Ecology and Society paper now out from our NSF CNH grant

New paper now out from our NSF CNH work…

Integrating sense of place into ecosystem restoration: a novel approach to achieve synergistic social-ecological impact

Kelly M. Kibler 1Geoffrey S. Cook 2Lisa G. Chambers 2Melinda Donnelly 3Timothy L. Hawthorne 4Fernando I. Rivera 4 and Linda Walters 2

1Department of Civil, Environmental & Construction Engineering and National Center for Integrated Coastal Research, University of Central Florida, 2Department of Biology and National Center for Integrated Coastal Research, University of Central Florida, 3Department of Biology, University of Central Florida, 4Department of Sociology, University of Central Florida

Link to full article: 

Abstract: It is often a challenge to predict the impact of ecosystem restoration because many critical relationships and feedbacks between natural and human systems are poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, we introduce a novel framework to characterize restoration dynamics within coupled human-natural systems. Because dynamics surrounding restoration are complex, we investigate the potential for sense of place, i.e., emotional attachment to place, to elucidate relationships between human and natural systems during times of change, such as restoration. Integrating sense of place with ecological metrics, a typology of restoration scenarios that exemplify complex relationships between social and ecological drivers emerges. We propose an identify-visualize-create framework for parsing restoration objectives and curating sense of place around the functional ecosystem state. Achieving coupled human-natural objectives thus requires evaluation of baseline sense of place early in the restoration process and active pursuit of opportunities that build stakeholder attachment over the long term.