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  Subjects -> CONSERVATION (Total: 128 journals)
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Socio-Ecological Practice Research
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  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 2524-5279 - ISSN (Online) 2524-5287
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2467 journals]
  • Boundary spanning in the context of stakeholder engagement in
           collaborative water management

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      Abstract: Abstract Boundary spanners are individuals able to reach across organizational borders to build relationships and interconnections to help better manage complex problems. What is not clear, however, are the skills that allow boundary spanners to cross diverse scales, sectors, and organizations. To address this gap, we use a qualitative case study approach to examine evidence for how boundary spanning skills are implemented in the context of stakeholder engagement for addressing water challenges in agricultural settings. We employ a hybrid deductive-inductive thematic analysis approach to examine interview data collected with 25 stakeholder participants as well as direct observation of engagement behavior. Interview instruments were designed to elicit responses related to six deductively derived skills of boundary spanning: relationship builder, authentic leadership, trustworthiness, autonomy, perspective-taking, and effective science communication. Our inductive analysis identified evidence for three additional boundary spanning skills. Our study finds that some boundary spanning skills were exhibited more than others, and their frequency of use varied throughout the engagement process, and certain skills were used interchangeably. This research provides guidance on what boundary spanning looks like in action, and thus provides guidance on identifying and enhancing these skills in stakeholder engagement for water resource management.
      PubDate: 2023-01-25
       
  • The ethics of wicked problems: an exegesis

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      Abstract: Abstract For nearly all the most urgent issues confronting humanity today, there is neither consensus about how to address them nor clarity on how tackling them might further compound existing inequality, erode democratic capacities and accelerate environmental decline. Urgent issues of climate change, rapid urbanization and public health are teeming with wicked problems. Even so, their prospective solutions may nevertheless exacerbate these problems and bring about new ones. Taming any one of these wicked problems with planning and public policy tools presumes making decisions on ethical questions such as what to tame and what to ignore, who or what to prioritize in the solution, or conversely, who or what should bear the costs and risks, and how to strike a balance between uncertain benefits and probable harms. Despite the saliency of ethics in the formulation of wicked problems and how they are tamed, the ethics of wicked problems has remained woefully under-developed ever since (Rittel and Webber, Policy Sci 4:155–169, 1973) publication nearly five decades ago. In this article, each of the ten properties of the wicked problem, following their original sequence, will be examined in relation to ethics. What is the moral significance of each of these properties' How does explicating their moral content advance present understanding of wicked problems' And how might this study of ten properties in relation to ethics enable planners to avoid moral blindspots and pitfalls that often accompany wicked problems' Finally, how can the ethics of wicked problems aspire new planning ideals'
      PubDate: 2023-01-18
       
  • Citizen science’s transformative impact on science, citizen empowerment
           and socio-political processes

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      Abstract: Abstract Citizen science (CS) can foster transformative impact for science, citizen empowerment and socio-political processes. To unleash this impact, a clearer understanding of its current status and challenges for its development is needed. Using quantitative indicators developed in a collaborative stakeholder process, our study provides a comprehensive overview of the current status of CS in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Our online survey with 340 responses focused on CS impact through (1) scientific practices, (2) participant learning and empowerment, and (3) socio-political processes. With regard to scientific impact, we found that data quality control is an established component of CS practice, while publication of CS data and results has not yet been achieved by all project coordinators (55%). Key benefits for citizen scientists were the experience of collective impact (“making a difference together with others”) as well as gaining new knowledge. For the citizen scientists’ learning outcomes, different forms of social learning, such as systematic feedback or personal mentoring, were essential. While the majority of respondents attributed an important value to CS for decision-making, only few were confident that CS data were indeed utilized as evidence by decision-makers. Based on these results, we recommend (1) that project coordinators and researchers strengthen scientific impact by fostering data management and publications, (2) that project coordinators and citizen scientists enhance participant impact by promoting social learning opportunities and (3) that project initiators and CS networks foster socio-political impact through early engagement with decision-makers and alignment with ongoing policy processes. In this way, CS can evolve its transformative impact.
      PubDate: 2023-01-12
       
  • Urban green space planning in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana: a
           prioritization conundrum and its co-benefits solution

