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    Author(s): Katharine F. Wellman; Kelly Biedenweg; Kathleen Wolf
    Date: 2014
    Source: Coastal Management. 42(4): 298-307.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (72.0 KB)


    Advancing the recovery of large-scale ecosystems, such as the Puget Sound inWashington State, requires improved knowledge of the interdependencies between nature and humans in that basin region. As Biedenweg et al. (this issue) illustrate, human wellbeing and human behavior do not occur independently of the biophysical environment. Natural environments contribute to human wellbeing through ecosystem services and humans influence natural environments through their behaviors. Historically, however, conservation and the recovery of degraded natural systems has been the purview of natural scientists (Fox et al. 2006). In the past decade, there has been growing acknowledgment among biologists, policymakers, and funders that the gap between biophysical and social sciences must be bridged (Nylus et al. 2002; Cheng, Kruger, and Daniels 2003; Lowe, Whitman, and Phillipson 2009). The success of recovery actions taken to date are increasingly understood to be limited in their effectiveness, in part, because social scientists have not systematically been included in problem identification (e.g., what threatens the health of ecosystems) and development of accompanying solution sets (priority ecosystem recovery strategies and actions) (Mascia 2003). It is thus clear that the recovery of large-scale ecosystems requires the integration of social and biophysical scientists to better understand drivers of change and tradeoffs among strategic opportunities.

    Publication Notes

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    Wellman, Katharine F.; Biedenweg, Kelly; Wolf, Kathleen. 2014. Social sciences in Puget Sound recovery. Coastal Management. 42(4): 298-307.


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    Ecosystem recovery, socio-ecological systems, coupled human natural systems, marine, shoreline.

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