Workshop in Costa Rica with structured discussion of relationships, priorities, and tradeoffs | Photo: Marie Fujitani

Decision-support processes regarding shared natural resources may contribute to either sustainable or unsustainable trajectories. Values and perceptions of the state of the social-ecological system are key factors in the decision process.

However, values and perceptions held by individuals are plural, and change depending on one’s role as a member of a given interest group or community. Further, they may be altered by social interactions and new information.

This group focuses on the interplay between different types of information (e.g., local ecological knowledge, indicator science), values (e.g., contextual, transcendental, ecosystem services-related) and deliberation (i.e., structured participatory processes), in shaping decisions.

We integrate social and natural science research using a range of quantitative and qualitative tools including experiments, mental models, and grounded theory. We mainly work in the context of sustainable nature-based tourism along tropical coasts, in transdisciplinary collaboration with partners in practice.