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      Abstract: Abstract Urban green spaces (UGS) are often promoted as a pathway to achieving urban sustainability. In relation to climate change impacts, they offer both mitigating and adaptive pathways for cities. Yet, increasing UGS is set against other development needs that confront cities of the Global South. This can result in a prioritization conundrum in urban planning processes. Using data from a questionnaire administered to 400 residents of the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana, this paper examines residents’ awareness and priorities of UGS for conflicting rationalities and explains how this can engender a prioritization conundrum. The study finds conflicts in residents’ rationalities of UGS, manifesting as residents’ low prioritization of UGS despite their experiences of climate change impacts and awareness of UGS benefits including its role in tackling climate change impacts. Here, the prioritization conundrum concerns how to account for residents’ awareness and priorities in urban planning and plan for goals that residents do not consider a priority. Such a conundrum can derail efforts to use UGS to tackle climate change impacts. Hence, to navigate the prioritization conundrum, this paper emphasizes co-benefits to adduce two implications. First, effective mainstreaming of UGS co-benefits into urban planning is imperative, which can be achieved by harmonizing residents’ priorities with climate change goals during plan preparation for the Kumasi Metropolis and actively engaging residents in UGS planning. Secondly, traversing the prioritization conundrum is dependent on the capacity to effectively mainstream UGS co-benefits in urban planning—without which planning for UGS to tackle climate change impacts can be hindered.
      PubDate: 2022-12-27
       
  • Assessing indigenous community’s perspectives and attitudes toward
           tourism development impacts in the northwestern Himalayas, India

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      Abstract: Abstract An assessment and monitoring of tourism impacts coupled with community perception have emerged as a vital tool for ensuring the sustainability of mountain tourism destinations in recent years. The present study aims to explore the indigenous community’s perspectives on tourism impacts and their participation in the process of tourism development at Doodhpathri, an emerging tourist resort in Jammu and Kashmir, India. A non-probability convenience sampling method based on 344 questionnaires has been used to accomplish the research objectives. Inferential statistics and factor analysis were employed to analyze the collected data. Our assessment reveals that in general, tourism is viewed as a development industry. Its positives are better perceived than its negatives, given that it generates employment prospects, boosts household income, improves the image of the area, and raises the indigenous community’s standard of living. However, a substantial portion of the population living in the area perceives tourism activities as the cause of multiple environmental and biophysical issues, such as increased waste generation leading to pollution and water quality deterioration. On the whole, most of the residents were positive about future tourism development and optimistic about tourism management practices. However, the area has recently observed a voluminous influx of both local and foreign tourists, which necessitates the formulation of a sustainable tourism planning strategy.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
       
  • The governance of community gardens as commons and its role in the
           socio-ecological outcomes of gardening in Austin, Texas, USA

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      Abstract: Abstract Community gardens represent vacant lots in urban areas with public or private land ownership that community members use primarily for urban agriculture. This research studies community gardens in Austin, Texas (USA), with the focus on: (1) approaches taken to govern community gardens and (2) socio-ecological outcomes of gardening associated with the implemented models of governance. Social outcomes are represented by the level of gardeners’ satisfaction and perceptions of their success. Environmental outcomes represent ecological services provided by gardens as green spaces and expressed through net primary productivity (NPP), which measures carbon sequestration. This paper argues that these types of outcomes in community gardens are codependent and affect each other, and the governance approach determines what forms this interdependence takes. This study employs Ostrom’s socio-ecological systems (SES) framework that reflects both social and natural aspects of community gardening and explains the connection between the governance approaches, gardeners’ perception of their success, and changes in carbon sequestration. This paper uses a mixed-methods approach with key informant interviews with managers of community gardens yielding both qualitative and quantitative data. Remote sensing analysis is applied to calculate the amount of biomass for the carbon sequestration model using remote sensing imagery from the ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) and Planet Inc. The analysis reveals that the highest measurements of the social and ecological performance in community gardens in Austin are associated with ‘bottom-up’ governance structures where community members are in charge of decision-making and management.
      PubDate: 2022-11-11
      DOI: 10.1007/s42532-022-00133-7
       
  • Advancing the scholarship and practice of stakeholder engagement in
           working landscapes: a co-produced research agenda

