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  1. As pressure on the dairy industry to reduce its environmental impact increases, efficient recycling of manure nutrients through local cropping systems becomes crucial. The aim of this study was to calculate annual nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) budgets in six counties located in the Magic Valley, Idaho and estimate what distance manure would need to be transported to be in balance with crop nutrient demand given current dairy cattle populations and cropping systems. Our analysis suggests that crop N needs will not be met solely by manure, and synthetic fertilizer will need to be applied. However, to balance P with crop production, manure would need to be transported a minimum of 12.9 km from dairies and would have to replace synthetic fertilizer P on 91% of regional cropland. Education of producers and technical specialists would be necessary to improve the management of manure use in regional cropping systems. Technical solutions such as alternative diets for cattle and nutrient capture from manure streams will also likely be necessary to bring regional P into balance to protect environmental quality and improve the sustainability of the regional dairy industry.
  2. null (Ed.)
    Community and stakeholder engagement is increasingly recognized as essential to science at the nexus of food, energy, and water systems (FEWS) to address complex issues surrounding food and energy production and water provision for society. Yet no comprehensive framework exists for supporting best practices in community and stakeholder engagement for FEWS. A review and meta-synthesis were undertaken of a broad range of existing models, frameworks, and toolkits for community and stakeholder engagement. A framework is proposed that comprises situational awareness of the FEWS place or problem, creation of a suitable culture for engagement, focus on power-sharing in the engagement process, co-ownership, co-generation of knowledge and outcomes, the technical process of integration, the monitoring processes of reflective and reflexive experiences, and formative evaluation. The framework is discussed as a scaffolding for supporting the development and application of best practices in community and stakeholder engagement in ways that are arguably essential for sound FEWS science and sustainable management.
  3. One of the factors for the success of simulation studies is close collaboration with stakeholders in developing a conceptual model. Conceptual models are a useful tool for communicating and understanding how real systems work. However, models or frameworks that are not aligned with the perceptions and understanding of local stakeholders can induce uncertainties in the model outcomes. We focus on two sources of epistemic uncertainty in building conceptual models of food-energy-water systems (FEWS): (1) context and framing; and (2) model structure uncertainty. To address these uncertainties, we co-produced a FEWS conceptual model with key stakeholders using the Actor-Resources-Dynamics-Interaction (ARDI) method. The method was adopted to specifically integrate public (and local) knowledge of stakeholders in the Magic Valley region of Southern Idaho into a FEWS model. We first used the ARDI method with scientists and modellers (from various disciplines) conducting research in the system, and then repeated the process with local stakeholders. We compared results from the two cohorts and refined the conceptual model to align with local stakeholders’ understanding of the FEWS. This co-development of a conceptual model with local stakeholders ensured the incorporation of different perspectives and types of knowledge of key actors within the socio-ecological systems models.