Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


This thesis proposes guidelines for achieving the human interfaces which are requisite to the development and operation of natural resources information systems. Conclusions were drawn from an evaluation of past experiences in building and attempting to use these types of systems. Both successful and unsuccessful systems were considered, as well as the current effort in Rhode Island to develop a system for coastal resources managers. Examples are presented to support particular conclusions and recommendations. The perspective is nontechnical. Examples and recommendations, therefore, are conceptual rather than quantitative or technical. While a variety of mechanisms can be used to achieve the required interfacing, the key to their selection is the end-user. User training programs and systematic consensus-reaching techniques are among the effective strategies. But these must be geared to the user and the user's organizational setting. The most successful systems have been dynamic, with the ability to respond to changing management needs.