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      Abstract: Abstract Participatory approaches to science and decision making, including stakeholder engagement, are increasingly common for managing complex socio-ecological challenges in working landscapes. However, critical questions about stakeholder engagement in this space remain. These include normative, political, and ethical questions concerning who participates, who benefits and loses, what good can be accomplished, and for what, whom, and by who. First, opportunities for addressing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion interests through engagement, while implied in key conceptual frameworks, remain underexplored in scholarly work and collaborative practice alike. A second line of inquiry relates to research–practice gaps. While both the practice of doing engagement work and scholarly research on the efficacy of engagement is on the rise, there is little concerted interplay among ‘on-the-ground’ practitioners and scholarly researchers. This means scientific research often misses or ignores insight grounded in practical and experiential knowledge, while practitioners are disconnected from potentially useful scientific research on stakeholder engagement. A third set of questions concerns gaps in empirical understanding of the efficacy of engagement processes and includes inquiry into how different engagement contexts and process features affect a range of behavioral, cognitive, and decision-making outcomes. Because of these gaps, a cohesive and actionable research agenda for stakeholder engagement research and practice in working landscapes remains elusive. In this review article, we present a co-produced research agenda for stakeholder engagement in working landscapes. The co-production process involved professionally facilitated and iterative dialogue among a diverse and international group of over 160 scholars and practitioners through a yearlong virtual workshop series. The resulting research agenda is organized under six cross-cutting themes: (1) Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; (2) Ethics; (3) Research and Practice; (4) Context; (5) Process; and (6) Outcomes and Measurement. This research agenda identifies critical research needs and opportunities relevant for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers alike. We argue that addressing these research opportunities is necessary to advance knowledge and practice of stakeholder engagement and to support more just and effective engagement processes in working landscapes.
      PubDate: 2022-11-11
      DOI: 10.1007/s42532-022-00132-8
       
  • Reflective socio-ecological practice

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      Abstract: Abstract This autobiographical reflection traces my work in land suitability analysis and plan-making. The suitability practice has resulted in two rating systems: the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Land Evaluation and Site Assessment System and Green Business Certification Inc.’s SITES Rating System. Plans have been made for US counties, cities, and towns; Italian provinces; regions and watersheds; and university campuses. My practice is grounded in human ecology. I have attempted to address the issues people face with an especial focus on environmental quality and social equity. Examples of work from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, and Texas in the United States as well as Italy and Mexico are noted. I explore how reflection, often with collaborators and students, has informed my practice and how it can help advance the fields of planning and landscape architecture.
      PubDate: 2022-11-07
      DOI: 10.1007/s42532-022-00130-w
       
  • Learning impacts of policy games: investigating role-play simulations
           (RPS) for stakeholder engagement in payment for hydrological services
           program in Veracruz, Mexico

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      Abstract: Abstract Role-play simulations are often used in education, communication, and social science research as an instrument for experiential learning, skill development, and more recently for policy negotiation and problem-solving. RPS is a dynamic experiential activity in which multiple parties play specific roles to simulate real-life negotiations or problem-solving situations. RPS aims to create a safe forum where participants can discuss policy scenarios, make decisions, and strengthen two-way communication and collective problem-solving. This research contributes to recent research investigating the contribution of RPS as an educational tool to foster collaborative learning, empathy, and trust. We conducted two RPS workshops related to a payment for hydrological services program in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. We engaged stakeholders to discuss PHS program design alternatives and make decisions on the features that may be best for achieving PHS social and environmental goals. We use a mixed-methods approach, analyzing data from surveys, debriefings, and interviews. Our findings support using RPS as a tool to foster collaborative learning. The t test analysis shows statistically significant changes in participants’ viewpoints about their overall knowledge of PHS programs and improved understanding and empathy toward other stakeholders’ interests and concerns. Findings also support a positive shift in how participants perceived the role of PHS program administrators. We discuss the broader implications of these results and provide recommendations for future research on integrating a science-policy interface in the context of PHS programs.
      PubDate: 2022-10-21
      DOI: 10.1007/s42532-022-00131-9
       
  • Advancing equity and justice through community science programming in
           design, construction, and research of a nature-based solution: the
           Duwamish Floating Wetlands Project

