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Bullet events · Aug 23, 2022

The Role of Horizon Scanning in Ecosystem Research

Science Briefing for Policymakers

Date: September 15, 2022

Time: 9:00 - 11:00 AM Eastern Time

Location: 2325 Rayburn House Office Building, with Virtual Option (Please note room change)

Horizon scanning is a tool for assessing potential threats and opportunities and is used extensively in many sectors including energy, defense, and medicine. Use of horizon scanning in environmental fields is gaining traction to explore both predicted and unexpected futures. Horizon scanning can help prioritize personnel and infrastructure investments to enable an organization to effectively deploy resources to address both known and unknown threats. The process of horizon scanning involves cataloguing potential threats, filtering information and prioritizing based on level of risk, and disseminating information to appropriate authorities. Early warning systems are threat-specific tools for collecting data, assessing trends and evaluating risk, and initiating communication to appropriate authorities. The Association of Ecosystem Research Centers (AERC) will conduct a briefing on the application of horizon scanning for ecosystem management. The brief will provide an overview of the process followed by two case studies highlighting forest ecosystems and the Laurentian Great Lakes.

View the 2022 AERC Briefing Program.

Moderated by:

  • Dr. William Pitt, AERC President


  • Dr. Jonathan E. Kolby, Research Scientist, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
    The Value of Horizon Scanning as a Strategic Tool in Environmental Planning
  • Dr. David N. Bengston, Environmental Futurist, Strategic Foresight Group, USDA Forest Service
    The Application of Horizon Scanning for Emerging Issues in Forest Management
  • Dr. Lucinda B. Johnson, Director of Research, Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI), University of Minnesota Duluth
    A Framework for an Early Warning System for the Laurentian Great Lakes

Presented by: AERC Logo

This event has ended. Watch a recording of the briefing.