SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH AND EFFORTS

 

SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH

Social science research provides useful information to inform the design of programs, evaluates the progress of recovery actions, informs policy decisions, and further explores the relationship between people and their environment.

HUMAN WELLBEING

The Human Wellbeing Vital Signs address the recovery goals for a healthy human population and vibrant human quality of life, particularly as they relate to people’s engagement with the natural environment of Puget Sound. The Vital Signs include familiar aspects of human health that contribute to our wellbeing, such as physical and psychological health, as well as social, cultural, and economic wellbeing and governance, or the way that people participate in decision-making.

SOCIAL SCIENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The Partnership’s Science Panel established the Puget Sound Social Science Advisory Committee (SSAC) in 2010. The SSAC engages social scientists from many disciplines to inform and support Partnership goals and advise the Science Panel on matters related to the social sciences, salmon, and ecosystem recovery. Committee members include social scientists, both academics and professionals, from the Puget Sound region. The SSAC meets regularly to discuss advancements in social science research and monitoring, guide additional Puget Sound priority social science, review Partnership materials, and provide a liaison to the Science Panel. The SSAC also informs the work of the Puget Sound Institute (PSI) in support of recovery efforts.

SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH NEEDS FOR PUGET SOUND RECOVERY

In 2013, the Puget Sound Institute conducted a workshop for regional social scientists to determine research and monitoring needs or gaps related to Puget Sound recovery. Through the workshop social science research and monitoring needs for Puget Sound recovery were identified and used to inform the 2016 Biennial Science Work Plan. The social science research agenda will be revisited and revised in 2018.

NETWORK ANALYSIS

In 2013 the Puget Sound Partnership commissioned researchers at the University of Washington to investigate the social connections influencing Puget Sound recovery, because a key part of the agency’s mission is to build working partnerships.

MUNICIPAL BARRIERS TO GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE

To better understand the barriers local governments face to installing green infrastructure, like improved stormwater management or low-impact development, the Puget Sound Partnership in 2015 commissioned the LEAF program at Edmonds Community College to conduct research. Researchers identified such barriers as lack of communication across local government divisions and uncertainties in performance and cost. Solutions also emerged, such as providing financial assistance to update infrastructure and train staff.

MUNICIPAL BARRIERS TO GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE

To better understand the barriers local governments face to installing green infrastructure, like improved stormwater management or low-impact development, the Puget Sound Partnership in 2015 commissioned the LEAF program at Edmonds Community College to conduct research. Researchers identified such barriers as lack of communication across local government divisions and uncertainties in performance and cost. Solutions also emerged, such as providing financial assistance to update infrastructure and train staff.

PUBLIC OPINION SURVEYS

  • SOUND BEHAVIOR INDEX

    Surveys to measure behavior related to yard care, car maintenance, home maintenance, pet/animal waste, onsite septic systems, small farms, and recreational boating and fishing were conducted in 2012, 2013, and 2015. In addition, the first survey established the baseline and included a segment asking about social capital, or the value of social connectedness. The Sound Behavior Index is part of the Sound Stewardship Vital Sign and will continue to be monitored. Sound Behavior Index reports are available here.

  • GENERAL PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY

    The General Opinion Survey focused on people’s general knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and sense of place related to Puget Sound. Conducted in 2012, 2013, and 2015, the surveys helped identify characteristics of the population useful for developing various stewardship activities. The surveys informed the Puget Sound Starts Here campaign and provided pilot data related to the new Human Wellbeing Vital Sign indicators. Public Opinion surveys are available here.

  • BARRIERS AND MOTIVATORS SURVEY

    Three surveys concentrated on practices related to a healthy Sound were carried out in 2012 to better understand barriers and motivators to these practices. After the surveys, researchers conducted follow-up focus groups to gain deeper perspectives into people’s barriers to and motivations for Sound-healthy practices. Barriers and Motivators Surveys are available here.

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