Scientists, related professionals, and the public have for decades called for greater interaction among scientists, policymakers, and the media to address contemporary environmental challenges. Practical examples of effective “real-world” programs designed to catalyze interactions and provide relevant science are few. Existing successful models can be used, however, to develop and expand the work of integrating, synthesizing, and communicating ecosystem science for environmental policy and natural-resource management. We provide an overview of the structure and strategies used in the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation Science Links program, now in its thirteenth year as a successful boundary-spanning organization. We detail project activities and results and share lessons and challenges for the further advancement of Science Links and other efforts to bridge the science—policy divide. Furthermore, we suggest greater emphasis in boundary-spanning programs as a part of publicly funded research initiatives and as legitimate scholarly endeavors that support the scaled coproduction of knowledge and that harness scientific research to support informed policy and environmental management.
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Vol. 61 • No. 10