Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
The Northwest Boreal Partnership (“Partnership”), established in 2012 as part of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Landscape Conservation Cooperative Network, encourages cross-jurisdictional, collaborative natural resources management at a landscape scale. The Partnership is a governance network of Indigenous and non-Indigenous land managers, researchers, and local resource users from a 330-million-acre region of boreal ecosystems in Alaska and northwestern Canada. Central to the purpose of the Partnership are ideas of sharing science information to improve environmental conservation.
This case study investigated the relationship between science information and collaboration among diverse participants by drawing on theoretical frameworks related to governance networks, collaboration, and diverse knowledge. Document review, observations, and participant interviews helped characterize the science information shared in the Partnership, its value to participants, and how this relates to collaboration. The analysis highlights themes useful for understanding how the partnership has evolved while maintaining an interest in sharing scientific information: change and uncertainty, scarcity and abundance, and the individual and the whole. These themes provide insights into the complexity of sharing scientific information among participants and the challenges of bringing together diverse ways of knowing that span government, non-profit, Indigenous, and academic settings.
Study findings address how the perceived neutrality of science can support participation of a diverse group. Findings also raise questions about whether and how the Partnership creates a base of stability that can sustain trust in a changing natural and political landscape. Lessons from this case may be relevant to other collaborative natural resource management networks with diverse participation.
Number of Pages
Dent, Marcella M., "Science Communication Across Diverse Ways of Knowing and Collaboration in a Landscape-Scale Natural Resource Governance Network" (2021). Graduate College Dissertations and Theses. 1395.