Table of Contents

Handbook of Research methods and Applications in Environmental Studies

Handbook of Research methods and Applications in Environmental Studies

Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series

Edited by Matthias Ruth

This volume presents methods to advance the understanding of interdependencies between the well-being of human societies and the performance of their biophysical environment. It showcases applications to material and energy use; urbanization and technological transition; economic growth and social vulnerabilities; development and governance of social and industrial networks; the role of history, culture, and science itself in carrying out analysis and guiding policy; as well as the role of theory, data, and models in guiding decisions.

Chapter 3: Cross-cultural environmental research processes, principles, and methods: coastal examples from Aotearoa/New Zealand

Derrylea Hardy, Murray Patterson, Huhana Smith and Caine Taiapa

Subjects: environment, research methods in the environment, geography, research methods in geography, research methods, research methods in the environment


As is the trend worldwide, Aotearoa/New Zealand’s coastal ecosystems are being degraded at unprecedented rates owing to the cumulative impacts of a number of anthropogenic stressors including: enhanced sedimentation and nutrient enrichment caused by farming intensification and land use activities in catchments; increased urban run-off, particularly in areas of high population growth; contaminants, including heavy metals and pesticides, from a variety of sources; over-harvesting fish, shellfish and other species; and, more generally, the impacts of global climate change. In this context, we review the methodological perspectives and methods we used to understand these processes and the cross-cultural approach to our research. Our examples are drawn from two government-funded research programmes: ‘Manaaki Taha Moana – enhancing coastal ecosystems for Iwi and Hap_’ (2009–15), and ‘Nga Maramatanga-a-Papa – terrestrial ecosystem services for Iwi’ (2005–08). For more information, refer to the research website:

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