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Interdisciplinarity in ecosystem management Open Access


Other title
ecosystem management research
mixed methods
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Pujadas Botey, Anna
Supervisor and department
Garvin, Theresa (Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Szostak, Rick (Department of Economics)
Newell, William H. (School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Miami University)
Summers, Robert (Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Garvin, Theresa (Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Jardine, Cynthia (Centre for Health Promotion Studies)
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Global environmental deterioration demands the involvement of the academic community. Ecosystem management is a discipline within ecology that is especially concerned about doing interdisciplinary research in order to solve environmental problems. However, it is not clear what interdisciplinary work means, what its purpose is, and how it is practiced among ecosystem management researchers. The research presented in this dissertation has the goal of understanding ecosystem management researchers’ perspectives and practices concerning interdisciplinarity. It uses a pragmatic framework and a sequential mixed-methods research design to accomplish three particular objectives. First, it investigates the use of the term interdisciplinarity in the ecosystem management literature by evaluating citations and abstracts of 129 peer-reviewed, English language, journal articles via bibliometric analysis. Second, it explores the definition of interdisciplinarity among ecosystem management researchers by surveying 119 individuals using on-line questionnaires. Finally, it examines interdisciplinary perspectives among ecosystem management researchers by interviewing 15 key informants using semi-structured telephone interviews. Results show that ecosystem management researchers share a common understanding of what interdisciplinarity is. However, they are not especially concerned about discussing theoretical considerations of the concept of interdisciplinarity and its practice. In the context of the opportunities and challenges interdisciplinary work presents for the ecosystem management field, the research discusses the role of a deeper engagement with theories of interdisciplinarity. It encourages theoretical discussions of interdisciplinary work among ecosystem management researchers in order to enhance effective interdisciplinary research efforts and promote further contributions of ecosystem management to solving environmental problems.
License granted by Anna Pujadas Botey ( on 2010-08-23T21:56:13Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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