A Research Agenda for Environmental Management
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A Research Agenda for Environmental Management

Edited by Kathleen E. Halvorsen, Chelsea Schelly, Robert M. Handler, Erin C. Pischke and Jessie L. Knowlton

The understanding of global environmental management problems is best achieved through transdisciplinary research lenses that combine scientific and other sector (industry, government, etc.) tools and perspectives. However, developing effective research teams that cross such boundaries is difficult. This book demonstrates the importance of transdisciplinarity, describes challenges to such teamwork, and provides solutions for overcoming these challenges. It includes case studies of transdisciplinary teamwork, showing how these solutions have helped groups to develop better understandings of environmental problems and potential responses.
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Chapter 9: Policy, science and transdisciplinary research: when will it be safe to eat as much fish as desired?

Hugh S. Gorman, Valoree S. Gagnon, Amanda Giang, Judith A. Perlinger and Noel R. Urban

Abstract

This chapter examines a transdisciplinary (TD) research project that included space for stakeholder and decision maker participation. The project, funded by the National Science Foundation, focused on the atmospheric transport of compounds (such as mercury and PCBs) responsible for fish consumption advisories in the Great Lakes region and the systems of governance in place to address this concern. The TD research question pursued in this project, which was “when will it be safe for people in the Great Lakes region to consume as much fish as desired?”, emerged out of a workshop held with community partners soon after the project began. The various challenges that emerged in the framing and execution of this interdisciplinary project and in the execution of its TD component are considered here, along with the value of having natural science and social science researchers collaborate with community partners.

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