The National Estuarine Research Reserve System forms a network of coastal sites protected for long-term stewardship, research, and education. To support this mission, the reserve system established the System-Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) in 1995 to conduct long-term monitoring of water quality, weather, coastal habitat, and biological communities using consistent methods. The monitoring program is critical for reserve coastal management and research. However, realizing the full value of the program is limited by the lack of time, technical expertise, and computational resources reserves have for analyzing large, complex data sets.
In this handbook social science researchers who focus on sustainability present and discuss their findings, including empirical work, case studies, teaching and learning innovations, and applied projects. As such, the book offers a basis for the dissemination of information, ideas, and experiences acquired in the execution of research projects, especially initiatives which have influenced behavior, decision-making, or policy. Furthermore, it introduces methodological approaches and projects which aim to offer a better understanding of sustainability across society, and economic sectors. This multidisciplinary overview presents the work of researchers from across the spectrum of the social sciences. It stimulates innovative thinking on how social sciences influence sustainable development and vice-versa.
Editors: Leal Filho, Walter, Marans, Robert W., Callewaert, John
National Estuarine Research Reserves have been designing and implementing a new approach to collaborative science since 2009. This approach emphasizes the integration of scientific knowledge with local management and place-based knowledge. Collaborative processes facilitate the co-creation of knowledge to integrate diverse perspectives, identify common interests, and use resources effectively so that scientific findings are management ready, and can be applied to address the most pressing coastal management issues.
There is growing evidence that the New England coast faces mounting challenges due to sea level rise. One of the ways sea level rise threatens the coast is through degradation and loss of salt marshes. Salt marshes play an important role for society in maintaining healthy fisheries, mitigating shoreline erosion, reducing flooding, and protecting water quality. Research has identified southern New England salt marshes as among the most vulnerable in the country, prompting researchers and practitioners to evaluate mechanisms of resilience and opportunities for conservation and management of these important ecosystems.
This project develops educational materials and tools to educate the general public and decision-makers about the ways engineered land-use changes affect water quality, fisheries, and human health in the region around Grand Bay, Mississippi. Research from a previous Science Collaborative research project, Legacy Effects of Land-Use Change and Nitrogen Source Shifts on a Benchmark System, will inform the educational materials produced. Researchers reviewed the history of land-use change in the region and how it shifted nutrient and pathogen sources within the Grand Bay system over time. At the end of the project, the research team and stakeholders worked together to determine what educational outreach materials produced from the research results were of the greatest value to enhance local water quality.
This project transfers risk communication materials and training sessions developed through a collaboration between the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve and NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, with the help of a risk communication expert. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the Jacques Cousteau Reserve and the Office for Coastal Management recognized that coastal decision-makers needed effective risk communication skills to help community decision-makers and residents understand and implement resiliency planning and risk hazard management. Their collaboration resulted in the development of a new Office for Coastal Management risk communication training for coastal decision-makers.
Black soldier flies are an innocuous insect with the ability to consume twice their weight in a day during the larval stage, thus transforming large quantities of most organic material like food waste, into fat and protein. This fact has caught the attention of scientists, farmers, and composters all looking for a better way to both feed an increasing population and recycle the growing amount of organic waste produced by that population. With a $5,000 seed grant from the Dow Distinguished Awards competition, a U-M student team conducted a study to determine the demand for a black soldier fly feed production facility, and how this might contribute to an emerging agriculture and waste management industry. Keywords: Black soldier flies, Kulisha, food waste, waste management, agriculture, animal feed
Southwest Detroit is a community with many needs, including access to affordable housing and healthy food. For Detroiters living in an older home, this means paying high utility bills, unless you can find a house renovated to be energy efficient. To address both the need for energy efficient housing and access to healthy food, a University of Michigan team of graduate students interested in urban socioecology developed the Crow House project. Inspired in part by the settlement house tradition popular at the turn of the 20th century, students began implementing a plan that focused on creating common ground for community and college collaboration among local activists, agencies, and scholars living in neighborhoods. Keywords: Affordable Housing, Detroit, Community Gardening, Energy Efficiency
As you enter the city, Detroit’s reputation as the Motor City is readily apparent. With wide streets and long blocks, Detroit is a city made for cars. In many places, it is difficult to access amenities – fresh food, jobs, healthcare – without a vehicle. Focus: HOPE, a Detroit-based non-profit focused on addressing racism, poverty, and injustice launched the HOPE Village initiative to improve the lives of Detroit residents and break the cycle of poverty. To address transportation challenges in the community. Focus: HOPE partnered with a team of graduate students from the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan (U-M). Keywords: Urban Transportation, Focus: Hope, Community-based Participatory Research, CBPR
This project will promote watershed stewardship by developing video modules in American Sign Language, providing professional development for teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing, and field experiences for their students. The project team will develop an American Sign Language video module focusing on the concepts and vocabulary of watersheds and estuaries. Education coordinators from the Wells, Waquoit Bay, and Narragansett Bay reserves, along with content experts, will provide training for teachers and interpreters at a Teachers on the Estuary workshop at the Waquoit Bay Reserve.