Sarah C. Klain

Sarah C. Klain
Utah State University | USU · Department of Environment and Society

PhD, MSc

About

55
Publications
38,418
Reads
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5,130
Citations
Introduction
How do we better represent the diversity of values associated with ecosystems in decision-making? How can we best attend to social and environmental considerations as we transition to renewable electricity generation?
Additional affiliations
August 2018 - present
Utah State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Description
  • I am an Assistant Professor in Ecosystem Services
January 2011 - present
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Position
  • University of British Columbia
Education
September 2008 - October 2010
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Field of study
  • Resource Management & Environmental Studies

Publications

Publications (55)
Article
In the absence of national leadership on climate policy in the United States, municipalities are adopting resolutions to reduce their carbon footprint and transition to clean energy. However, what leads to successful adoption of these ambitious resolutions needs further exploration. Using a qualitative, exploratory case study approach, this paper e...
Article
Low carbon energy infrastructure has been controversial for economic, social and environmental reasons: relatively high capital costs compared to fossil fuels; dissatisfaction with who owns the infrastructure; visual impacts; and habitat harm. Our research takes an initial step to assess the relative salience of these challenges with a choice exper...
Technical Report
Full-text available
While it may seem that the efforts of local governments have only a marginal impact on the global issue of climate change, local action can spread to generate large-scale change. Local action can inspire other communities to adopt policies, creating the potential to expand and form regional action on climate change. Furthermore, local policies can...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite broad recognition of the value of social sciences and increasingly vocal calls for better engagement with the human element of conservation, the conservation social sciences remain misunderstood and underutilized in practice. The conservation social sciences can provide unique and important contributions to society's understanding of the re...
Preprint
Full-text available
It has long been claimed that a better understanding of human or social dimensions of environmental issues will improve conservation. The social sciences are one important means through which researchers and practitioners can attain that better understanding. Yet, a lack of awareness of the scope and uncertainty about the purpose of the conservatio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Under appropriate conditions, community-based fisheries management can support sound resource stewardship, with positive social and environmental outcomes. Evaluating indigenous peoples’ involvement in commercial sea cucumber and geoduck fisheries on the central coast of British Columbia, Canada, we found that the current social-ecological system c...
Article
Proposals to develop renewable energy technologies may threaten local values, which can generate opposition. Efforts to explain this opposition have focused on perceived negative aesthetic and environmental impact. Less attention has been paid to a fuller suite of the perceived risks and benefits associated with new energy technologies. This paper...
Chapter
Without widespread and immediate changes in human values and activities, massive tracts of natural habitat will be degraded to the detriment of those ecosystems, ecosystem services, and many threatened taxa—in the oceans and elsewhere. Despite this, the conservation movement has yet to devote much attention to the intentional project of widespread...
Article
Full-text available
Value orientations used to explain or justify conservation have been rooted in arguments about how much and in what context to emphasize the intrinsic versus instrumental value of nature. Equally prominent are characterizations of beliefs known as the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP), often used to help explain pro-environmental behaviour. A recent al...
Data
Scree plot. Scree plot including responses to five NEP statements and six relational value statements across all three populations. Parallel analysis, optimal coordinates and acceleration factors are different methods to determine the number of factors to retain. (PDF)
Data
Factor analysis by population with results from tourist, farmer and M-Turk sample. (PDF)
Data
Distribution of responses to value prompts. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
National-scale polls demonstrate high levels of public support for developing renewable energy while local opposition has led to delays and cancelations of renewable energy projects around the world. What makes for robust public engagement processes to reject or site renewable energy projects? A literature review reveals numerous considerations, wi...
Article
Full-text available
It has long been claimed that a better understanding of human or social dimensions of environmental issues will improve conservation. The social sciences are one important means through which researchers and practitioners can attain that better understanding. Yet, a lack of awareness of the scope and uncertainty about the purpose of the conservatio...
Article
Full-text available
Despite broad recognition of the value of social sciences and increasingly vocal calls for better engagement with the human element of conservation, the conservation social sciences remain misunderstood and underutilized in practice. The conservation social sciences can provide unique and important contributions to society's understanding of the re...
Article
Full-text available
A cornerstone of environmental policy is the debate over protecting nature for humans’ sake (instrumental values) or for nature’s (intrinsic values) (1). We propose that focusing only on instrumental or intrinsic values may fail to resonate with views on personal and collective well-being, or “what is right,” with regard to nature and the environme...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In order to diversify sources of energy, reduce carbon emissions and meet growing demands for electricity, dozens of offshore wind farm sites are currently under consideration in the U.S. The Island Institute, a nonprofit community development organization based in Rockland, Maine, advocates for meaningful public engagement during decision-making p...
Data
The debate over protecting nature for humans' sake (instrumental values) or for nature's (intrinsic values) is a cornerstone of environmental policy. We propose that focusing only on instrumental or intrinsic values may fail to resonate with views on personal and collective well-being or " what is right " , with regard to nature and the environment...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report details research to understand recreational and other cultural values associated with Puget Sound ecosystems. It includes four components: Chapter 1, a characterization of coastal recreation and associated expenditures among residents of the region, including an analysis of how these values vary across space; Chapter 2, an analysis of s...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Each of the fields of conservation social science has made and can make a unique contribution to understanding the relationship between humans and nature and to improving conservation outcomes. Conservation scientists, practitioners and organizations recognize the importance of the conservation social sciences and are increasingly engaging in and f...
Article
Full-text available
Under appropriate conditions, community-based fisheries management can support sound resource stewardship, with positive social and environmental outcomes. Evaluating indigenous peoples' involvement in commercial sea cucumber and geoduck fisheries on the central coast of British Columbia, Canada, we found that the current social-ecological system c...
Article
Much ecosystem service (ES) research is structured around four often implicit assumptions about ES, benefits, and stakeholders' conceptions of these: 1) ES assessors can identify and characterize priority ES across stakeholders without local participation; 2) Stakeholders derive one kind of benefit from each ES in a one-to-one, production function...
Article
Full-text available
Stakeholders' nonmaterial desires, needs, and values often critically influence the success of conservation projects. These considerations are challenging to articulate and characterize, resulting in their limited uptake in management and policy. We devised an interview protocol designed to enhance understanding of cultural ecosystem services (CES)...
Article
Scientists are increasingly called upon to engage in policy formulation, but the literature on engagement is strong on speculation and weak on evidence. Using a survey administered at several broadly "ecological" conferences, we investigated: (1) the extent to which respondents engage in policy-related activities (including reporting scientific res...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystems provide many of the material building blocks for human well-being. Although quantification and appreciation of such contributions have rapidly grown, our dependence upon cultural connections to nature deserves more attention. We synthesize multidisciplinary peer-reviewed research on contributions of nature or ecosystems to human well-bei...
Article
Full-text available
Many conservation plans remain unimplemented, in part because of insufficient consideration of the social processes that influence conservation decisions. Complementing social considerations with an integrated understanding of the ecology of a region can result in a more complete conservation approach. We suggest that linking conservation planning...
Article
Full-text available
The ecosystem services concept is used to make explicit the diverse benefits ecosystems provide to people, with the goal of improving assessment and, ultimately, decision-making. Alongside material benefits such as natural resources (e.g., clean water, timber), this concept includes-through the 'cultural' category of ecosystem services-diverse non-...
Article
The demand for better representation of cultural considerations in environmental management is increasingly evident. As two cases in point, ecosystem service approaches increasingly include cultural services, and resource planners recognize indigenous constituents and the cultural knowledge they hold as key to good environmental management. Accordi...
Data
Full-text available
The demand for better representation of cultural considerations in environmental management is increasingly evident. As two cases in point, ecosystem service approaches increasingly include cultural services, and resource planners recognize indigenous constituents and the cultural knowledge they hold as key to good environmental management. Accordi...
Article
Monetary values and biophysical features tend to dominate spatial planning data, yet intangible cultural values have a large role to play in decision-making. If left implicit, such considerations may be represented poorly in plan-ning. To foster explicit inclusion of intangible values alongside material values connected to ecosystems, we elic-ited...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods: Scholarly discussion about cultural ecosystem services – what they are, how to “measure” them, and how to incorporate them into decision-making – is enriching our understanding of the intangible ways that ecosystems benefit people. We field-tested a possible first step in “measuring” – or eliciting how people think ab...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Focusing on ecosystem services (ES) is seen as a means of improving decision-making. Research to date has emphasized valuation of material contributions of ecosystems to human well-being (through e.g., clean water, agricultural crops, reduced flood risk). Much less attention has been paid to characterizing how importan...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The demand for better representation of cultural considerations in environmental management is increasingly evident. As two cases in point, ecosystem service approaches consider cultural services a major class of ecosystem services, while conservation and spatial planners recognize indigenous constituents and the cultur...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Monetary values and biophysical features tend to dominate spatial planning priorities, yet intangible cultural and social values have a large role to play in decision-making. If such considerations are not addressed explicitly, they may be ignored or represented poorly in spatial planning processes. To foster explicit...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods As ecosystem degradation increases, the gulf between environmental science and its application to policy and resource management has become more apparent. While some environmental managers and scientists increasingly recognize how conservation biology research is relevant to public policy, others contend that engagemen...
Article
Full-text available
A focus on ecosystem services (ES) is seen as a means for improving decisionmaking. In the research to date, the valuation of the material contributions of ecosystems to human well-being has been emphasized, with less attention to important cultural ES and nonmaterial values. This gap persists because there is no commonly accepted framework for eli...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem-Based Management for the Oceans Karen McLeod and Heather Leslie, Eds. Island Press, Washington, DC, 2009. 391 pp. $90. ISBN 9781597261548. Paper, $45. ISBN 9781597261555. The contributors describe and discuss the application of ecosystem-based management to coastal and ocean systems.
Article
Full-text available
Recognizing that local knowledge and values should play a prominent role in natural resource decision-making, we tested a semi-structured interview protocol to solicit the verbal articulation, spatial identification and a quantitative measure of local monetary values, non-monetary values and threat intensity associated with marine ecosystem service...

Projects

Projects (6)
Project
A cornerstone of environmental policy is the debate over protecting nature for humans’ sake (instrumental values) or for nature’s (intrinsic values) (1). But focusing only on instrumental or intrinsic values may fail to resonate with views on personal and collective well-being, or “what is right,” with regard to nature and the environment. Without complementary attention to other ways that value is expressed and realized by people, such a focus may inadvertently promote worldviews at odds with fair and desirable futures. It is time to engage seriously with a third class of values, one with diverse roots and current expressions: relational values. By doing so, we reframe the discussion about environmental protection, and open the door to new, potentially more productive policy approaches and the possibility of new social norms for sustainability.
Project
Develop a "how- to" framework that assists U.S. cities in adopting and effectively implementing 100% renewable energy resolutions.