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      Abstract: Abstract Dxwdəw refers to the Black-Green Rivers confluences that made the Duwamish River in Seattle, Washington, USA, prior to the 1910s. Significant industrial activity and human-made diversions to these rivers caused heavy pollution and eliminated 97% of historic wetlands, forever altering the historic river systems, salmon runs and human and aquatic health. Today the Green-Duwamish River and Duwamish Estuary are an industrial and commercial corridor, albeit also a site of cultural significance and fishing rights for urban Indigenous and Coast Salish tribes, and home and workplace to diverse urban populations of sustenance fishers, immigrants and refugees, communities of color, and low-income neighborhoods. Using a socio-ecological and environmental justice perspective within a nature-based solution, the Duwamish Floating Wetlands Project designed and piloted four constructed floating wetland structures for two years on the Duwamish River and researched their feasibility to provide habitat for out-migrating juvenile salmon. A multi-pronged community team (community leaders, liaisons, stewards and scientists) worked alongside academics and professionals. This paper showcases the formulation and adaptation of a two-year citizen/community science program integrated into the project. We outline the frameworks, approach, outcomes, and lessons-learned of the community science and outreach program, and compiled these in a list of guidelines to provide practitioner, researcher and community insight into the value and necessity of prioritizing environmental justice, racial equity, and ecosystem needs in nature-based solutions.
      PubDate: 2022-10-20
      DOI: 10.1007/s42532-022-00123-9
       
  • From knowledge to action: multi-stakeholder planning for urban climate
           change adaptation and resilience in the Asia–Pacific

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      Abstract: Abstract One of the most challenging aspects of urban climate change adaptation and resilience continues to be the act of translating knowledge about vulnerability into action for resilience. This paper distills efforts to develop a capacity building initiative for practitioners and stakeholders of urban climate change adaptation and resilience through applied locally contextual curriculum development, course implementation, and continued mentoring. Grounded in principles of participatory action research, the initiative worked with partners from 12 countries and more than 40 cities across South and Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. The paper discusses the iterative evolution of the course, which was developed and refined over a period of 2 years and is now being implemented by international development agencies and organizations throughout these regions. Findings highlight the learning process undertaken, which led to the creation of a “goalpost to goalpost” framework for assisting municipal governments and associated stakeholders in developing a shared, policy-relevant, and institutionally grounded understanding of the localized physical processes and impacts associated with climate change. We also showcase the complexity therein, describing solution-oriented pathways for assessing and prioritizing vulnerabilities, designing an adaptation portfolio, and identifying sources of local, domestic, and international financing to support the implementation of policies and projects. The paper provides a number of lessons to inform capacity building efforts in addressing climate change impacts in diverse urban landscapes and serves as a strategy for policy formulation and adaptation project preparation across stakeholder groups.
      PubDate: 2022-10-16
      DOI: 10.1007/s42532-022-00128-4
       
  • Building urban community resilience through university extension:
           community engagement and the politics of knowledge

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      Abstract: Abstract Many land-grant universities are examining approaches to community engagement to better align with the US land-grant mission of knowledge democratization. With a growing majority of the United States’ population living in urbanized spaces, it is a societal imperative for university engagement initiatives to devise strategies for engaging people on the complexity of urban issues central to individual and community wellbeing. Effective urban engagement demands collaboration and strong relationships with urban organizations and residents to co-create approaches to urban concerns. Through narrative-based inquiry, we explore urban engagements within Penn State Extension (PSE) across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (USA). PSE, located administratively in the College of Agricultural Sciences, is charged with carrying out Penn State’s land-grant commitment to serve Pennsylvania’s citizens through community engagement and nonformal education in the agricultural and food, human, and social sciences. We examine extension educator and faculty practices, program development, community engagements, and experiences, and those of community stakeholders. This work draws upon democratic methods to uncover the undergirding philosophies of engagement within PSE and how communities experience those engagements. This project offers an entry-point to longer-term applied research to develop a broadly applicable theory and praxis of translational research, engagement, and change privileging urban community resilience.
      PubDate: 2022-10-12
      DOI: 10.1007/s42532-022-00126-6
       
  • The conservation and restoration of freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity
           can be enhanced with ecopracticology

