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Keywords:

  • Conservation stakeholders;
  • social network analysis;
  • social network interventions

Abstract

Conservation science frequently does not lead to conservation action; collaborations between conservation practitioners and stakeholders might support greater conservation success. We describe stakeholder social network analysis (SNA) and facilitation in coastal Oregon, United States. We surveyed 47 people, who named 297 other sustainable natural resources collaborators. Network analysis found cohesive ecosystem-based groups and groups defined by organization type, collaboration between groups, actors who bridged groups, and a core-periphery network structure. Cross-boundary collaboration analysis revealed that people in the estuary group and business people were isolated. To facilitate network change, we discussed network maps and analyses with participants, elicited their ideas about new relationships to enhance their work, and introduced people who might have common interests. New participant-organized projects to emerge included: a successful grant proposal; an online participant skills directory; collaboration between the local solid waste program and the state agricultural extension office; and two participants doing ongoing interventions. SNA and facilitation may make valuable contributions to conservation outcomes.