New collaborative philosophies and approaches are urgently needed to match the increasing complexity, pace, and social realities of global environmental change. In the environmental sciences, the co-production of knowledge – also referred to as knowledge co-production or joint knowledge production – is gaining recognition for its emphasis on bringing together multiple forms of knowledge (e.g., Indigenous knowledge, Western scientific knowledge) from diverse social groups (e.g., local communities, academics) to iteratively generate data and solutions for today’s most pressing environmental crises, including climate change and biodiversity loss. Yet co-production is not a panacea. Its potential transformative power rests on the precarity of negotiating disciplinary, cultural, and institutional differences and tensions. In this talk, I share findings and insights about co-production that continue to emerge from collaborative work with the SakKijânginnaniattut Nunatsiavut Sivunitsangit (Sustainable Nunatsiavut Futures project) project. The SakKijânginnaniattut Nunatsiavut Sivunitsangit project is an ongoing knowledge co-production effort among Labrador Inuit, academics, and practitioners centered on climate change and marine spatial planning in Nunatsiavut, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. By using this case study as an anchor for reflection, synthesis, and forecasting, I draw from co-produced research and experience to show how the power and precarity of co-production extend from the willingness and ability of project partners to iteratively conduct research and build relationships together.
Michael Petriello is an interdisciplinary conservation social scientist whose work broadly focuses on the intersections between human cultures and the environment through community-based methods and approaches. In 2020, he received his Ph.D. in Applied Biodiversity Sciences and Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences from Texas A&M University, where his research focused on describing the hunting culture and local knowledge of Nicaraguan campesinos (small-scale farmers). He is currently a Postdoctoral Research Scholar supported by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and hosted in the Center for Science and Society at Columbia University. His current research is directed towards synthesizing how knowledge co-production is conceptualized and pursued in climate change research, how Labrador Inuit hopes, values, and knowledge can inform regional climate adaptation and resilience strategies, and how visual methods such as participatory photography can be used as co-production tools towards these ends.