Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Marine Affairs

First Advisor

Emily Diamond


Geographic locations are a fundamental aspect to human life, but their impact on well-being is seldom accounted for and often not formally considered within assessment frameworks to monitor at-risk coastal communities. Climate change continues to warm ocean waters and cause fish stocks to redistribute to untraditional locations, prompting changes in angler behavior and destabilizing the connection they have built with particular places in order to fish successfully. This research evaluates recreational angler’s sense of place in NY, CT, and RI, as an indicator to assess perceptions of vulnerability and life satisfaction in relation to shifting fish stock distributions through a mixed-methods research design. The findings of this research suggest that recreational angler’s sense of place can be a significant predictor of vulnerability perceptions as environmental conditions continue to shift. Sense of place is a key component to an angler’s identity, and therefore must be preserved to promote community resilience. This study assists in gaining a deeper understanding of a fishing population by recognizing the needs and values that anglers have in an effort to maintain their personal investment to their environment as changes continue to occur, and to encourage sustainable behavior and help anglers better adjust to change. Implementing sense of place as an indicator within vulnerability and well-being assessments may contribute to the robustness of the socio-cultural data collected within fishing populations to build holistic and adaptive ecosystem-based management plans, as well as assist with the movement towards climate-ready fisheries policy.



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