Public Representation in Water Management—A Network Analysis of Organization and Public Perceptions in Phoenix, Arizona

Bethany B. Cutts, Tischa A. Muñoz-Erickson, Shade Shutters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

To better accomplish their mission of an informed public, environmental education organizations often exchange ideas, share financing, and distribute overhead through collaboration. Yet it remains to be seen whether benefits of these collaborations extend to the public. We examine two possible benefits: the ability of the organizations to act as representatives of the public interest, and equitable access to environmental educational materials. We model patterns of public access to water-related education across organizations using two surveys in metropolitan Phoenix, AZ. This enables the study of interorganizational social networks and public outcomes. Results support the idea that environmental education organizations could provide a credible proxy for direct citizen participation. However, not all organizations are equivalently engaged with historically underrepresented groups like women, minority racial and ethnic groups, and those who rent their home. The implications for more inclusive environmental policy decisions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1340-1357
Number of pages18
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Volume28
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • collaboration
  • public information
  • social network analysis
  • urban
  • water resource conservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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