Introduction: Collaboration and public involvement in park management
National parks and protected areas are now seen as one dynamic, complex, interrelated, and interdependent socioeconomic and ecologic system (e.g., Folke et al. 2002). Because of this complexity and uncertainty, managers of national parks are moving beyond a traditional “parks as islands” paradigm and are now applying an ecosystem-wide approach that embraces adaptation, participation, and collaboration (e.g., Meffe et al. 2002). This collaborative approach requires a high degree of public involvement and the development of public understanding and science literacy to support learning and adaptive processes (Lee 1993; Force and Forester 2001; Holling 1995). Currently the National Park Service (NPS) uses research to enhance understanding of park resources and to provide usable information that supports effective management decisions. In particular, social science research can provide insight into public attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors regarding park resources and issues facing NPS management as well as evaluate current NPS programs. However, managers and researchers tasked with conducting social science research often overlook the benefits of stakeholder involvement in the design and development process. The purpose of this article is to discuss these potential benefits of stakeholder involvement in social science research development and explore specific steps to accomplish this goal.
Managers and researchers tasked with conducting social science research often overlook the benefits of stakeholder involvement in the design and development process.
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This page updated:
13 May 2010
Suggested citation for this article:
Powell, R. B., and W. M. Vagias. 2010. Research Report: The benefits of stakeholder involvement in the development of social science research. Park Science 27(1):46–49.
Available at http://www.nature.nps.gov/ParkScience/archive/PDF/Article_PDFs/ParkScience27(1)Spring2010_46-49_PowellVagias_2712.pdf.
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