CNH-L: Social-Ecological Dynamics of Recreational Fishery Landscapes

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Overview
Some of the greatest success and most formidable remaining challenges in societal management of the environment arise in coupled natural-human systems centered around common pool resources like forests and fisheries. This project explores the coupled natural-human dynamics of freshwater recreational fisheries landscapes. These social-ecological systems occur across the United States and the world and often have tremendous cultural and economic value; yet, like marine fisheries, these freshwater fisheries have collapsed or are threatened with collapse in many places.
The researchers will investigate the coupled natural-human dynamics of these systems in order to test and extend social, ecological, and social-ecological theory, and to identify pathways and obstacles to effective management and governance of them. They will integrate new and existing data and models to build a synthetic understanding of the natural-human system in a large (_ km2, _ lakes) recreational fisheries landscape, and evaluate the extensibility of their framework to other recreational fisheries landscapes in North America and Europe. They will use large-scale experiments on lake ecosystems; surveys of information exchange across angler networks; institutional analysis of lake associations which engage in collective action for fisheries management; ecological, economic, and social-ecological modeling; and a variety of other techniques.

Intellectual Merit
This project will make fundamental contributions to knowledge and theory in social, ecological, and social-ecological sciences. It will develop new models for understanding the dissipation of social welfare in spatially complex open-access systems, and for understanding how collective action organizations make decisions about investing in resource management in such systems. It will provide strong empirical tests of refuge-recruitment and catch hyperstability theories which are central to freshwater and marine fisheries ecology. It will represent the first test, using primary data from many similar collective action organizations, of theoretical frameworks to predict successful collective action in common pool resource settings.

Broader Impacts
The project will have strong broader impacts in three areas. First, it will impact management and governance of the focal recreational fisheries landscape and other landscapes like it across the globe. Decision makers and opinion leaders within the focal region have already been engaged in the design of the project, and a series of three workshops between these stakeholders and the research team in the first, fourth, and fifth years of the project will sustain and grow the two-way connection between research findings and real-world relevance. An additional workshop in year five, with researchers and opinion leaders from five other recreational fisheries landscapes in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, will extend insights from this project to other regions. Second, the models, data, and methods developed in this project will inform future understanding of the focal system (e.g. by adding substantially to existing social and ecological datasets in the public domain) and other coupled-natural human systems (e.g. by testing and developing economic and social-ecological theory about resource use and collective action in common pool resource systems). Third, the project will train new scholars in the science of coupled-natural human systems, including 2 postdoctoral researchers, 3 PhD students, and 15 BSc students who will work directly on the project, and an additional 10 PhD students who will participate in a workshop on synthetic modeling of coupled natural-human s
StatusActive
Effective start/end date9/1/172/28/22

Funding

  • NSF: Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO): $211,360.00

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