Matching Items (36)

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Beyond Conjecture: Learning About Ecosystem Management From the Glen Canyon Dam Experiment

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This brief article, written for a symposium on "Collaboration and the Colorado River," evaluates the U.S. Department of the Interior's Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program ("AMP"). The AMP has been advanced as a pioneering collaborative and adaptive approach for

This brief article, written for a symposium on "Collaboration and the Colorado River," evaluates the U.S. Department of the Interior's Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program ("AMP"). The AMP has been advanced as a pioneering collaborative and adaptive approach for both decreasing scientific uncertainty in support of regulatory decision-making and helping manage contentious resource disputes -- in this case, the increasingly thorny conflict over the Colorado River's finite natural resources. Though encouraging in some respects, the AMP serves as a valuable illustration of the flaws of existing regulatory processes purporting to incorporate collaboration and regulatory adaptation into the decision-making process. Born in the shadow of the law and improvised with too little thought as to its structure, the AMP demonstrates the need to attend to the design of the regulatory process and integrate mechanisms that compel systematic program evaluation and adaptation. As such, the AMP provides vital information on how future collaborative experiments might be modified to enhance their prospects of success.

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2008-09-19

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Constructing a model for small scale fish farmers

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Fish farming is a fast growing industry, which, although necessary to feed an ever growing worldwide population, has its share of negative environmental consequences, including the release of drugs and other waste into the ocean, the use of fish caught

Fish farming is a fast growing industry, which, although necessary to feed an ever growing worldwide population, has its share of negative environmental consequences, including the release of drugs and other waste into the ocean, the use of fish caught from the ocean to feed farm raised fish, and the escape of farm raised fish into natural bodies of water. However, the raising of certain types of fish, such as tilapia, seems to be an environmentally better proposition than raising other types of fish, such as salmon. This paper will explore the problems associated with fish farming, as well as offer a model, based on the literature, and interviews with fish farmers, to make small-scale fish farming both more environmentally, and more economically, sustainable. This paper culminates with a model for small-scale, specifically semi-subsistence, fish farmers. This model emphasizes education of the fish farmers, as well as educators learning from the fish farmers they interact with. The goal of this model is to help these fish farmers become both more environmentally and economically sustainable.

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2011

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Codebook Development and a Text Analysis of the Effectiveness of Applied Collaborative Governance Strategies in Northern Arizona Forests

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There are two main sections of this thesis: Codebook development and case coding. Over the course of my two years of involvement with the collaborative governance lab with Drs. Schoon and Carr Kelman, I worked on helping to complete the

There are two main sections of this thesis: Codebook development and case coding. Over the course of my two years of involvement with the collaborative governance lab with Drs. Schoon and Carr Kelman, I worked on helping to complete the coding manual built by the lab to test variables from the literature using case studies. My main deliverable was building a Qualtrics survey to collect case studies. Using this Qualtrics survey, the lab will be able to collect coded cases by distributing the survey link through research networks. My thesis project included building the interface for the survey, participating in testing the intercoder reliability of the codebook, and coding one case, the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI), to provide insight on the collaborative governance strategies of this collaboration. Coding 4FRI also acted as a preliminary test of the survey, helping to provide further information on how users of the codebook might interact with the survey, and allowing the lab to generate a test report of survey results.

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2020-05

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Identifying the role of policy networks in the implementation of habitat conservation plans

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Conflict over management of natural resources may intensify as population growth, development, and climate change stress natural systems. In this dissertation, the role of policy networks implementing Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) is examined. As explored here, policy networks

Conflict over management of natural resources may intensify as population growth, development, and climate change stress natural systems. In this dissertation, the role of policy networks implementing Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) is examined. As explored here, policy networks are groups that come together to develop and implement terms of HCPs. HCPs are necessary for private landowners to receive Incidental Take Permits (ITPs) from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) if approved development activities may result in take of threatened or endangered species. ITPs may last up to 100 years or more and be issued to individual or multiple landowners to accomplish development and habitat conservation goals within a region.

