Immersive Co-production to Inform Ranch Management in Gunnison, Colorado, USA
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CitationCourkamp, J. S., Knapp, C. N., & Allen, B. (2019). Immersive Co-production to Inform Ranch Management in Gunnison, Colorado, USA. Rangelands, 41(4), 178–184.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
AbstractTo be successful, producers must interpret environmental stimuli and respond with management actions that help match their production operations to the ecosystem services they depend on. Climate change, and the increased variability that will likely result, may lessen the relevance of historical rules of thumb and management heuristics by altering environmental conditions and giving rise to novel systems that feature more frequent and intense periods of stress. Sustaining livestock production in the face of climate change depends on the rapid production of knowledge to inform adaptation to novel systems. Involving producers in research is often discussed as a strategy to help accomplish this goal. We propose immersive co-production, wherein a student researcher is embedded within the production operations of a working ranch while studying and conducting research, as one method of quickly developing the knowledge resources necessary to sustain livestock production in the context of environmental change. We present a case study involving a ranch near Gunnison, Colorado, as evidence of the effectiveness of this approach. Immersive co-production involves producers in research and researchers in production to develop useful ranch-level management insights and a new generation of interdisciplinary range professionals with intimate knowledge of the complexity faced by producers.