Human dimensions of Puget Sound and Washington Coast ecosystem-based management

A workshop report prepared for the Puget Sound Institute and Washington Sea Grant

Introduction and Executive Summary

On June 13th, 2011, the Puget Sound Institute and Washington Sea Grant sponsored a workshop to bring together social sciences academics and professionals to discuss social science research to inform Puget Sound and wider Washington Coast ecosystem recovery and management. Participants were asked to focus on several areas identified as important and urgent by the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) and the Social Science Advisory Committee. This report summarizes the workshop sessions by describing the objectives and organization of the workshop and the results of the sessions, including four major recommendations for action:

  1. Conduct Assessment of Social Sciences for Management – The Puget Sound Partnership to perform an assessment of how its work incorporates both natural and social science. How does scientific research inform programs and priorities? What tradeoffs are inherent in ecosystem recovery?
  2. Develop Human Dimensions Actions Framework – Several specific research projects were highlighted in discussion: a literature review, an institutional analysis of the Shared Strategy approach used by the PSP, an evaluation of public engagement and behaviors, and building a conceptual model so that the human dimensions components of the Open Standards Framework can be completed. Participants also highlighted the importance of spatial and temporal scale, especially in scenario analyses regarding future ecosystem states.
  3. Develop a Social Sciences Strategic Plan – A clear need is to develop a strategic plan for incorporating the social sciences into ecosystem recovery programs.
  4. Conduct a Follow-up Workshop – A second workshop is recommended to review a draft Social Sciences Strategic Plan to be created b the Social Sciences Advisory Committee.

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