John Shultis (2)

How can park agencies better integrate social science and indigenous knowledge? Park agencies face a range of issues, from loss of habitats and biodiversity and climate change to changing social attitudes and technological change. The integration of knowledge is an important resource for addressing the increasingly complex challenges facing park managers. In parks, challenges related to knowledge mobilization, or moving knowledge into active service, have largely focused on the (a) use of natural science research, and (b) achieving conservation rather than other park mandates such as visitor experiences. Park agencies and other conservation organizations are realizing that a better understanding of social forces that affect park management would be useful. This SSHRC funded project aims to enhance the use of social science research (and indigenous knowledge) for parks and protected areas policy, planning, and management decision making. This project will create a multidisciplinary, inter-institutional, cross-sectoral partnership to mobilize parks-relevant social science knowledge, in Alberta and beyond. Our group will engage in a range of knowledge mobilization activities designed to address objectives including 1) consolidating the evidence base by systematically reviewing social science research relating to parks and 2) examining the barriers, challenges, and opportunities associated with using social science research and indigenous knowledge to inform policy, planning, and management decisions. Research activities will include (a) systematic reviews of literature, (b) surveys of park agency staff regarding their familiarity, use and integration of social science and indigenous knowledge, and (c) case studies in Alberta and BC of the use of social science and indigenous knowledge to address park management challenges.

My Speakers Sessions

Tuesday, December 4