Campus Sustainability

Tahoe Science Consortium | http://www.tahoescience.org/

Press Release: New executive director works to promote science in Lake Tahoe

In support of a common desire to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique environmental values of the Tahoe basin, federal, state and local resource management/planning agencies and research institutions frequently partner in science-based decision making. Collectively, these groups recognize that scientific inquiry, resource assessment, and interpretation of available data are critical to the development and implementation of environmental policy, and that use of the best available scientific information is required by resource managers to meet environmental standards for water and air quality, soil conservation, wildlife, fish and vegetation communities, as well as noise and scenic conditions, and recreation opportunities in the Tahoe basin.

Since an initial MOU was signed in 1999 — pledging closer cooperation among the research institutions working in the Tahoe basin — the relationship between the scientific community and the management agencies/decision-makers has grown significantly.  The formation of the Lake Tahoe Science Advisory Group (SAG) in 2000 helped foster this relationship, however, it has been recognized that a more formal organization with financial resources and increased institutional commitment from both research entities and management agencies was required. 

Between October 2004 and March 2005 a working group was convened to discuss the function and structure of such an organization — the Tahoe Science Consortium (Consortium).  In a Statement of Concurrence signed on March 5, 2005 by the 21 participants, representing seven management agencies, five research institutions and the public, the working group presented a viable model for constituting the Consortium and committed to work to transform this model into an effective, viable and broadly supported entity » Read more [PDF]. 

Subsequently, on August 20, 2005, 13 executives from academia, state government (Nevada and California), and the federal government signed an MOU that pledged cooperation towards the formation and operation of the Consortium
» Read the MOU
[PDF].

The purpose of the Consortium is to contribute to the restoration of Lake Tahoe, its watershed, and its air basin by providing the best scientific information possible for management of the basin’s natural resources.  It is recognized that substantial gaps exist in our current understanding of environmental processes in the Lake Tahoe basin, and that a unified and collaborative research effort can provide the most efficient path to restoring and maintaining the multiple components of the basin’s complex ecosystems.

Numerous institutions are actively involved in research, modeling, and monitoring in the Tahoe basin, and it is a primary objective of the Consortium to provide environmental managers and decision-makers with the most comprehensive and well-synthesized advice that can be drawn from those endeavors.  The Consortium will accomplish this task by promoting integration among the many current and future scientific projects in the basin, prioritizing future research informed by a comprehensive science plan, creating an environment that promotes the contributions of the best available science, and emphasizing close cooperation with land and resource managers to facilitate the transfer of information in an effective manner. The Consortium will communicate in a timely and user-friendly manner, so that new policies and decisions will benefit from the current science, and existing policies can be adjusted to benefit from emerging findings.


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