Here we summarize new research exploring how scientific data in decision support tools, like MarineMap or SeaSketch, come to be seen as credible by stakeholders and considers what happens in participatory decision making when a designated “authoritative” data source does not match stakeholders’ experiential knowledge. Amanda and her co-author Nicole Ardoin argue that authoritative data sources should be seen as the outcome of a social learning process, as well as a technological object.
By Dr. Francine Kershaw and Grace Goldberg
Genetic data is often overlooked and geneticists are rarely at the top of the marine planning party guest list. This results in a significant gap in the protection of evolutionary processes, that are essential for the long-term survival species in the face of environmental change. Genetic tools provide unique information useful for marine protection in a way that complements other approaches, such as satellite tracks and habitat mapping.
So why isn’t genetics being systematically used in marine spatial protection? Research suggests that genetic data is considered valuable by planners and policy-makers, but because it is generally dispersed, inaccessible, or misunderstood.
If you’re a planner, the sheer number of tools available to support your work can be overwhelming, and trial by error can be tedious and time-consuming. Here, we describe two participatory mapping tools our partners are using in the Galapagos—SeaSketch and InVEST. We also share insights into what works and what could be gained by implementing these tools in tandem.
Analyzing user behavior with computer science methods is common in commercial website design, where a subfield called web analytics uses electronically gathered quantitative data to gain insights about user behavior. Commercial companies use this information for a variety of purposes, from improving search engine performance and customizing a user’s experience to targeting ads in ways that may seem unnerving. What can be done with the information depends on two key factors: (1) what and how information is collected (2) laws, polices, and norms governing the use of information.
Why should we invest in geospatial tools? What makes them so valuable in science-based participatory process? In light of exciting progress toward the U.S. National Ocean Policy and marine spatial planning goals globally, and the proliferation of mapping portals and tools to support this work, we share this critical examination of MarineMap, the award-winning mapping platform that supported California's Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. From 2012 to 2014, the McClintock lab collaborated with Amanda Cravens, to investigate MarineMap, the predecessor to SeaSketch. A paper describing part of the results of that research was recently published, and we have boiled down the key lessons learned in this post.