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      Abstract: Abstract Freshwater ecosystems are among the most degraded on the planet and there is strong evidence that freshwater biodiversity is in precipitous decline. To that end, there is urgent need to conserve and restore freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity in order to ensure that freshwaters continue to yield diverse ecosystem services. Although there is some scientific uncertainty about how to do so, there is recognition that practitioners play a particularly important role. Practitioners work on the front line with a focus on implementing various environmental interventions and therefore can bridge the gap between knowledge and action in a unique way given their extensive experience in the field. Yet, practitioners do not know it all, nor do they have access or time to keep up-to-date on the growing scientific evidence base. Ecopracticology (i.e., the study of socio-ecological practice and the ensuing body of knowledge) is, therefore, a useful construct for thinking about the ways in which different disciplinary domains and ways of knowing to intersect to generate or refine knowledge and evidence needed to implement actions that benefit people and the environment. Ecopracticology is inherently grounded in that most practitioners are environmental stewards who deliver solutions alone and/or in partnership with diverse stakeholders and rightsholders. Ecopracticology, therefore, represents both the challenge and opportunity for addressing the freshwater biodiversity crisis. Here we consider what ecopracticology has to offer, and strategies for realizing the pathways that enable knowledge exchange and implementation for on-the-ground/in-the-water practitioner actions benefitting conservation and restoration of freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity. If this concept is embraced and practitioners are supported and championed, there is potential for rapid advances that are desperately needed to conserve and restore freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity.
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.1007/s42532-022-00129-3
       
  • A collaborative effort to address maintenance of green infrastructure
           through a university–community partnership

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      Abstract: Abstract University–community partnerships can play an important role in this green infrastructure (GI) maintenance issue and provide a valuable mechanism to support socio-ecological practice to address complex urban water issues and build urban resilience. In this Perspective Essay, we draw from our experience in a university–community partnership to create a Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Maintenance Protocol for the City of Tucson in Arizona, USA, through a collaborative, participatory dialogue process. We build upon our earlier work in the planning, design, implementation, and monitoring of green infrastructure efforts to tease out key lessons to inform university–community partnerships to support socio-ecological practice. In doing so, we explore our earlier three lessons for university–community partnerships including understanding and valuing the socio-ecological context; investing, and reinvesting, in the collaborative process; and embracing a diverse set of roles for universities. In reflecting on these lessons, we offer two additional lessons that speak to the importance of investing and engaging in equity, even when a university–community partnership seemingly appears not to be focused on justice issues, and the value in strengthening networks to maintain and further collaboration. These lessons can inform other university–community partnerships around the world to better support socio-ecological practice, expand access to GI in disadvantaged communities, and heighten urban resilience.
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.1007/s42532-022-00127-5
       
  • What can we learn from Julius Gyula Fábos, an admirable socio-ecological
           scholar-practitioner'

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      PubDate: 2022-09-26
      DOI: 10.1007/s42532-022-00125-7
       
  • Julius Gyula Fábos memorial: a passion for landscape planning and
           greenways

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      Abstract: Abstract This essay is a memorial to Julius Gyula Fábos, an international leader in greenway and landscape planning who passed away in 2022. Hungarian-born Fábos spent his professional career at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1964–1998) where he developed his seminal work on landscape assessment and greenway planning that has influenced the field of landscape planning. Post-retirement, Fábos continued to develop visionary greenway plans at the regional (New England) and national scale (USA), and further promoted international greenway planning through his writing, endowed conference, and scholarly connections. Prof. Fabos led a colorful life with a passion for landscape architecture and planning that profoundly changed the methods of landscape assessment and planning. He was a major force behind the world-wide expansion of greenway planning and implementation during the past three decades.
      PubDate: 2022-08-22
      DOI: 10.1007/s42532-022-00122-w
       
  • How does co-produced research influence adaptive capacity' Lessons
           from a cross-case comparison

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      Abstract: Abstract Co-production of knowledge (through project design or research) is viewed as an effective approach to solving environmental problems, which may also increase community adaptive capacity in the face of climate change. However, the reality is that little is known about long-term impacts of co-production on researchers, communities, and outputs. We qualitatively analyzed case studies to understand co-production processes and related adaptive capacity outcomes. These 13 case studies were developed to identify impacts of the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture water (2001–2013) and climate (2010–2015) portfolios, which funded projects focused on research, education, and extension related to climate and water issues on working lands. Case study data included interviews, survey responses, and analysis of reports and publications related to a single project. We found that projects which were responsive to specific needs and assets of stakeholders had strong connections to adaptive capacity outcomes, but that these projects did not necessarily entail highly interactive practices of co-production of knowledge (e.g., stakeholder-driven research with continuous interactions between academic and non-academic partners). Our research provides evidence to suggest that, in some contexts, engagement approaches that are less time- and resource-intensive for stakeholders may be as effective at building adaptive capacity as highly interactive co-production efforts.
      PubDate: 2022-08-08
      DOI: 10.1007/s42532-022-00121-x
       
