Abstract Title

Session S-05G: Beyond the Numbers - How Science Informs Decisions to Catalyze Action

Keywords

Planning Assessment & Communication

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:30 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 12:00 PM

Description

Restoration Ecology is a multi-disciplinary academic discipline documented by decades of literature, and referencing a century of ecological theory. However, on-the-ground restoration efforts are usually led by small workgroups, through daring financial and administrative gymnastics, surrounded by an often contentious public melee, under the supervision of a gaggle of financial backers. These incremental restoration efforts are commonly dwarfed by the surrounding economic and cultural activities of our communities, and understood by few. We like to talk ecology, but we walk in a human-dominated world. I propose that social system dynamics determine the effectiveness of restoration efforts. Social systems that are able to sustain a shared and accurate understanding of an ecosystem are better able to navigate the restoration challenge. This shared and accurate understanding of a specific ecological system needs to be sustained through a long sequence of capital project decisions. I will deconstruct some observed social challenges in restoration decision making, examine the unspoken social assumptions underlying adaptive management, and explore some social mechanisms through which the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program is struggling to affect restoration implementation. I suspect that effective mechanisms for self-governance within technical and scientific communities are a significant barrier to effective restoration.

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May 1st, 10:30 AM May 1st, 12:00 PM

How we decide -- closing the distance between ecology and project management

Room 6E

Restoration Ecology is a multi-disciplinary academic discipline documented by decades of literature, and referencing a century of ecological theory. However, on-the-ground restoration efforts are usually led by small workgroups, through daring financial and administrative gymnastics, surrounded by an often contentious public melee, under the supervision of a gaggle of financial backers. These incremental restoration efforts are commonly dwarfed by the surrounding economic and cultural activities of our communities, and understood by few. We like to talk ecology, but we walk in a human-dominated world. I propose that social system dynamics determine the effectiveness of restoration efforts. Social systems that are able to sustain a shared and accurate understanding of an ecosystem are better able to navigate the restoration challenge. This shared and accurate understanding of a specific ecological system needs to be sustained through a long sequence of capital project decisions. I will deconstruct some observed social challenges in restoration decision making, examine the unspoken social assumptions underlying adaptive management, and explore some social mechanisms through which the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program is struggling to affect restoration implementation. I suspect that effective mechanisms for self-governance within technical and scientific communities are a significant barrier to effective restoration.