Current Projects

Problem statement Marine fishing provides the base for an economic sector important to many coastal communities in the United States for centuries. In addition to the economic benefits, this sector has also shaped and preserved the unique cultural and social fabric of coastal communities along the Atlantic shore and continue to define an important...
Nearly 25 years after the United Nations’ Brundtland Commission convincingly argued for a sustainable economy, this goal remains sadly distant. Western economies are strong, innovative and increasingly efficient, but growth in population and consumer wealth magnifies consumption. Solving these problems nationally or globally requires broad...
This project studies stakeholder involvement in sustainability decision making at the regional level.  The Knowledge Corridor (KC) region centers around the Connecticut River valley from Northampton, Massachusetts to Hartford, Connecticut.  With funding from several federal and state sources, decision makers in the KC are coordinating...
The purpose of the Working group on Climate Change impacts on shellfishing in Wellfleet Harbor is to identify: threats to shellfishing in Wellfleet Harbor from climate change, the role of shellfish in mitigating impacts from climate change and other environmental hazards in Wellfleet Harbor, and strategies to increase the...
The project goal is to facilitate hazard mitigation and adaptation planning by coastal communities facing the potential consequences of climate change. We are using the VCAPS (Vulnerability and Consequences Adaptation Planning Scenarios) process which involves a structured dialogue and mediated modeling process, to help community...
Our ability to alleviate some of the worst consequences of anthropogenic climate change hinges upon wide-scale behavior change at all levels of society. Researchers contend that an effective way to mitigate climate change lies at the intersection of two levels (i.e., individual behavior change and government regulation) and therefore citizens must...
This research explores the connection between the process for making a decision and the satisfaction that people have with the final decision. Making decisions in a democratic society about managing the environment or managing risks usually ends up displeasing some interest groups while pleasing others and yet, without widespread acceptance,...
A project to investigate the consumer perceptions and purchasing behaviors in relation to their understandings of long-term health effects, risk perceptions, with an emphasis on aquacultured seafood.  SERI is a subcontractors for this project.  The project is based at the Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics,...
The legacy of nuclear weapons production, testing, research, and waste management affects the physical and social health of communities throughout the United States. Both radiation and chemical contamination have affected ground and surface waters, air, and soil; in some cases, additional contamination continues. Recent history has brought...

Completed Projects

This project consisted of refining and testing a participatory mediated modeling process to inform scenario-building and planning for coastal management.
 

 This research will contribute toward the collective social good of increasing the resilience of rural communities to disasters by developing a conceptual framework of the barriers to change. This framework can be used as a diagnostic aid to...

We are studying the recreational misuse of coral reefs in Puerto Rico. The purpose is to establish baseline data on potentially harmful behaviors of divers and snorkelers to reefs. Such baseline data are necessary in order to evaluate...

The objective of this project is to design a process to help Area Committee planners anticipate and plan for the socially disruptive, or “human dimensions” of spills. This will be a procedure in which planners and other stakeholders...

The objective of this project is to complete a case study to document the longterm human impacts from the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 and to characterize the qualities of the Cordova community that have shaped the vulnerability and resilience of...

The primary goal of our project was to demonstrate the practicality and utility of an innovative rapid vulnerability assessment method for gathering routine social, economic, and cultural information about vulnerabilities of sub-groups to inform...

 In spite of long commitment to community involvement and recent scholarship in the field, comprehensive efforts to evaluate "what works" and translate this information into improved practices is wanting. This project addresses...

The primary goal of this project was to develop a framework to guide the selection of metrics for assessing spill responses, prior to a spill response during response planning, by a broad range of potentially affected and interested parties. Our...

Beginning with the assumption that members of the public, stakeholder interest groups, and professional experts should be involved in decision making about environmental and risk policies that are contentious and non-routine, this research...

 From 1995-1997 we conducted a study of public participation in a forest policy-making process in northern New England and New York. We sought to understand various perspectives about the process held by planners and participants in this...

Between November 1995 and October 1997 we led a participatory evaluation of the substantive impacts of the Sustainable Rural Community Development Project (SRCD) and the processes which the SRCD Project employed. The SRCD Project uses the “...

As part of an interdisciplinary project with colleagues from the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA and University of Connecticut, Avery Point Campus, Groton, CT we studied the social and ecological transferability of integrated...

SERI is working as a sub-contractor to Decision Research in Oregon.  The project conducts basic research in the areas of risk perception and decision making and their application to risk communication. The work specifically applies to policy...

From 1996-1998 we investigated motivations behind decisions by local government officials (LGOs) to participate in environmental policy making and implementation. LGO participation is recognized as a critical component of successful policy...

Non-SERI Projects

Seth Tuler spent four months during 2008/2009 as a Fulbright Scholar at the Faculty of Public Health, Thammasat University, Rangsit Center, Pathumthani, Thailand. He studied the public health risk communication activities about air emissions from...

Three projects were done on this topic:

1. Social science research needs assessment and proposed research strategy on occupational risk, safety, and health for the National Park Service. Report prepared for the Social Science Research...

We completed a social science research literature review on the human dimensions of wildland fire, as part of a broader project for the Social Science Research Director of the National Park Service on a proposed research strategy for wildland...

A social risk analysis of visitor safety in the National Parks System. Funded by the Cooperative Park Studies Unit, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID for the Social Science Research Program of the National Park Service. Comprehensive Study of...

Thomas Webler participated in a research project with the aim of creating an exhibition that addresses preconceptions and constructed understandings of dolphins. The exhibit was not intended to feature live dolphins; those had been removed from...