Theoretical factors in the implementation and policy network literatures relevant to successful implementation of environmental agreements are reviewed and used to examine HCP implementation. Phase I uses the USFWS Environmental Conservation Online System (ECOS) database to identify characteristics of policy networks formed to implement HCPs within the State of California, and how those networks changed since the creation of HCPs in 1982 by amendment of the 1973 Endangered Species Act. Phase II presents a single, complex, multiple-party HCP case selected from Phase I to examine the policy network formed, the role of actors in this network, and network successes and implementation barriers.

This research builds upon the implementation literature by demonstrating that implementation occurs in stages, not all of which are sequential, and that how implementation processes are structured and executed has a direct impact on perceptions of success.

It builds upon the policy network literature by demonstrating ways that participation by non-agency actors can enhance implementation; complex problems may better achieve conflicting goals by creating organizational structures made up of local, state, federal and non-governmental entities to better manage changing political, financial, and social conditions; if participants believe the transaction costs of maintaining a network outweigh the benefits, ongoing support may decline; what one perceives as success largely depends upon their role (or lack of a role) within the policy network; and conflict management processes perceived as fair and equitable significantly contribute to perceptions of policy effectiveness.

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2015

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Bioeconomic models and sustainable use of marine resources: three case studies

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This dissertation consists of three substantive chapters. The first substantive chapter investigates the premature harvesting problem in fisheries. Traditionally, yield-per-recruit analysis has been used to both assess and address the premature harvesting of fish stocks. However, the fact that fish

This dissertation consists of three substantive chapters. The first substantive chapter investigates the premature harvesting problem in fisheries. Traditionally, yield-per-recruit analysis has been used to both assess and address the premature harvesting of fish stocks. However, the fact that fish size often affects the unit price suggests that this approach may be inadequate. In this chapter, I first synthesize the conventional yield-per-recruit analysis, and then extend this conventional approach by incorporating a size-price function for a revenue-per-recruit analysis. An optimal control approach is then used to derive a general bioeconomic solution for the optimal harvesting of a short-lived single cohort. This approach prevents economically premature harvesting and provides an "optimal economic yield". By comparing the yield- and revenue-per-recruit management strategies with the bioeconomic management strategy, I am able to test the economic efficiency of the conventional yield-per-recruit approach. This is illustrated with a numerical study. It shows that a bioeconomic strategy can significantly improve economic welfare compared with the yield-per-recruit strategy, particularly in the face of high natural mortality. Nevertheless, I find that harvesting on a revenue-per-recruit basis improves management policy and can generate a rent that is close to that from bioeconomic analysis, in particular when the natural mortality is relatively low.

The second substantive chapter explores the conservation potential of a whale permit market under bounded economic uncertainty. Pro- and anti-whaling stakeholders are concerned about a recently proposed, "cap and trade" system for managing the global harvest of whales. Supporters argue that such an approach represents a novel solution to the current gridlock in international whale management. In addition to ethical objections, opponents worry that uncertainty about demand for whale-based products and the environmental benefits of conservation may make it difficult to predict the outcome of a whale share market. In this study, I use population and economic data for minke whales to examine the potential ecological consequences of the establishment of a whale permit market in Norway under bounded but significant economic uncertainty. A bioeconomic model is developed to evaluate the influence of economic uncertainties associated with pro- and anti- whaling demands on long-run steady state whale population size, harvest, and potential allocation. The results indicate that these economic uncertainties, in particular on the conservation demand side, play an important role in determining the steady state ecological outcome of a whale share market. A key finding is that while a whale share market has the potential to yield a wide range of allocations between conservation and whaling interests - outcomes in which conservationists effectively "buy out" the whaling industry seem most likely.

The third substantive chapter examines the sea lice externality between farmed fisheries and wild fisheries. A central issue in the debate over the effect of fish farming on the wild fisheries is the nature of sea lice population dynamics and the wild juvenile mortality rate induced by sea lice infection. This study develops a bioeconomic model that integrates sea lice population dynamics, fish population dynamics, aquaculture and wild capture salmon fisheries in an optimal control framework. It provides a tool to investigate sea lice control policy from the standpoint both of private aquaculture producers and wild fishery managers by considering the sea lice infection externality between farmed and wild fisheries. Numerical results suggest that the state trajectory paths may be quite different under different management regimes, but approach the same steady state. Although the difference in economic benefits is not significant in the particular case considered due to the low value of the wild fishery, I investigate the possibility of levying a tax on aquaculture production for correcting the sea lice externality generated by fish farms.

