Research Grants/Fellowships/SBIR

A Model for Ecosystem Management Through Land-Use Planning: Understanding the Mosaic of Protection Across Ecological Systems in Florida

EPA Grant Number: U915600
Title: A Model for Ecosystem Management Through Land-Use Planning: Understanding the Mosaic of Protection Across Ecological Systems in Florida
Investigators: Brody, Samuel D.
Institution: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
EPA Project Officer: Edwards, Jason
Project Period: January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2003
Project Amount: $87,496
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Urban and Regional Planning , Economics and Decision Sciences , Academic Fellowships



The objectives of this research project are to: (1) develop a model for ecosystem planning; and (2) examine local plans as a tool to manage selected ecological systems in Florida.


A detailed protocol will be developed based on an established planning theory that will be used to evaluate the ability of a plan to implement ecosystem management principles. Once ecosystem management plan quality is measured, the following methods of analysis will be employed to quantitatively and qualitatively address the research problem:

  1. A random sample of plans and associated planning processes will be taken and evaluated against the plan quality protocol. Statistical analyses will be conducted to determine the effectiveness of comprehensive plans in achieving ecosystem management and what factors contribute to a high quality plan. A survey will measure planning process variables, including commitment to ecosystem planning, representation of specific stakeholders, and the types of participation methods used. Geographic information system (GIS) analysis will be used to measure environmental variables, such as the amount of biodiversity/critical habitat and threat to habitat to determine their influence on plan quality.

  2. Twelve of the established 24 ecosystems throughout the state of Florida will be selected for more detailed analysis. Ecosystem management plan quality for county jurisdictions and major cities will be evaluated across ecosystem management areas in the southern portion of the state. The plan quality of each jurisdiction will be statistically measured based on the plan quality protocol and then mapped (using GIS) as an overlay on top of the ecosystem, areas of high biodiversity, and recommended areas for conservation. With this technique, the mosaic of protection can be spatially and statistically analyzed for specific ecosystems. Spatial associations for comprehensive plan scores within ecosystems also will be examined to understand the impacts of location on plan quality and ecosystem protection.

  3. Several ecosystems in southern Florida will be selected to further understand the factors contributing to effective ecosystem management. Case studies will complement prior phases of the research project by investigating statistical findings in further detail.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, ecological systems, Florida, ecosystem management, GIS, ecosystem management model, land use planning., RFA, Scientific Discipline, COMMUNITIES, Geographic Area, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, State, Monitoring/Modeling, Ecology and Ecosystems, Community Involvement, Urban and Regional Planning, environmental monitoring, stakeholder involvement, biodiversity, urban planning, conservaton, land use model, ecosystem management model, GIS, Florida