Science Inventory

Enlisting qualitative methods to improve environmental monitoring

Citation:

Weber, M. AND P. L. RINGOLD. Enlisting qualitative methods to improve environmental monitoring. Presented at The Eighth International Congess of Qualitative Inquiry, Urbana-Champaign, IL, May 16 - 19, 2012.

Impact/Purpose:

Environmental monitoring tracks ecological changes in order to support environmental management decisions.

Description:

Environmental monitoring tracks ecological changes in order to support environmental management decisions. Monitoring design is driven by natural scientists, usually lacking a formal social science basis. However, human perspectives drive environmental resource decisions, with a breadth of factors such as human health, quality of life, and environmental ethics. This research explores qualitative methods to help link monitoring design with environmental metrics of high relevance to the public, such that society’s choices on difficult environmental decisions may be facilitated, including management of “ecosystem services”. Our initial focus is redefining metrics of river and stream ecosystems, with intent to expand to other important ecosystems. Focus group and individual interview results are compared for two studies, one in Southern Arizona and one in Western Oregon, totaling more than one-hundred and fifty human subjects of diverse sociodemographic, educational, and natural resource backgrounds. We seek input from the qualitative research community for this work-in-progress.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 05/18/2012
Record Last Revised: 12/03/2012
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 244852

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

FRESHWATER ECOLOGY BRANCH