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2014

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Two essays on the trade-offs between multiple policy objectives of environmental management efforts

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Environmental agencies often want to accomplish additional objectives beyond their central environmental protection objective. This is laudable; however it begets a need for understanding the additional challenges and trade-offs involved in doing so. The goal of this thesis is to

Environmental agencies often want to accomplish additional objectives beyond their central environmental protection objective. This is laudable; however it begets a need for understanding the additional challenges and trade-offs involved in doing so. The goal of this thesis is to examine the trade-offs involved in two such cases that have received considerable attention recently. The two cases I examine are (1) the protection of multiple environmental goods (e.g., bundles of ecosystem services); and (2) the use of payments for ecosystem services as a poverty reduction mechanism. In the first case (chapter 2), I build a model based on the fact that efforts to protect one environmental good often increase or decrease the levels of other environmental goods, what I refer to as "cobenefits" and "disbenefits" respectively. There is often a desire to increase the cobenefits of environmental protection efforts in order to synergize across conservation efforts; and there is also a desire to decrease disbenefits because they are seen as negative externalities of protection efforts. I show that as a result of reciprocal externalities between environmental protection efforts, environmental agencies likely have a disincentive to create cobenefits, but may actually have an incentive to decrease disbenefits. In the second case (chapter 3), I model an environmental agency that wants to increase environmental protection, but would also like to reduce poverty. The model indicates that in theory, the trade-offs between these two goals may depend on relevant parameters of the system, particularly the ratio of the price of monitoring to participant's compliance cost. I show that when the ratio of monitoring costs to compliance cost is higher, trade-offs between environmental protection and poverty reduction are likely to be smaller. And when the ratio of monitoring costs to compliance costs is lower, trade-offs are likely to be larger. This thesis contributes to a deeper understanding of the trade-offs faced by environmental agencies that want to pursue secondary objectives of protecting additional environmental goods or reducing poverty.

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2012

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Phosphorus cycling in Metropolitan Phoenix

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Phosphorus (P), an essential element for life, is becoming increasingly scarce, and its global management presents a serious challenge. As urban environments dominate the landscape, we need to elucidate how P cycles in urban ecosystems to better understand how cities

Phosphorus (P), an essential element for life, is becoming increasingly scarce, and its global management presents a serious challenge. As urban environments dominate the landscape, we need to elucidate how P cycles in urban ecosystems to better understand how cities contribute to — and provide opportunities to solve — problems of P management. The goal of my research was to increase our understanding of urban P cycling in the context of urban resource management through analysis of existing ecological and socio-economic data supplemented with expert interviews in order to facilitate a transition to sustainable P management. Study objectives were to: I) Quantify and map P stocks and flows in the Phoenix metropolitan area and analyze the drivers of spatial distribution and dynamics of P flows; II) examine changes in P-flow dynamics at the urban agricultural interface (UAI), and the drivers of those changes, between 1978 and 2008; III) compare the UAI's average annual P budget to the global agricultural P budget; and IV) explore opportunities for more sustainable P management in Phoenix. Results showed that Phoenix is a sink for P, and that agriculture played a primary role in the dynamics of P cycling. Internal P dynamics at the UAI shifted over the 30-year study period, with alfalfa replacing cotton as the main locus of agricultural P cycling. Results also suggest that the extent of P recycling in Phoenix is proportionally larger than comparable estimates available at the global scale due to the biophysical characteristics of the region and the proximity of various land uses. Uncertainty remains about the effectiveness of current recycling strategies and about best management strategies for the future because we do not have sufficient data to use as basis for evaluation and decision-making. By working in collaboration with practitioners, researchers can overcome some of these data limitations to develop a deeper understanding of the complexities of P dynamics and the range of options available to sustainably manage P. There is also a need to better connect P management with that of other resources, notably water and other nutrients, in order to sustainably manage cities.

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2011

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The pika and the watershed

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As much as 40% of the world's human population relies on rivers which originate on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) (Xu et al. 2009, Immerzeel et al. 2010). However, the high alpine grasslands where these rivers emanate are at a crossroads.

