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Wednesday, April 11 • 2:15pm - 2:30pm
SYMPOSIA-15: A Generalizable Conceptual Framework of Urban and Exurban Socioecological Systems, with Two Examples Involving Wildfire Risk Mitigation and Open Space Conservation

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AUTHORS: Jeffrey D. Kline, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station

ABSTRACT: One potential research avenue to advance understanding of metropolitan-region forest socio-ecological systems involves characterizing and examining reciprocal interactions (or feedbacks) between biophysical and socioeconomic system components. Such research can help to explain system dynamics and identify potential ways to effect change through public policies to promote resilience. In this presentation, I propose a generalizable conceptual framework of urban and exurban socio-ecological systems that encompasses both internal and external, and fast and slow influencing factors. The framework provides a potential analytical structure for examining human behavior as an agent of interaction and change within socio-ecological systems. I will illustrate the conceptual framework by describing two examples of my past research that involve analysis of two different natural resource issues conducted at two different spatial scales and for two different geographies. The first example highlights landscape-level empirical analysis of landowners’ propensity to conduct wildfire risk mitigation activities as a function of landowners’ wildfire risk perceptions, past wildfire experience, and other socioeconomic factors. These interactions feature influencing factors that are mostly fast and largely internal to the relevant landscape (or socio-ecological system) of interest. A second example highlights nationwide empirical analysis of the prevalence of voter referenda providing open space conservation funding in the US as a function of open space scarcity and key socioeconomic characteristics of voters. These interactions feature influencing factors that might be considered internal to the relevant socio-ecological as perceived from a national perspective, but slow and largely external to the socio-ecological system as perceived at a more local or landscape-level spatial scales. The conceptual framework provides a plausible roadmap for designing multi- and interdisciplinary research intended to examine human behavior and its influence within urban and exurban socio-ecological systems, including evaluating potential policy approaches toward mitigating adverse impacts and incentivizing human behaviors that lead to socially desired outcomes.

Wednesday April 11, 2018 2:15pm - 2:30pm CDT
Spire Parlor