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Reports from the Field: Assessing the Art and Science of Participatory Environmental Modeling

Allyson M. Beall and Andrew Ford
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Allyson M. Beall: Washington State University, USA
Andrew Ford: Washington State University, USA

International Journal of Information Systems and Social Change (IJISSC), 2010, vol. 1, issue 2, 72-89

Abstract: Since the work of Tansley (1935) and others, many have embraced the concept that an ecosystem is a synergy of its parts. Numerous science-centric approaches have been developed to address ecosystem management, while also taking into account the needs of the public. Participatory environmental modeling using system dynamics is an effective process for facilitating the integration of ecosystem science and social concerns. This integration helps break barriers between disciplines while also identifying important feedbacks between traditionally segregated types of data. Using the art of facilitation and the science of model building, the methodology creates a common language that integrates various types of information into simulation models. This paper describes a diversity of case studies, that have used system dynamics to create platforms through which stakeholders can simultaneously explore their system, stressors to that system, potential tipping points, resilience, and prospective policies that address the environment, social concerns, and long-term sustainability.

Date: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:igg:jissc0:v:1:y:2010:i:2:p:72-89