Transferring climate knowledge at the science-policy interface for adaptation to drought in Uruguay (CRN 3106)


Project information

Gabriela Cruz (
Centro Interdisciplinario de Respuesta al Cambio y Variabilidad Climática (CIRCVC). Espacio Interdisciplinario (EI), UdelaR, Uruguay
Feb 2014/ Nov 2017, USD 162,000
Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, USA

Results Outreach Investigators Students Executive Summary


This is a summary of the most salient project results. For further information see the project website, project papers or contact the investigators directly.

Project participants are 2 agronomy, 1 biology, 1 anthropology and 1 political science graduate students, and representatives of Uruguayan agricultural and meteorological institutions involved in science-policy and agricultural drought management. The biologist and anthropologist perform crosscutting work outside their discipline. The transfer process was designed to be flexible, open to new participants and effective in conflict resolution toward constructive engagement.

Major institutional outcomes: Meteorological information was digitized to estimate potential evapotranspiration, and the resulting time series data is quality controlled following protocols of the Argentine National Weather Service and will be openly available, and integrated with other met-service data. The necessary institutional agreements have been implemented to perform this collaboration.

Results on trend in evapotranspiration are being developed and analyzed in relation to proven increases in regional precipitation. Together, these two atmospheric variables determine drought frequency, duration and intensity.

The scales at which decisions are made are critical. Decision makers at the political level affect a large number of people, while farmers make daily decisions that affect natural resources at the farm level. Understanding how these mechanisms work and the role of science in this interaction are the main objectives of several theses.


Gabriela Cruz describes issues addressed in the research in the CRN project she leads and the relevance to UN development goals.

MIOLO_Mudanas_Clim‡ticas_Web.inddHow to communicate climate change?
The CRED Guide: The Psychology of Climate Change Communication is available in Portuguese thanks to the joint efforts by this CRN and the network on climate services (CRN 3035).


tapa-2014-150x150Interdisciplinary Center for Responding to climate change and variability: science-policy and science-society linkages Further information or the pdf file (in Spanish) can be found here


Gabriela Cruz (
Centro Interdisciplinario de Respuesta al Cambio y Variabilidad Climática (CIRCVC). Espacio Interdisciplinario (EI), UdelaR, Uruguay

Valentín Picasso (
Universidad de la República, Uruguay

Javier Taks
Universidad de la República, Uruguay

Ignacio Lorenzo
Sistema Nacional de Respuesta al Cambio Climático, Uruguay

Hermes Morales
Instituto Plan Agropecuario, Uruguay

Guillermo Podestá (
University of Miami, USA

Marta Vinocur
Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto, Argentina

Renzo Taddei
Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brasil


Bianca Vienni
Espacio Interdisciplinario – UdelaR, Uruguay.


Claudia Simón, Master, Universidad de la República, Uruguay.
Hugo Partucci, Master, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Rossana González, Master, Universidad de la República, Uruguay.
Sofía Alvariño, Master, Universidad de la República, Uruguay.

Executive Summary

In Uruguay, there is a high degree of institutionalization of the climate change issues at the political level through the National System for Response to Climate Change (SNRCC), a network of government institutions. From the academia the University-wide Interdisciplinary Center for Response to Climate Variability and Change (CIRCVC-UdelaR) generates climate change scientific knowledge. These two institutional assets make Uruguay an excellent case study for interdisciplinary science-policy interaction. The aim of this project is to develop a direct interaction at the science-policy interface to enhance the adoption of climate knowledge targeted to the decision-making in terms of public policy.

It is conceived as a contribution to identify and overcome barriers to the application of climate knowledge to a specific agricultural Uruguayan situation: the adaptation to drought. A first team will study climate knowledge transfer at the science-policy interface by applying social network analysis to represent the roads that climate knowledge runs and identify “nodes” where it is concentrated, interrupted or weakened, and test designs of different types of networks to explain the flow of information. A second team will study the interdisciplinary process through recording and providing feedback to the work of the first team. Both teams together will develop methodological guidelines for future design of interdisciplinary work. The main outcome will be a “bridge” between CIRCVC-UdelaR and relevant government institutions (Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Housing, Land Planning and Environment), strengthening CIRCVC as border institution to deal with the decision-making process for adaptation to climate change.