Interdisciplinarity in ecosystem management

  • Author / Creator
    Pujadas Botey, Anna
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2010
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Summers, Robert (Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
    • Newell, William H. (School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Miami University)
    • Jardine, Cynthia (Centre for Health Promotion Studies)
    • Garvin, Theresa (Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
    • Szostak, Rick (Department of Economics)