Social-Ecological Research

We conduct research on diverse topics related to coastal conservation and management. Because human communities depend upon and affect natural resources, it is important for conservation and management to be informed by research not only on natural science, but also on communities.

Currently, we are the team that conducts this research, but we are gradually expanding to include local volunteers to join our research teams. We hope to launch an internship and research associate program in 2019 to allow our research program to grow!

Research areas include:

Marine Mammals of the Gulf of Mottama: Using Local Ecological Knowledge interviews and boat-based surveys, we are conducting the first research project on marine mammals in the Gulf of Mottama (as part of the Gulf of Mottama Project).

Most Significant Change (MSC) Project Evaluation: This participatory, qualitative approach to monitoring and evaluation can help projects better understand their impacts on communities. We have started MSC in the community of Mi Lauk (Bago Region) for the Gulf of Mottama Project.

Stakeholder Perspectives: We have conducted various projects that assess the perspectives of stakeholders: (1) Fisher experiences in the market chain in Daminseik, Setse Beach, Mon State; (2) Social potential for mud crab co-management in the Gulf of Mottama; (3) Stakeholder perspectives on the Locally Managed Marine Area process in the Myeik Archipelago

Design Thinking: A promising approach for conservation: In all of our work, we consider how Design Thinking might be applied to improve our work and to generally improve conservation projects. This idea was presented at the 5th International Marine Conservation Congress in 2018. We continue to develop our ideas on the topic!


Future research areas include:

Mangrove Monitoring: Working with the Gulf of Mottama Project (GoMP) and GoMP’s consultants at Worldview International Foundation (WIF), Myanmar, we will collaborate with a local community that is planting a new mangrove area. With WIF’s guidance, we will learn how to train university students in mangrove monitoring methods and in social-ecological research on mangrove areas in the GoMP area.


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