Starting this September, Barron Orr, professor and geospatial extension specialist with SNRE, will commence a two-year fellowship project as an international translator of science at the Universidad de Alicante, his European host institution located in Spain.
Dr. Orr will bring his experience with the UA's model of cooperative extension to Europe, where collaboration between researches, stakeholders, and citizens is underdeveloped.
The goal is to enable the spread of new science and technology, as well as sustainable behaviors and practices throughout the community – a model based upon the UA’s example of Cooperative Extension. The model is versatile enough to apply to any science-based discipline that incorporates public engagement and policy, and applicable throughout Europe and across the U.S.
To make scientific concepts actionable in the community, Orr said, “you need a level of engagement. The closer you make your education program to a real issue that affects peoples’ lives and let them drive the connection to science, the more likely they’ll be motivated to put science into practice to bring solutions to action. In this way scientists and stakeholders learn from each other.”