Publications by authors named "Michael Paolisso"

3 Publications

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Enhancing socio-ecological resilience in coastal regions through collaborative science, knowledge exchange and social networks: A case study from the Deal Island Peninsula, USA.

Socioeco Prac Res 2019 Jun 1;1(2):109-123. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA, and Department of Environmental Studies, Masaryk University, Jostova 10, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

Collaborative science brings together diverse stakeholders to share knowledge and form networks that in turn can be foundational to policies and practices to increase socio-ecological resilience. In this article we present results from a collaborative science project that employed collaborative learning methods to develop a network of local, regional, state and academic stakeholders. These stakeholders had little social interaction prior to the project, and represented a diversity of views, positions and responsibilities. They shared in common a concern for the effects of climate change on a coastal socio-ecological system and the desire to reduce vulnerabilities and enhance resilience. Through ethnographic and survey methods, we found that collaborative science and learning promoted the exchange of cultural and environmental knowledge and expertise among individuals who previously had no sustained interaction. Stakeholders perceived these exchanges as worthwhile in that they allowed individuals to express viewpoints and share knowledge and expertise, which was seen to have the potential to increase socio-ecological resilience. Our results suggest that social networks can emerge from collaborative science and learning projects, and can become formally organized and help foster opportunities to enhance socio-ecological resilience.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s42532-019-00010-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7470079PMC
June 2019

Purpose, processes, partnerships, and products: four Ps to advance participatory socio-environmental modeling.

Ecol Appl 2018 01 8;28(1):46-61. Epub 2017 Dec 8.

Department of Urban Planning & Policy, Institute for Environmental Science and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, 412 South Peoria Street, MC 348, Chicago, Illinois, 60607, USA.

Including stakeholders in environmental model building and analysis is an increasingly popular approach to understanding ecological change. This is because stakeholders often hold valuable knowledge about socio-environmental dynamics and collaborative forms of modeling produce important boundary objects used to collectively reason about environmental problems. Although the number of participatory modeling (PM) case studies and the number of researchers adopting these approaches has grown in recent years, the lack of standardized reporting and limited reproducibility have prevented PM's establishment and advancement as a cohesive field of study. We suggest a four-dimensional framework (4P) that includes reporting on dimensions of (1) the Purpose for selecting a PM approach (the why); (2) the Process by which the public was involved in model building or evaluation (the how); (3) the Partnerships formed (the who); and (4) the Products that resulted from these efforts (the what). We highlight four case studies that use common PM software-based approaches (fuzzy cognitive mapping, agent-based modeling, system dynamics, and participatory geospatial modeling) to understand human-environment interactions and the consequences of ecological changes, including bushmeat hunting in Tanzania and Cameroon, agricultural production and deforestation in Zambia, and groundwater management in India. We demonstrate how standardizing communication about PM case studies can lead to innovation and new insights about model-based reasoning in support of ecological policy development. We suggest that our 4P framework and reporting approach provides a way for new hypotheses to be identified and tested in the growing field of PM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eap.1627DOI Listing
January 2018

Employing a socio-ecological systems approach to engage harmful algal bloom stakeholders.

Aquat Ecol 2016 Sep 11;50(3):577-594. Epub 2015 Dec 11.

Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences, 701 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) pose substantial health risks to seafood consumers, drinking water supplies, and recreationalists with apparent increases associated with anthropogenic eutrophication of freshwaters and coastal areas. Attempts to intervene in these blooms can be met with reticence by citizens, non-governmental organizations, and officials, often due to local perceptions and beliefs. Hence, the social sciences have an important role to play in HAB research and mitigation. Much of the social science HAB research to date has focused on how best to communicate associated risks and appropriate behavioral responses to affected local communities. The emphasis has been on the direct human impacts, particularly in the areas of health outcomes and identification of any sociocultural and economic barriers to proposed mitigation. While this focus is warranted and valuable, there is also a need to understand HABs as part of a larger human-environmental coupled system, where blooms trigger a wide range of cultural and behavioral responses that are driven by how blooms impact other social and ecosystem dynamics. The research presented here describes a case study of a bloom in a lake in the Chesapeake Bay watershed where anthropologists worked with HAB researchers. The results of this interdisciplinary collaboration show that approaching the bloom and mitigation within a 'socio-ecological systems' framework provides stakeholders with a range of rationales and approaches for addressing HAB mitigation, enhancing both short-term successes and longer-term opportunities, even if is still present in the lake.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10452-015-9562-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777728PMC
September 2016