  • A critical assessment of participation in stakeholder engagement in
           agrifood system research

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      Abstract: Abstract The importance of stakeholder engagement and a range of challenges with inclusion in stakeholder engagement has been well articulated in previous research. However, there has been less focus on how participation is shaped by factors such as race, ethnicity and gender. Previous research suggests that agrifood systems are often framed as a space dominated by white men. In this paper, we utilize the framing of social exclusion theory and an intersectional approach to analyze reporting and representation of gender and race of stakeholders in agrifood system studies archived in the Web of Science between 2000 and 2021. We also evaluate reporting and representation by type of research approach, discipline, and over time. Findings show that there is a lack of attention paid to reporting of demographics in empirical research utilizing stakeholder engagement and that women and racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented. Our results also show that participatory action studies are less likely to report gender and race demographics, that the lack of reporting and representation is persistent across disciplines, and that reporting and representation have somewhat improved over the past five years. We urge researchers to be more specific about whose voices they publish and encourage the inclusion of women and racial and ethnic minorities that are often overlooked as stakeholders in agricultural working landscapes.
      PubDate: 2022-07-14
      DOI: 10.1007/s42532-022-00116-8
       
  • Using researcher and stakeholder perspectives to develop promising
           practices to improve stakeholder engagement in the solutions-driven
           research process

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      Abstract: Abstract Translational approaches to science have the potential to produce research that better meets the needs of community stakeholders and advances scientific understanding. Researchers involved in translational research make committed efforts to increased engagement and communication with stakeholders throughout the research process, from planning through implementation and evaluation. Referred to as solutions-driven research within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Research Development, this approach is being piloted on Cape Cod (Barnstable County), Massachusetts. EPA researchers are working in close coordination with community partners on the Cape to better understand and address challenges with managing nonpoint source nitrogen. The pilot also aims to assess the usefulness of solutions-driven research approaches for application in future EPA research efforts. Using semi-structured interviews with researchers and other stakeholders, we examined researchers’ and stakeholders’ perspectives on the impacts of intentional and intensive stakeholder engagement on research efforts to improve coastal water quality. This study provides a reflexive assessment of the perceived benefits and drawbacks for researchers and other stakeholders when there is an institutional expectation of an increased focus on engagement. We found that engagement has been truly intertwined with research in the pilot, participants perceived an improvement in research usefulness through developing valuable collaborative relationships, and that these relationships required significant time commitments to maintain. We also identified a need for an efficient infrastructure for developing and distributing communication materials for continued engagement with diverse stakeholders throughout the research process. The paper provides transferable practices for researchers seeking to use a solutions-driven research approach based on lessons learned thus far in how to support researchers and research planning in simultaneously prioritizing effective engagement and sound collaborative environmental science research to address a localized environmental challenge. This is an innovative approach in that interviews occurred as the implementation phase of the project began, with the goal of implementing the lessons learned outlined here in the ongoing project.
      PubDate: 2022-07-14
      DOI: 10.1007/s42532-022-00119-5
       
  • Land, ethics, justice, and Aldo Leopold

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      Abstract: Abstract The legacy of racism, inequity, and injustice in the history of conservation and the contemporary environmental movement is being scrutinized as never before. The American ecologist, conservationist, and author Aldo Leopold (1887–1948) is among the influential historical figures whose attitudes and actions have been sharply criticized. Especially because Leopold was devoted to protecting wildlands and expressed concern about the impacts of human population growth, detractors have characterized him as callously misanthropic at best, racist and fascistic at worst. These representations can be weighed against Leopold’s personal and professional record, and his views on such themes as the Native American experience, the eugenics movement of the early twentieth century, cultural diversity, and the rise of fascism. In his late years, and in the final formulation of his influential essay “The Land Ethic,” Leopold was increasingly explicit in framing his value system as one grounded in a commitment to just human relations. Moreover, the ethic he expressed was not static and could not be exclusionary. It expanded the purview of ethical consideration in the conservation movement and provided new foundations for the expansion of environmental awareness in the mainstream of American society. Viewed in this way, Leopold may be regarded not as an apotheosis of conservation thinking, but as an essential transitional figure within a still broader, ongoing movement, informed by an ever-evolving ethic of care.
      PubDate: 2022-07-14
      DOI: 10.1007/s42532-022-00117-7
       
 
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