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The following schedule is subject to change (as of October 11, 2016). Please check back for updates. For more information about this meeting, go to: www.seafwa.org/conferences/2016
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Wednesday, October 19 • 11:00am - 11:20am
Fisheries. Solving Problems in Fisheries Management: Proof of Concept Using Structured Decision Making at the Undergraduate Level

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AUTHORS: Elise. R. Irwin. U.S. Geological Survey, Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Jeffery Terhune. School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, Auburn University

ABSTRACT: Fisheries management problems are often termed “wicked” to describe complex socio-ecological systems encumbered by issues of scale, stakeholder conflict and structural uncertainty with respect to the influence of management on the resource. Consequently, agencies that manage fisheries actively seek employees that can demonstrate problem-solving skills. To enhance development of critical thinking skills, problem-based learning was incorporated into an undergraduate introductory fisheries class using a structured decision making (SDM) framework. Student teams identified a problem of national or regional significance then defined the problem’s scope and scale, decision maker and stakeholder multiple, conflicting objectives and alternative actions designed to meet objectives. Finally, students analyzed consequences of actions on objectives using a decision analysis tool allowing for determination of preferred management actions or portfolios and associated tradeoffs. One team’s problem (Elk River Boulder Darter Conservation) is used to illustrate the framework employed. Although students lacked the expertise to develop completely accurate analyses, they used various sources of data—from expert opinion to published literature—to inform the decision. The SDM framework allowed students to identify and acknowledge key uncertainties related to various aspects of the problem and determine the influence of lack of information on the decision. Because State and Federal natural resources agencies (FWS, USFS, USGS, ALDCNR, GADNR) are increasing their use of SDM and adaptive management frameworks (i.e., the iterative form of SDM) for fisheries management problems, teaching these techniques to the next generation of managers will give our students tools to help frame, decompose and solve future wicked problems.

Wednesday October 19, 2016 11:00am - 11:20am
Riverview A

Attendees (6)