Assessing Socio-Ecological Values for Water Management

Melinda Laituri, LeRoy Poff


Within a research framework, how do we bridge and articulate the gap between social values and ecological values for water management within the context of climate change??? There is a rich literature that addresses the role of water governance focusing on water as a human right, the hydro-social cycle that links human use and water supply, and the role of ecosystem services and ecological values in water resource management. This literature needs to be explored to ascertain the contributions to balancing human needs with ecosystem services. This class will examine this body of knowledge to identify where there are overlaps and gaps in the research frameworks to better understand the role of water management/planning in the 21st C. Students will examine the following set of questions with the aim to: 1) develop a white paper that clarifies the complexity of this issue and 2) identify the growing literature that contributes to understanding those links: Ecological science: What are ecosystem services in rivers? How are they defined/measured? How do we distinguish between short-term measures and long-term sustainability? Social science: What does the public care about and how much are we willing to pay for it? How do we place EGS in a valuation context? How do we 'harmonize' this translation to reflect ecological science? How does the social-ecological interface get translated to management? Governance issues: What are the institutional linkages between science and policy and how can science inform policy to develop better arguments to incorporate the ecosystem perspective into human-focused environmental governance structures?

Section: 4
Credits: 1
Restrictions: none
First Meeting: 1/25/2010
Meeting Times: Monday 3:00-4:00pm
Classroom: tba
CRN: 10366
Cross Listed: none
Enrollment Limit: 15
Background: none
Course Text: none
Instructor Contact Info:
      Melinda Laituri 970-491-0292
      LeRoy Poff