Poster Presentation: Boundary Spanning Between Science And Policy: Lessons Learned From South Florida

Boundary organizations are “formal relational structures that create linkages across traditional boundaries-such as the boundary between science and non-science” (Morse 2009, p1). The boundary organization often facilitates and implements techniques to link people and their institutions through human interactions to produce knowledge and mutually beneficial outcomes. Within the boundary organization paradigm, science and non-science are used in the co-production of products and ideas such as publications and reports, inventions and patents, leveraging funds, and linking researchers, managers, and educators. Those involved, both individuals and groups, can use products and outcomes for their own purposes with unique benefit(s). Boundary organizations possess the ability to strategically maneuver among and between interest groups as an honest broker seeking to identify potential interests and collaborations. The boundary organization maintains their own identity and can be viewed as non-competitive in identifying common interests for co-production and building trust and relationships. In the case of South Florida, a liaison position between the federal government and state university from 2006-2018 co-produced 1 book, 2 book chapters, 8 peer-reviewed publications, 4 technical reports, 3 white papers, 18 conference presentations, 3 regional decision support models. The liaison focused on facilitating communication among the diverse interests in South Florida and collating disparate information versus conflicting aspirations or other external factors from individuals or interest groups. Measures of success were not often recorded or, but the role is valued for bridging science to management as noted by many involved and those using the co-produced products and/or furthering relationships established during activities.


  • Pamela Fletcher, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Broward College