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Paolisso moderates panel on the challenges faced by the Maryland crab industry
More effort needed to promote true Maryland crab at local restaurants and retailers
Located in News
Integrating Socio-Ecological Research and Collaborative Learning to Promote Marsh and Community Resilience
Michael Paolisso is pursuing a mixed-method project, funded by NOAA through the University of New Hampshire, to examine the socio-ecological system of the Deal Island peninsula in Maryland
Located in Research / Selected Research
Overcoming the Obstacles and Capitalizing on the Incentives for Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Environmental Justice Communities
Faculty Associate Michael Paolisso and colleagues examine how diverse communities under severe threat from climate change impacts view climate change
Located in Research / Selected Research
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Enhancing socio-ecological resilience in coastal regions through collaborative science, knowledge exchange and social networks: a case study of the Deal Island Peninsula, USA
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.
Located in MPRC People / Michael Paolisso, Ph.D. / Michael Paolisso Publications
Article ReferenceCollaborative Science and Learning as Tools for Climate Change Adaptation Planning
Anticipated impacts from climate change act as stressors that motivate adaptation strategy development. And, while climate science projections extend from the global to regional scale, they can leave significant uncertainty at the local scale. In many jurisdictions, governance and environmental management professionals formulate and distribute information to guide climate change policy and preparation. In many rural or otherwise marginalized areas, however, relationships needed to promote clear understanding of impacts and to tackle cooperative adaptation planning alongside residents are lacking. This article discusses methods used by an interdisciplinary group of scientists to help a small community of rural coastal United States residents enhance their climate resilience. This was accomplished via participatory collaborative science and collaborative learning processes that facilitated relationships of trust among a broad group of stakeholders. Data gathered from our network and analyses of project activities show the benefits of collaboration across a social network representing the social-ecological system. The success of our efforts is evident in five ways: a) in localized application of climate and environmental knowledge, b) in building two-way knowledge across the local/nonlocal divide, c) in incorporating local community values, d) developing trust between residents, scientists, and environmental governance and management professionals, and e) in lessons learned transitioning from a learning to decision-making process. We strongly advocate those working with local groups on adaptation planning efforts begin with methods that help build knowledge, respect, trust, and capacity among residents.
Located in MPRC People / Michael Paolisso, Ph.D. / Michael Paolisso Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Faith-based communities for rural coastal resilience: lessons from collaborative learning on the Chesapeake Bay
Rural coastal areas are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. In the USA, much energy is devoted to conserving rural coastal ecosystems by promoting their adaptation to climate change. However, these areas are also home to vulnerable and underserved communities who can be challenging to engage in climate adaptation discussions. Churches—as trusted social institutions—may offer a structure through which government decision-makers and rural residents can engage to improve the resilience of these rural coastal regions. We employed collaborative learning to engage government decision-makers and rural church members on the topic of climate impacts on Maryland’s Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. We analyzed the collaborative learning process and its outcomes using ethnographic methods. In this paper, we present our approach and discuss the benefits and challenges of collaborative learning with rural churches. We found that this approach yielded major benefits including greater understanding of capacities and limitations in addressing environmental challenges, increased trust and social networks, expanded engagement with a greater diversity of stakeholders, increased opportunities for new conversations, new pathways toward interventions, and stakeholder empowerment. Collaborating with churches is not without challenges though; it requires considerable time and effort and presents difficulties in navigating social hierarchies and specialized language, identifying common goals, grappling with the newness of climate change, and overcoming institutional barriers. Despite these challenges, we conclude that collaborative learning with churches is a valuable approach for information exchange and network-building toward more resilient rural coasts.
Located in MPRC People / Michael Paolisso, Ph.D. / Michael Paolisso Publications
Gender, Family, and Work in Maryland’s Blue Crab Fishery: A Pilot Research Proposal
Michael Paolisso, Anthropology
Located in Resources / / Seed Grant Program / Seed Grants Awarded