State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007ME145B
Title: Effective Knowledge Transfer to Enhance Stakeholder Involvement in Watershed Stewardship
Project Type: Information Transfer
Start Date: 3/01/2008
End Date: 2/28/2009
Congressional District: Maine 2nd
Focus Categories: Education, Water Quality, Management and Planning
Keywords: Biomonitoring, Cartography, Computers, Conservation, Data Analysis, Data Storage and Retrieval, Dynamic Programming, Ecosystems, Education, Geographic Information Systems, Information Dissemination, Institutional Relationships, Marketing Planning, Storm Water Management, Water Quality, Water Quality Monitoring
Principal Investigators: Zydlewski, Gayle Barbin; Cannon, LaMarr; Liu, Xiongyi (University of Maine-Orono); Longsworth, Gordon (College of the Atlantic); Schmitt, Catherine; Vaux, Peter (None); Wilson, Laura R.
Federal Funds: $ 4,569
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 31,199
Abstract: The goal of this project is to bring the right information to the right people to make the right decisions associated with water resources. People are inundated with an ever increasing volume of environmental information. For information to be used effectively by stakeholders and to ensure that the goals of the provider are met, information must be relevant, accessible, and understandable. Members of the new Lower Penobscot Watershed Coalition (LPWC - municipal staff, watershed organizations, non-profit organizations, citizens, state and federal agency staff) have expressed a need for spatially-explicit watershed information. Specific information types and the level of synthesis and interpretation required by these stakeholders is yet undetermined; these key requirements will be evaluated by the proposed project. Working with the LPWC's existing network of organizations, we will formally evaluate the effectiveness of an online, map-based interface for information transfer to determine what data are most in demand and the best format for delivery. To do this we will target two user-groups: non-profit environmental organizations and municipal officials. A needs assessment of these groups will be used to identify initial data types for inclusion in a Beta-version map. The map will provide access to a suite of information resources, ranging from near-raw data to pre-packaged products and information summarized in reports and fact sheets. This will allow evaluation of the preferred (and most effective) method for transferring watershed information. Information transfer via the web-based map will be evaluated using a built-in survey feature. There will also be focused (one-on-one) surveys with users following release of the maps. This latter technique will enlighten how effective this type of knowledge transfer can be to enhance stakeholder involvement in water resource stewardship.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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