From Yellowstone to Yukon: Combining Science and Advocacy To Shape Public Opinion and Policy

EPA Grant Number: U915587
Title: From Yellowstone to Yukon: Combining Science and Advocacy To Shape Public Opinion and Policy
Investigators: Levesque, Suzanne M.
Institution: University of California - Irvine
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: September 1, 1999 through September 1, 2002
Project Amount: $95,353
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Fellowship - Social Sciences , Environmental Justice


The objective of this research project is to apply qualitative research tools to the study of the use of scientific knowledge by environmental advocates. The goal is to provide essential information about the relationship between science and advocacy and about the conditions under which environmental advocates may achieve support for their proposals. This knowledge may help policymakers understand and mediate among competing environmental interests.


This research uses qualitative research tools, including network, discourse, and context analysis to explore the interactions between science and advocacy in network processes in the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, a transboundary environmental network, whose goal is the preservation of biodiversity. Research findings are based on content analysis of data gathered as a participant-observer at network meetings, on a series of 31 semistructured interviews conducted with participants most centrally involved in the network, on all available archival data produced by the network since its inception, and on electronic mail communications with network members.

Expected Results:

The findings of this study may help policymakers understand and mediate among contending environmental interests from scientists and citizen activists when making policy decisions.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, biodiversity preservation, international environmental policy making, collective action, epistemic communities, non-government organizations, NGOs, environmental networking, civil society., RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, decision-making, Social Science, Economics & Decision Making, deliberative policy, community involvement, environmental decision making, decision making, advocacy coalition framework, community based environmental planning, environmental policy

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2000
  • 2001
  • Final