MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Professor Jessica Thompson has joined a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) project exploring the cost-effectiveness of restoring coastal marshlands to improve filtration and reduce polluted runoff in the Gulf of Mexico.
Thompson will work with a team of ecologists and marine biologists at the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve System in Fairhope, Ala., and at the University of South Alabama’s Dauphine Island Sea Lab.
As a collaborative process consultant, Thompson will train the science and stakeholder teams to build interactive decision-making models through a process called mediated modeling.
“I will be acting as a translator of the science for the stakeholders and a translator of the stakeholder's concerns and issues for the scientists,” she said. “I facilitate a common communication channel for integrating science into local governance and decision-making.”
NMU is a sub-awardee of the total $330,000 funded by the NOAA project and will receive $13,086 per year for Thompson’s involvement in the collaboration. Experts from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and the University of Connecticut are also involved in the project.