As much as 40% of the world's human population relies on rivers which originate on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) (Xu et al. 2009, Immerzeel et al. 2010). However, the high alpine grasslands where these rivers emanate are at a crossroads. Fed by seasonal monsoon rains and glacial runoff, these rivers' frequent flooding contributes to massive losses of life and property downstream (Varis et al. 2012). Additionally, upstream grasslands, which regulate the flow of these rivers, are considered to be deteriorating (Harris 2010). This thesis examines the regional vulnerability of these rivers and highlights the impacts of several policy responses, finding that both climate change and grassland degradation pose significant challenges to Asia's water security. Additionally, I suggest that many of the responses elicited by policy makers to meet these challenges have failed. One of these policies has been the poisoning of a small, endemic, burrowing mammal and keystone species, the plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) (Smith and Foggin 1999). Contrary to their putative classification as a pest (Fan et al. 1999), I show that the plateau pika is instead an ecosystem engineer that actively increases the infiltration rate of water on the QTP with concomitant benefits to both local ecosystems and downstream hydrological processes.

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2012

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Developing behavioral indices of population viability: a case study of California sea lions in the Gulf of California, Mexico

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Despite years of effort, the field of conservation biology still struggles to incorporate theories of animal behavior. I introduce in Chapter I the issues surrounding the disconnect between behavioral ecology and conservation biology, and propose the use of behavioral knowledge

Despite years of effort, the field of conservation biology still struggles to incorporate theories of animal behavior. I introduce in Chapter I the issues surrounding the disconnect between behavioral ecology and conservation biology, and propose the use of behavioral knowledge in population viability analysis. In Chapter II, I develop a framework that uses three strategies for incorporating behavior into demographic models, outline the costs of each strategy through decision analysis, and build on previous work in behavioral ecology and demography. First, relevant behavioral mechanisms should be included in demographic models used for conservation decision-making. Second, I propose rapid behavioral assessment as a useful tool to approximate demographic rates through regression of demographic phenomena on observations of related behaviors. This technique provides behaviorally estimated parameters that may be applied to population viability analysis for use in management. Finally, behavioral indices can be used as warning signs of population decline. The proposed framework combines each strategy through decision analysis to provide quantitative rules that determine when incorporating aspects of conservation behavior may be beneficial to management. Chapter III applies this technique to estimate birthrate in a colony of California sea lions in the Gulf of California, Mexico. This study includes a cost analysis of the behavioral and traditional parameter estimation techniques. I then provide in Chapter IV practical recommendations for applying this framework to management programs along with general guidelines for the development of rapid behavioral assessment.

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2012

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Assessing ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) suitable habitat throughout Arizona in response to future climate models

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The species distribution model DISTRIB was used to model and map potential suitable habitat of ponderosa pine throughout Arizona under current and six future climate scenarios. Importance Values for each climate scenario were estimated from 24 predictor variables consisting of

The species distribution model DISTRIB was used to model and map potential suitable habitat of ponderosa pine throughout Arizona under current and six future climate scenarios. Importance Values for each climate scenario were estimated from 24 predictor variables consisting of climate, elevation, soil, and vegetation data within a 4 km grid cell. Two emission scenarios, (A2 (high concentration) and B1 (low concentration)) and three climate models (the Parallel Climate Model, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, and the HadleyCM3) were used to capture the potential variability among future climates and provide a range of responses from ponderosa pine. Summary tables for federal and state managed lands show the potential change in suitable habitat under the different climate scenarios; while an analysis of three elevational regions explores the potential shift of habitat upslope. According to the climate scenarios, mean annual temperature in Arizona could increase by 3.5% while annual precipitation could decrease by 36% over this century. Results of the DISTRIB model indicate that in response to the projected changes in climate, suitable habitat for ponderosa pine could increase by 13% throughout the state under the HadleyCM3 high scenario or lose 1.1% under the average of the three low scenarios. However, the spatial variability of climate changes will result in gains and losses among the ecoregions and federally and state managed lands. Therefore, alternative practices may need to be considered to limit the loss of suitable habitat in areas identified by the models.

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2011