliverables to specific land management needs, contexts, and timelines.
- Generate data-synthesis products tailored to the evidence need – We synthesize those data that are available and help to design studies that fill data gaps critical for informed decision making. The specific data synthesis products are project specific, but we subscribe to a common philosophy that applied scientific evidence needs to identify how management of a “cause” will quantitatively change the desired outcome(s) under the regional context of the work. That is, we need to know the effect size of a change in practice under a specific set of conditions.
- Source data relevant to the regional context and at the scale of management actions and outcomes – Fine-scale variation in environmental context can strongly influence the effect size of management actions on desired outcomes. To measure and validate such effects and their cumulative regional impact requires data collected at multiple scales, across the range of environmental contexts spread across a project. However, such datasets are rarely available. We work with the incomplete nature of available scientific data and knowledge to evaluate and build confidence in the scientific evidence assembled to inform management decisions.
- Open-access, transparent, and shareable science – We do not have time to sit on valuable datasets or information that can help make important management decisions that protect and sustain land today. All our project deliverables and datasets are therefore accessible and fully documented.