Ecosystem-based management in practice

Despite growing scientific and policy interest in marine ecosystem-based management, little is known about happens ‘in the water’ when ecosystem-based management (EBM) meets the messy histories, ecologies, politics, and pre-existing management structures of particular places.

With the support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, from 2009-2011, our team of natural and social scientists traveled around the world to investigate this theme. We focused on three regions where EBM activities have been underway for a number of years: the Gulf of California, the Pacific Islands region, and the central California coast. This interdisciplinary use inspired research project developed collaboratively at Brown and Duke Universities, and was led by Profs. Heather Leslie (then of Brown and now of UMaine) and Lisa Campbell (Duke) and postdoctoral research associate Dr. Leila Sievanen.

Project outcomes include

  • a diverse set of peer-reviewed and popularly written publications (see the link above);
  • rich case studies of EBM in practice. These are available through Marine Ecosystem-Based Management in Practice, one of the largest compilations of EBM case studies worldwide;
  • briefings of decision makers from the local to international levels engaged in EBM, particularly in the US; and
  • training in interdisciplinary scholarship and communication for graduate students and undergraduates at Brown and Duke Universities.