A plethora of scientists have released a set of 40 questions that they believe will help guide collaboration between scientific researchers and policy makers on conservation issues in the U.S.

The compilation of inquiries — published as the cover story in the April issue of the journal Bioscience — was first-authored by researcher Erica Fleishman of UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and UC Davis’s John Muir Institute of the Environment. Along with six colleagues, Fleishman led the project, which collected 375 questions from people involved in the areas of study, management or policy of natural resources and then produced the top 40 list. There were 35 participants and 30 co-authors in the study.

The purpose of the study was to provide researchers with topics of interest to those who work in natural resource management and policy, according to Fleishman.

“We created a mechanism where decision-makers said to scientists, ‘This is what we need to address society’s priorities for natural resources,’” Fleishman said in a press release.

According the Fleishman, the questions presented by the individuals seek to balance socioeconomic issues with ecological ones.

“The questions focus on assessing trade-offs among economic, social and ecological issues,” Fleishman said in a press release.

The study was funded by the Kresge Foundation. Fleishman led the project with colleagues David Blockstein from the National Council for Science and the Environment in Washington, D.C., John Hall from the U.S. Dept. of Defense, Michael Mascia from the World Wildlife Fund, Murray Rudd from the University of York, J. Michael Scott from the U.S. Geological Survey and William Sutherland from the University of Cambridge.