Biomass pyrolysis is being developed to convert biomass into renewable energy to reduce fossil fuel dependency, yet little sociological research has been conducted on knowledge and attitudes toward the technology in rural southern communities. Our study involved participatory collaboration with conservationists, farmers and stakeholders in the Tenn...
Contexts in source publication
... the local farmers' inputs were not sought by this team at this stage of the research process. We involved researchers, conservationists, and local farmers and stakeholders in all stages of our research by developing a two-tiered participatory approach ( Figure 1). This approach integrates 42 farming and non-farming stakeholders into the early stages of pyrolysis research occurring at Tennessee Tech University (TTU) because we believe residents and farmers of local and rural communities to be the early benefactors of a sustainable biomass-based multifunctional agroeconomy in Tennessee. ...
... more research is necessary in order to better understand local communities' definition of ''quality'' in regard to diversifying agricul- ture in the area and their willingness to do so. The final stage of this project (Tier 3 in Figure 1) will aim to expand this connection of researchers=scientists, facilitators and farmers in venues where discussions and ideas can be exchanged and hopefully lead to the next steps toward a sustainable economic and energy future not only for communities in the Upper Cumberland of Tennessee but potentially for the larger rural Southern Appalachia region. ...
Despite a long-term focus on learning in natural resource management (NRM), it is still debated how learning supports sustainable real-world NRM practices. We offer a qualitative in-depth synthesis of selected scientific empirical literature (N=53), which explores factors affecting action-oriented learning. We inductively identify eight key process-based and contextual factors discussed in this literature. Three patterns emerge from our results. First, the literature discusses both facilitated participation and self-organized collaboration as dialogical spaces, which bridge interests and support constructive conflict management. Second, the literature suggests practice-based dialogues as those best able to facilitate action and puts a strong emphasis on experimentation. Finally, not emphasized in existing reviews and syntheses, we found multiple evidence about certain contextual factors affecting learning, including social-ecological crises, complexity, and power structures. Our review also points at important knowledge gaps, which can be used to advance the current research agenda about learning and NRM.
Learning is considered as a promising mechanism to cope with rapid environmental change. The implications of learning for natural resource management (NRM) have not been explored in-depth and the evidence on the topic is scattered across multiple sources. We provide a qualitative review of types of learning outcomes and consider their manifestations in NRM across selected empirical literature. We conducted a systematic search of the peer-reviewed literature (N=1,223) and a qualitative meta- synthesis of included articles, with an explicit focus on learning outcomes and NRM changes (N=53). Besides social learning, we found several learning concepts used, including policy and transformative learning, and multiple links between learning and NRM reported. We observe that the development of skills, together with a system approach involving multi-level capacities, is decisive for implications of learning for NRM. Future reviews could systematically compare how primary research applies different learning concepts and discusses links between learning and NRM changes.