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Role of communication in adaptive management

Research Achievements

Role of communication in adaptive management

Debra Wojcik, and IGERT Trainee is investigating information flows around water and wildlife resources in the Okavango Delta, Botswana to understand the role of communication in adaptive management in a changing environment. She is using a new interdisciplinary social network analysis method that is widely applicable in natural resource management and beyond; and is among the first to use this particular technology in evaluating communication strategies. Her results indicate that while customary communication strategies are effective at reaching certain types of individuals within rural villages, many sub-groups and individuals are neglected. However, using the network methods, these groups can be identified and targeted. Further, ethnicity and gender are critical variables in information flows are largely ignored in current communication strategies. These findings are applicable to adaptive management in this flood-pulsed wetland, as well as other geographic and disciplinary areas.