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Kathleen Wolf, , kwolf@uw.edu (Presenter)
Oliver Bazinet, University of Washington, obazinet@uw.edu
Michele Romolini, University of Vermont, mromolini@gmail.com
Dale Blahna, USDA Forest Service, dblahna@fs.fed.us

 

Volunteer based stewardship is an ever more common action strategy for ecosystem recovery and management. Yet we do not fully understand the scale and scope of stewardship, or its impact on both the environment and human communities. A series of social science projects seek to demonstrate the impacts of civic environmental stewardship in the Seattle area by focusing on the dynamics and interactions of organizations. Initial organizational data was collected using an iterative Internet search of organizations involved in environmental stewardship. These organizations ranged in character from large institutions (such as local government agencies or non-governmental organizations) to small, informal groups (such as ‘Friends of . . . ‘ assemblages of volunteers). A survey of 691 organizations provided data about organization history, stewardship project activity, and collaborations. The results expanded the known population of organizations and provided data for a network analysis. A publicly displayed geospatial representation of the regional footprint of stewardship sites will be the culminating effort. Overall this work will achieve several purposes: 1) demonstrate where organizations work and how they network and share resources, 2) indicate how to build capacity for environmental stewardship programs, and 3) reveal impacts of stewardship organizations on people and the land. This regional work is linked to other mapping efforts, perhaps contributing to a future national level project. This study is a replicate of Stew Map NewYork, and is being done in collaboration with similar projects in other US Forest Northern Research Station cities of Chicago and Baltimore. Highlights of the concepts and results of this research initiative will be presented.