Improving the Usability of Great Lakes Ice Forecasts through Knowledge Co-production
Funded by: NOAA Climate Program Office
Final workshop report now available here.
In the Great Lakes, ice cover is integral to human activities in coastal communities and the region overall – from obstructing vessel navigation in the transportation sector to providing an opportunity for winter recreation. Rapid formation of lake ice poses significant challenges in commercial shipping and ice breaking operations. Timely, accurate, and usable ice information (i.e., current conditions and forecasting) has great potential to reduce safety risks for mariners and their vessels, among other stakeholders. A one-year Catalyst grant from the University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute funded the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR), the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), and GLISA to improve the usability of NOAA’s Great Lakes Operational Forecast System (GLOFS) by engaging with stakeholders in a workshop hosted in partnership with U.S. Coast Guard and Lake Carriers Association (LCA) in July 2019. Pre-workshop surveys were also conducted with the 9th District U.S. Coast Guard and the Lake Carriers Association. The workshop allowed scientists and decision-makers to jointly identify barriers, opportunities, and recommendations to improve GLOFS usability. In October 2019, this project was scaled up to conduct further in-depth stakeholder engagements with the goal of developing formal recommendations to NOAA on future updates to the models, and the eventual development of a front-end user interface. In this project, GLISA, CIGLR, and GLERL are conducting in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with a broad range of user groups including the US and Canadian Coast Guards, US Army Corps of Engineers, and representatives of the shipping industry.
- Conducted a stakeholder workshop in July 2019 and developed a workshop report
- Developed a list of key decisions that could be informed by ice forecasts and corresponding variables of interest
- Conducted key informant interviews with different stakeholder groups
- Journal Article: Knowledge Co-production in a Research-to-Operation (R2O) Process for Development of a Great Lakes Ice Forecast: Reflection from a Stakeholder Engagement Workshop
- Project Report: Scaling-up Stakeholder Engagement Efforts to Inform Better Communication & Uptake of NOAA Great Lakes Ice Forecast Information
- Great Lakes Ice Forecast Model Development, the International Icebreaking Conference, U.S. Coast Guard, Cleveland OH, October 29-30, 2019.
- Assessing Stakeholder Needs for a Short-Term Great Lakes Ice Forecast, the International Icebreaking Conference, U.S. Coast Guard, Cleveland OH, October 29-30, 2019.
- Improving Environmental Forecast Models through Stakeholder Engagement, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, held virtually, December 1-17, 2020 (e-lightening talk).
- Anticipated deliverables include:
- Focus group discussions to identify user preferences for forecast content and user interface
- A manuscript on improving the usability of short-term ice forecasts
- Recommendation to NOAA on improving ice forecast models and user platforms
GLISA’s role includes supporting the design and implementation of workshops, interviews and focus group discussions, and assisting in the development of recommendations for NOAA.
Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR); Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL)