The Science-Natural Resource Policy Relationship: How Aspects of Diffusion Theory Explain Data Selection for Making Biodiversity Management Decisions

Authors


  • Acknowledgements: The authors wish to thank the editors and anonymous reviewers at Politics & Policy for the helpful suggestions on the manuscript. Errors and interpretations are the sole responsibility of the authors.

Abstract

This study extends a previous project which examined the salience of neo-institutional theory in explaining how data are selected for use in making and implementing biodiversity management decisions. Our prior findings prompted us to examine the selection of data from federal, state or local, and nongovernmental sources using aspects of diffusion theory. We argue that diffusion theory also possesses explanatory value regarding the identification and selection of data within a natural resource agency. We empirically test our theory by analyzing original data collected from a 2007 survey of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service field offices. We find that drivers of diffusion identified by previous research are explanatory of how data are selected. Specifically, perceptions of other field offices’ data selection procedures and collaboration with interest or advocacy groups aid in explaining field office data selection. The results enhance our understanding of the science-natural resource policy relationship.

Related Articles

Hallock Morris, Mary. 2007. “The Political Strategies of Winning and Losing Coalitions: Agricultural and Environmental Groups in the Debate over Hypoxia.” Politics & Policy 35 (4): 836-871. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1747-1346.2007.00086.x/abstract Bakenova, Saule. 2008. “Interpreting the Emergence of Water Export Policy in Canada.” Politics & Policy 36 (4): 676-719. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1747-1346.2008.00125.x/abstract Neill, Katharine A., and John C. Morris. 2012. “A Tangled Web of Principals and Agents: Examining the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill through a Principal–Agent Lens.” Politics & Policy 40 (4): 629-656. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1747-1346.2012.00371.x/abstract

Related Media

Film: by McBride, Dennis K. 2009. “Best Available Science: A Process for Evaluating the Validity and Applicability of Scientific Findings to Decision Making.” Lecture delivered to the National Science Foundation, December 12. National Capital Area Skeptics. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3IuZ6Mqg18 Institute for Regulatory Science. 2013. “Best Available Science: Metrics for Evaluation of Scientific Claims.” March 15. http://www.nars.org/bas.html

Abstract

Este estudio expande la investigación de un proyecto anterior que examinó la importancia de la teoría neoinstitucional para explicar cómo se seleccionan los datos para tomar e implementar decisiones de manejo de biodiversidad. Nuestros hallazgos previos nos llevaron a utilizar aspectos de la teoría de la difusión para examinar la selección de datos tanto, de los distintos niveles de gobierno, como de fuentes nogubernamentales. Argumentamos que la teoría de la difusión también posee valor explicativo para la identificación y selección de datos dentro de una agencia de recursos naturales. Ponemos a prueba nuestra teoría mediante el análisis de datos originales de una encuesta de las oficinas de campo del Servicio Estadounidense de Peces y Vida Salvaje publicada en el 2007. Encontramos que los motores de la difusión identificados en nuestra investigación previa son importantes para explicar cómo seleccionar datos útiles para la hechura de decisiones del manejo de la biodiversidad. Los resultados amplian nuestra comprensión de la relacion entre la ciencia y las politicas de recursos naturales.

Ancillary