There is a well-established need for increased stakeholder participation in the generation of adaptive management approaches and specific solutions to complex environmental problems. However, integrating participant feedback into current science, research, and decision-making processes is challenging. This paper presents a novel approach that marries a rigorous Delphi method, borrowed from policy and organizational sciences, with contemporary “crowdsourcing” to address the complex problems of water pollution exacerbated by climate change in the Lake Champlain Basin. In an online Delphi forum that occurred over a six-week period during the Spring of 2014, fifty-three participants proposed and commented on adaptive solutions to address water quality in the context of climate change. In a follow up Multi-Stakeholder workshop, thirty-eight stakeholders participated in refining and synthesizing the results from the forum. To inform modeling and policy dialogue, the resulting list of interventions was analyzed by time horizon, domain, type of adaptation action, and priority level. The interventions suggested by stakeholders within the crowdsourcing forum have contributed to the current policy dialogue in Vermont including legislation to address phosphorus loading to Lake Champlain. This stakeholder approach strengthens traditional modeling scenario development to include solutions and priorities that have been collectively refined and vetted.
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© 2017 The Authors.
Coleman S, Hurley S, Koliba C, Zia A. Crowdsourced Delphis: Designing solutions to complex environmental problems with broad stakeholder participation. Global Environmental Change. 2017 Jul 1;45:111-23.