Marine Social Sciences

Objectives:1. Provide decision-makers and other stakeholders with the results of multidisciplinary, regional and bicoastal research to help them address current and critical issues ï Identify issues that would benefit from social science expertise in collaboration with stakeholdersï Provide coastal communities decision-makers with options for marine spatial planning and waterfront use 2. Promote marine safety and community responses to serious marine fisheries and boating incidents3. Help develop programs in support of sustainable seafood and coastal communities.4. Identify critical issues that demand early response and plan programming accordingly. Methodology:1. Research: By focusing research on topics related to management and regulation of commercial and recreational fisheries, through the lens of social science, we are able to illuminate the human dimensions of the industry and their communities.2. Outreach: Presentations, publications and new information technologies will be used to reach a broad audience to disseminate research findings and to advance knowledge about the complexity of marine-related and fisheries policy issues. In addition, active participation in selected groups help them build organizational capacity. Cooperative work with other Sea Grant programs in the region will continue. Information will be provided to students, jobseekers, writers (journalists and others) upon request.3. Liaison: Continue to serve on a diverse boards and advisory panels locally, regionally and nationally to provide them with research results, social science expertise, and information about Sea Grant and MIT.Rationale:Research results from projects using social science methodology will lead to problem resolution and improved policy development. Both legislation and judicial decisions have recognized the necessity of incorporating human dimensions in fisheries and coastal resources management decision-making, yet data gaps continue to constrain effective natural resource management. MIT Sea Grantís social scientist has been recruited to serve on a number of advisory boards specifically to address social and cultural issues facing managers. The research provides valuable information that can be applied in outreach and helps make our liaison efforts more effective.