Stakeholder perceptions of cooperative research integration in the mid-Atlantic research set-aside program
The Mid-Atlantic Research Set-Aside (RSA) Program was created to fund cooperative research that would fill data and information gaps in order to improve fisheries management in the Mid-Atlantic region. Recently, fishery stakeholders have expressed concern that RSA projects have lacked utility for management, and that the Mid-Atlantic RSA Program may not be achieving its original goals and objectives. This study used a standardized questionnaire to assess fishery stakeholder perceptions of the integration of cooperative research results from the Mid-Atlantic RSA Program, including perceptions of program goals and RSA project impacts on decision-making and fishery stock assessments. This thesis also explored stakeholder perceptions of factors that may affect the integration of RSA project results. Results of this research were used to construct a heuristic model of cooperation research integration in the Mid-Atlantic RSA Program, and provide recommendations to improve program function. ^ Results of the questionnaire indicate that stakeholders believe RSA projects have had some impact on management decision-making and stock assessments, but this impact has been limited. Thus, although stakeholders recognize some program successes, the direct impact on the management process may be less than expected. In addition, many stakeholders were unable to evaluate RSA project impacts because they did not know the final results of the projects or whether those results were integrated into the management process. This may indicate a need for better dissemination of project results and a more formalized mechanism to track RSA project results from start to finish. Stakeholders also identified 15 factors that may affect cooperative research integration in the Mid-Atlantic RSA Program. Stakeholder perceptions indicate that the level of cooperation among stakeholders during an RSA project may be the most important factor determining the fate of research results and whether integration will occur. Analysis also showed that the level of cooperation may affect a number of other variables, including buy-in of research results, dissemination of results, the design and execution of a project, and the peer-review of project results.^
Natural Resource Management
Sarah Elizabeth Heil,
"Stakeholder perceptions of cooperative research integration in the mid-Atlantic research set-aside program"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).