In the early years of the new millennium, more than 1,000 worldwide experts compiled a report about the condition of Earth's ecological systems. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment findings "provide a state-of-the-art scientific appraisal of the condition and trends in the world's ecosystems and the services they provide (such as clean water, food, forest products, flood control and natural resources) and the options to restore, conserve or enhance the sustainable use of ecosystems," according to the MA website.
The next step, says Laura Musacchio, is to translate the information for nonscientists, to be applied by designers and planners for the enhancement of urban environments.
Musacchio, an IonE resident fellow and associate professor of landscape architecture in the College of Design, assert that this type of translation is a specialized skill she calls "knowledge brokering." A knowledge broker is a "cross-pollinator of ideas among professionals from different disciplines," she explained at the May 1 Frontiers in the Environment seminar.