Event Title

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

Presentation Abstract

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.

Session Title

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

Conference Track

Planning Assessment & Communication

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:30 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 12:00 PM

Location

Room 6E

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
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.