- Engel, Daniel D. , Evans, Mary Anne, Low, Bobbi S., and Schaeffer, Jeff
- This dataset was compiled as an attempt to understand how natural resource managers and research ecologists in the Great Lakes region integrate the ecosystem services (ES) paradigm into their work. The following text is the adapted abstract from a thesis associated with this data. Ecosystem services, or the benefits people obtain from ecosystems, have gained much momentum in natural resource management in recent decades as a relatively comprehensive approach to provide quantitative tools for improving decision-making and policy design. However, to date we know little about whether and how natural resource practitioners, from natural resource managers to research ecologists (hereafter managers and ecologists respectively), have adopted the ES paradigm into their respective work. Here, we addressed this knowledge gap by asking managers and ecologists about whether and how they have adopted the ES paradigm into their respective work. First, we surveyed federal, state, provincial and tribal managers in the Great Lakes region about their perception and use of ES as well as the relevance of specific services to their work. Although results indicate that fewer than 31% of the managers said they currently consider economic values of ES, 79% of managers said they would use economic information on ES if they had access to it. Additionally, managers reported that ES-related information was generally inadequate for their resource management needs. We also assessed managers by dividing them into identifiable groups (e.g. managers working in different types of government agencies or administrative levels) to evaluate differential ES integration. Overall, results suggest a desire among managers to transition from considering ES concepts in their management practices to quantifying economic metrics, indicating a need for practical and accessible valuation techniques. Due to a sample of opportunity at the USGS Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC), we also evaluated GLSC research ecologists’ integration of the ES paradigm because they play an important role by contributing requisite ecological knowledge for ES models. Managers and ecologists almost unanimously agreed that it was appropriate to consider ES in resource management and also showed convergence on the high priority ES. However, ecologists appeared to overestimate the adequacy of ES-related information they provide as managers reported the information was inadequate for their needs. This divergence may reflect an underrepresentation of ecological economists in this system who can aid in translating ecological models into estimates of human well-being. As a note, the dataset for the research ecologists has had some data removed as it could be considered personally identifiable information due to the small sample size in that population. The surveys associated with both datasets have also been included in PDF format. Curation Notes: Three files were added to the data set on Dec 21, 2017. Two csv files: "Ecosystem services and Research Ecologists - Data Index.csv" and "Ecosystem services and Research Managers - Data Index.csv" and one text file: "Ecosystem Services Adoption Readme.txt". The file names of the original four files were altered to replace an ampersand with the word "and".
- Research Ecologist, Decision-Making, Ecosystem Services, Natural Resource Management, Paradigm Adoption, and Ecological Economics
- Science and Social Sciences