Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Penn State Campus: 
University Park
Location or Building Name: 
312 Ag and Bio Engineering Building
Kathy Brasier, Professor of Rural Sociology, Dept. of Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education

Stakeholder engagement has been touted as an effective means to address difficult natural resource challenges. Engagement has the promise of creating more effective long-term solutions by bringing local and scientific knowledge and allowing resource managers to collectively define and champion solutions. How-ever, these outcomes are far from certain, are resource and time intensive, and require expertise not always available to organizations tasked with addressing resource issues. Scholar-ship on engagement has been limited by a lack of a coherent theoretical approach to explaining what changes in people be-cause of engagement and robust data to document those changes. The Water for Agriculture project addresses these gaps by developing a theory of change associated with engage-ment and testing this theory empirically in relation to managing water in agricultural landscapes. The project is working in part-nership with 5 communities in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Arizona to develop a collaborative engagement process and study the impacts of the process on participants, on partner organizations, and on biophysical outcomes. This talk will pro-vide an overview of the theoretical model, outline the research design, describe the engagement processes to date, and high-light preliminary insights.

Environment and Natural Resources Institute