Scientist Engagement with Boundary Organizations and Knowledge Coproduction: A Case Study of the Southwest Fire Science Consortium

Kerry E. Grimm, Andi E. Thode, Barb Satink Wolfson, Laura E. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Knowledge coproduction is increasingly advocated as a way to address complex socioecological issues, such as catastrophic wildfires. In turn, attention has been paid to boundary organizations to foster knowledge coproduction. Despite this growing interest, little research has examined the interplay between knowledge coproduction, boundary organizations, and scientists. We interviewed scientists involved with the Southwest Fire Science Consortium (SWFSC) to examine (1) relationships between their engagement with SWFSC and knowledge coproduction in their own work and (2) SWFSC’s role in fostering participation in knowledge coproduction. Overall, scientists more engaged with SWFSC reported involvement in a wider variety of knowledge coproduction activities. However, some knowledge coproduction activities, especially those requiring greater time investment or facing institutional barriers (e.g., research collaboration) were less common among all participants. Most scientists involved in knowledge coproduction believed that SWFSC increased their participation in these activities outside the boundary organization context, in part because SWFSC provided opportunities to interact with and understand the needs of managers/practitioners, as well as build research collaborations. Findings indicate that boundary organizations, such as SWFSC, can foster knowledge coproduction, but that they may need to further explore ways to address challenges for knowledge coproduction activities that involve greater time commitment or institutional challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number43
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Fire Science Exchange
  • boundary organization
  • knowledge coproduction
  • scientist
  • wildfire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Safety Research
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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