Handbook of Research methods and Applications in Environmental Studies
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Handbook of Research methods and Applications in Environmental Studies

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.
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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


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: http://www.mtm.ac.nz/.

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