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Evaluating Climate Assessment and Translational Science Efforts in the US Southwest
This project examined CLIMAS efforts to engage stakeholders on climate-related topics (with a particular emphasis on drought-related engagement) through a broad array of efforts between 2002 and 2007. The primary goals of the evaluation project were to determine: (a) penetration of CLIMAS information to stakeholders, (b) the perceived salience, credibility and legitimacy of CLIMAS research and outreach, and (c) changes in stakeholder attitudes, knowledge, and behavior as a result of partnerships and collaborative processes. The six-person evaluation team is comprised of both CLIMAS team members and experienced program evaluators with no CLIMAS contact prior to this effort. The team is using an evaluation approach that includes surveys, key informant interviews, and focus groups. The knowledge generated by this project will provide a broad array of insights into the successes and challenges of a long-term, stakeholder-driven climate research and outreach effort. This knowledge is important both for the future success of the CLIMAS program itself, but more generally it will offer guidance for other initiatives with similar operational models, like the National Integrated Drought Information System.