Developing Human Wellbeing Indicators for Ecological Restoration

Three case studies and a basin

Kari Stiles, Katharine Wellman
Puget Sound Institute
Project Period: 
November 2012-May 2015

The Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) is tasked with coordinating restoration of the Puget Sound to enhance healthy human populations and quality of life.  One way the partnership monitors the status of these goals is through the Vital Signs, which currently have a placeholder for a quality of life index.  This project explored indicator development at three local areas using stakeholder processes and scientific literature review.

Since 2012, a research team led by Kelly Biedenweg at the Puget Sound Institute collected data in the Hood Canal watershed, the Puyallup watershed, and Whatcom County.  With the support of graduate students and several local and PSP collaborators, we conducted literature reviews and stakeholder interviews to develop potential indicators of human wellbeing related to natural resources relevant to the watershed/county.  We then held 2-3 stakeholder workshops in each watershed/county to refine and rank the indicators, recommending indicators for each area categorized into human wellbeing domains:

  • physical health
  • psychological health
  • environmental governance
  • social wellbeing
  • cultural wellbeing
  • economic wellbeing

The attached document combines the results from these three studies with similar work conducted in Puget Sound tribes to recommend a short list of potential human wellbeing indicators for Puget Sound.  These recommendations are intended to support completion of the Partnership’s selection of Vital Sign indicators of Healthy Human Populations and Human Quality of Life.  

Topic Area: 
Research area: 
Human wellbeing