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Priority River Metrics for Residents of an Urbanized Arid Watershed
Weber, M. AND P. Ringold. Priority River Metrics for Residents of an Urbanized Arid Watershed. LANDSCAPE AND URBAN PLANNING. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 133:37-52, (2015).
This research seeks to inform river monitoring through collection of public input on what river and stream features are important. The case study is an arid region, with predominantly urban participants. Typically monitoring decisions are made by experts such as natural scientists rather than the public, although many rivers are public resources. The data collection is purposefully directed towards members of the general public rather than high-profile stakeholders to promote representation of popular interests. We utilize qualitative data analysis techniques to document participants’ specific desires and thought processes regarding river management. The results highlight recurrent themes across participants, where perspectives converge or diverge, and specific metrics that natural scientists can focus on.
What indicators to use is a persistent question in river and stream assessment and management. We employ qualitative research techniques to identify features of rivers and streams important to the general public in an urbanized watershed of the Southwestern U.S. Transcriptions and field notes from thirteen interviews and ten focus groups were analyzed and member-checked with fifteen new participants in both focus groups and interviews (ninety-eight participants total). Recurrent ecological themes were Water, Vegetation, and Fish and Wildlife; human themes were Pollution, Recreational Infrastructure, and Human Interactions. Themes are further described along with illustrative quotes across the participants. We also present participant input as metrics classes. These metrics could serve to track resource condition. The findings are particularly relevant for scientists and managers interested in the perspectives held by urban residents on rivers and streams in arid landscapes.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION
FRESHWATER ECOLOGY BRANCH