OOS 1 - Community Engagement for Sustainability: Linking Research, Policy, and Education

Monday, August 8, 2011: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
16B, Austin Convention Center
Organizer: Vicente L. Lopes
Co-organizer: Adrian L. Vogl
Moderator: Vicente L. Lopes
Integrating activities for conservation and development with community participation and collaboration among different institutional and social actors is increasingly recognized as one of the more promising approaches towards achieving sustainable communities and ecosystems. This recognition is leading to the development of more collaborative – often referred to as community-based or participatory – approaches for environmental monitoring and natural resource management. These approaches recognize that science alone cannot provide all the answers, and must be combined with a structured process of local participation that emphasizes shared learning and locally relevant indicators and methods. However, undertaking community participation and collaboration among different institutional and social actors is a complex process, and there are no single approaches or methodologies that have universal acceptance. Participation is not an on-off event; it is a continuously ongoing process. It takes time, resources, understanding and perseverance; but the end result should be a developmental process that involves local people – as well as their ideas, skills and knowledge. Participation of this kind can contribute towards achieving sustainability and making environmental activities more effective while simultaneously building the capacity of the involved communities to continue expand the initiative. Participatory collaborative learning is a process of knowledge generation through the interactions of people with many different viewpoints, experiences and belief systems. This process has a philosophical foundation called constructivism. Constructivism holds that “realities” are constructions of the human minds that represent the outside world. Therefore, people with different experiences may very well construct different visions of reality. Participatory collaborative learning takes advantage of this attitude towards knowledge, using a dialectic approach among community members, stakeholders, and regulators to construct a collective base of common knowledge from which to approach the issues of sustainability and the future of the community.
1:30 PM
Community outreach for sustainable management of Texas Hill Country aquifers
Susan Roberts, Texas State University, San Marcos; Meredith Blount Miller, Texas State University, San Marcos
1:50 PM
Community engagement at the Jacob's Well Natural Area
David Baker, Wimberley Valley Watershed Association
2:10 PM
Engaging communities in effective decision-making for more sustainable water resources and ecosystem management
Laura J. Stroup, Texas State University, San Marcos; Shae Luther, Texas State University
2:30 PM
Fostering environmental awareness in a metroplex campus
Tony L. Burgess, Texas Christian University; Stephanie Sunico, Texas Christian University
2:50 PM
Community-driven decision support for groundwater management: Explicitly addressing uncertainty and social learning through dialectic intervention
Suzanne A. Pierce, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin; Joseph Guillaume, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University; Anthony J. Jakeman, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University; Sondoss El Sawah, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University
3:10 PM
3:40 PM
Texas Hill Country land and water stewardship: Multiple approaches and stakeholders at Llano River Field Station
Thomas L. Arsuffi, Texas Tech University; Megan Dominguez, Texas AgriLife Extension Service; Zachary Thomas, Texas Tech University; Jenny Strovas, Texas Tech University
4:00 PM
Engaging the public in scientific research for conservation
Meg Domroese, Schoodic Education and Research Center Institute; Jennifer Shirk, Cornell University; Rick Bonney, Cornell University; Eleanor Sterling, American Museum of Natural History; Judy Braus, National Audubon Society; Robert Petty, National Audubon Society; Anne Toomey, American Museum of Natural History; Felicity Arengo, American Museum of Natural History
4:20 PM
Public participation in scientific research: A framework for intentional design
Jennifer Shirk, Cornell University; Heidi L. Ballard, University of California, Davis; Rebecca C. Jordan, Rutgers University; Rick Bonney, Cornell University
4:40 PM
An urban garden project that combines student-led biodiversity research and community service
Adam D. Kay, University of St. Thomas; Andy van Alst, University of St. Thomas; Aaron P. Hays, University of St. Thomas; Joshua M. Prebeck, University of St. Thomas; Ashela A. Richardson, University of St. Thomas
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