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Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Taking on a street

Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Outreach

Work of the faculty, staff, and students of Cornell’s Center for Conservation Social Sciences is focused on developing fundamental understandings of human behavior associated with resource management and to applying concepts and empirical findings to real-world, contemporary problems of management. Our work centers on a variety of natural resource contexts including fisheries, wildlife, forestry, water, and climate change.  Our research results include empirical data, conceptual frameworks, and theoretical insights. These research products are used in the policy development, implementation, and evaluation processes of a wide array of policymakers, stakeholders, managers, etc.  The applied aspects of Center for Conservation Social Sciences research are aimed at issues facing natural resources management, consistent with the mission of a Land Grant university.

Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Outreach Program Activities and Strategies

  • Stakeholder meetings
  • Workshops and trainings
  • Webinars
  • Consultation and advisement
  • Publications
  • Transformative change strategy ("coaching" and follow-up, long-term engagement)

Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Outreach Program Audiences

  • Agency and non-governmental organizations (NGO) leaders
  • Natural Resource Program managers
  • Property Owners (forest landowners, riparian landowners, farmers, etc.)
  • Decision-makers, Elected and Appointed Officials
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension and other natural resource educators

Examples of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Outreach Program Impacts

  • “Project leads to Fisheries law.”  (Knuth) Committee on the Review of Recreational Fisheries Survey Methods, Ocean Studies Board.  (P.J. Sullivan, Chair, F.J. Breidt, R.B. Ditton, B.A. Knuth, B.M. Leaman, V.M. O’Connell, G.R. Parsons, K.H. Pollock, S.J. Smith, S.L. Stokes). 2006. Review of Recreational Fisheries Survey Methods. The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.  The report recommended creation of a saltwater angler registry that has now been written into law.
  • “Contaminants in Farmed Atlantic Salmon:  A Global Issue” project  (Knuth) demonstrated the prevalence of chemical contaminants in farmed Atlantic salmon and suggested policy responses to address the problem. This was named the “38th most important science story in 2004” by Discover Magazine.
  • “Workshops for Landowners Help Keep Land in the Family” (Broussard Allred). Succession planning workshop attendees noted that the program has made it more likely that their woodland property will stay in woodland (83%), will stay in family (92%), and will stay intact (85%). 
  • “Thinking Like a Manager” Coaches Training (Decker); this training is focused on improving fish and wildlife agency effectiveness in program articulation, coordination and communication (internally and externally). The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) adopted an Impacts Management approach to their programs and making progress in several areas.  The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) coaches have used knowledge to develop the first comprehensive articulation of their nongame conservation and management program in Arizona.

Websites for Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Outreach Programs

Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Faculty and Staff