Applying Social Science Research Techniques to Improve the Effectiveness of Conservation Planning

Publication and Source

The article can be found in BioScience published by American Institute of Biological Sciences and available through USGS Libraries or Oxford Journals.

Short Description

Conservation planning is increasing its use of social science research and  techniques to better understand the feasibility and scope of different conservation actions and landholder motivations to engage in conservation actions. Most conservation planners are trained biologists and ecologists, and this article explores a few recommendations that may assist with integrating social science research techniques into the theory and practice of conservation planning. The main concepts and methods in social sciences identified are conceptualizing the problems in terms as defined by their use in sociology, selecting the appropriate research questions to capture the "why" for understanding patterns and changes in values and beliefs associated with different conservation issues, robust testing and validation of the social measures, and careful consideration of the sampling methods and procedures. To aid in implementing these recommendations, transdisciplinary teams are encouraged to include social scientists selected specifically for their expertise in applying social research techniques. 

Format and Retrieval

This article is available in full text HTML and PDF from either USGS Libraries or Oxford Journals.

Related Partners

The Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to manage and monitor the conservation of wildlife habitats throughout the United States. This includes the direct management of the National Wildlife Refuge System for the wellfare of all American people, and using social science in the decision making process and utilization of management plans.
The USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

Suggested Citation

Raymond, C., Knight, A (2013). Applying social reserach techniques to improce the effectiveness of conservation planning. BioScience, 63(5):320-321.