When environmental scientists design projects to address questions applicable to environmental policy and management, their work strengthens ecosystem science and increases the impact of science on environmental decisions in clear and important ways. Still, considering policy concerns when planning research projects remains uncommon. Here we present specific examples of ecosystem research that has been strengthened by attention to policy and demonstrate how the practice of policy integration can be accessible to all ecologists, particularly when ecologists partner with boundary spanning professionals and organizations. Our overall objective is to promote expanded approaches to science‐policy integration to improve both basic research and its broader impacts.
This conference report, "Using Science- Policy Integration to Improve Ecosystem Science and Inform Decision- Making: Lessons from U.S. LTERs," is based on a Special Session that took place on 12 August 2015 at the 100th Meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Baltimore, Maryland, and was conceived of and coordinated by the Science Policy Exchange. This session was organized by Marissa Weiss and co- organized by Pamela Templer, Kathleen Fallon Lambert, Jill Baron, Charles Driscoll, and David Foster. Along the theme of ESA s Centennial meeting, the group of presenters represented collectively more than 100 years of experience in integration of science, policy, and outreach.