Upstream Engagement: Social-Ecological Approaches to Freshwater and Coastal Restoration

Monday, August 10, 2015: 4:30 PM-6:30 PM
Exhibit Hall, Baltimore Convention Center
Caroline Gottschalk Druschke, University of Rhode Island
Bridie McGreavy, University of Maine
The presenters gathered here are working at the social-ecological frontier of ecological science: collaborating across disciplines and between universities and community stakeholders to explore, educate about, and take action on pressing matters like sea level rise, invasive species management, and shellfish safety in our riverine and estuarine environments. Posters feature policy-relevant research and outreach conducted as part of interdisciplinary teams, connecting social and natural sciences for the sake of ecological outcomes. In particular, presenters focus on the importance of public engagement in various phases of restoration projects—from prioritization and funding; to implementation; to monitoring and adaptive (co)management; to building support and momentum for projects more generally. Collectively, their work explores the impact of a variety of forms of public engagement on ecological outcomes in freshwater and coastal environments. The goals of this organized poster session are to: 1) bring together a group of researchers and practitioners who are deeply engaged in freshwater and coastal restoration efforts and who are exploring the impacts of public engagement on ecological outcomes; 2) offer models for the types of interdisciplinary collaborations that can produce relevant and rigorous social-ecological research and consequential outreach; 3) consider the direction of and best practices for the future of social-ecological research and outreach; and 4) explore the barriers to, opportunities for, and consequences of public engagement in aquatic restoration efforts. There is increasing recognition that restoration is not a simple matter of science. As Palmer (2012) urged, “We must not assume that environmental problems will disappear if we just get the science right” (5). Instead, restoration practice is about prioritization, policy, and decision-making. It is about human actors making debated and debatable choices in light of the best available science. This session explores the social backdrop of restoration science, considering innovative ways that related disciplines can support and contribute to ecological research, policy, and management. This organized poster session should be of interest to the ESA membership in its attention to the formation of rigorous social-ecological research questions, its exploration of the possibilities for interdisciplinary collaboration and outreach, its inclusion of presenters with diverse disciplinary and practical backgrounds and viewpoints, and its presentation of best practices for public engagement with restoration science. References Palmer, M. A. 2012. Socioenvironmental sustainability and actionable science. BioScience, 62, 5-6.
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Laura A. Meyerson, University of Rhode Island; Sara Wigginton, University of Rhode Island; Melissa Burger, University of Rhode Island; Anna Gerber-Williams, University of Rhode Island; Kyle Hess, University of Rhode Island; Kristin Bullett, University of Rhode Island; Sara Coleman, Rhode Island Chapter of The Nature Conservancy; Charles Vandemoer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Simon Engelhart, University of Rhode Island
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Michelle L. Johnson, USDA Forest Service; Erika Svendsen, USDA Forest Service; Lindsay K. Campbell, USDA Forest Service
 Communication for enhanced resilience within intertidal ecologies and shellfishing communities in Frenchman Bay
Bridie McGreavy, University of Maine; Chris Petersen, College of the Atlantic; Jane Disney, Mount Desert Island Biological Lab; Emma Fox, University of Maine; Laura Lindenfeld, University of Maine, Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center
 Science communication lessons from developing a stakeholder-based conservation planning tool
Spencer R. Meyer, Yale University; Michelle L. Johnson, USDA Forest Service; Robert J. Lilieholm, University of Maine; Christopher S. Cronan, University of Maine
 Why engagement matters: Fostering ecological success in aquatic restoration through iterative communication
Caroline Gottschalk Druschke, University of Rhode Island; Kristen C. Hychka, US Environmental Protection Agency