Guide to Collaborative Science


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Old Woman Creek Reserve in Ohio. Photo credit G. Wright.

Welcome to our Guide to Collaborative Science!

Inside you'll find examples, tips, and downloadable tools to help you develop collaborative science projects that address urgent natural resource management challenges.

What Is Collaborative Science?

Collaborative science is a knowledge co-creation process that informs natural resource management decisions by involving scientists, managers, communities, and others to advance understanding in a manner that none of them working alone could accomplish.

Learn more about collaborative science »

Mindset and Principles

The mindset with which teams approach their work is fundamental to successful collaborative science. Collaborative science will look different from project to project, but we have found that there are core principles of collaborative science that distinguish it from more "traditional" approaches to science.

Learn more about mindset and principles »

About This Guide

The NERRS Science Collaborative Program, hosted by the University of Michigan Water Center, designed this guide based on observations and lessons learned from projects supported through the NERRS Science Collaborative.

Learn more about the guide »

This guide distills key observations and lessons learned from Collaborative Science projects funded by the NOAA NERRS Science Collaborative Program. Copyright 2022. For questions or permissions, please contact

Citation: NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative. Guide to Collaborative Science. 2022.