Steven M. Alexander

Steven M. Alexander
University of Waterloo | UWaterloo · Environmental Change and Governance Group

About

38
Publications
15,592
Reads
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1,102
Citations
Citations since 2016
30 Research Items
1084 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
Additional affiliations
December 2016 - December 2019
University of Waterloo
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
Full-text available
Meeting the objectives of sustainable fisheries management requires attention to the complex interactions between humans, institutions and ecosystems that give rise to fishery outcomes. Traditional approaches to studying fisheries often do not fully capture, nor focus on these complex interactions between people and ecosystems. Despite advances in...
Article
Full-text available
This essay explores shifting scientific understandings of fish and the evolution of fisheries science, and it grapples with colonialism as a system of power. We trace the rise of fisheries science to a time when Western nation-states were industrializing fishing fleets and competing for access to distant fishing grounds. A theory of fishing called...
Article
Alternative livelihood programs are a central feature of contemporary conservation planning that aim to aid efforts to reduce pressure on natural resources and avoid, minimize, or mitigate the impacts of conservation on the wellbeing of local stakeholders. Evidence of the effectiveness of these programs is, however, decidedly mixed. This research e...
Article
Social–ecological networks (SENs) represent the complex relationships between ecological and social systems and are a useful tool for analyzing and managing ecosystem services. However, mainstreaming the application of SENs in ecosystem service research has been hindered by a lack of clarity about how to match research questions to ecosystem servic...
Article
Full-text available
Mutually respectful and reciprocal relationships between people and their environment is a central tenet of many Indigenous worldviews. Across the Americas, this relational connection is particularly evident when it comes to freshwater ecosystems. However, there are numerous threats to these central relationships between Indigenous peoples and thei...
Article
Successful incorporation of scientific knowledge into environmental policy and decisions is a significant challenge. Although studies on how to bridge the knowledge-action gap have proliferated over the last decade, few have investigated the roles, responsibilities, and opportunities for funding bodies to meet this challenge. In this study we prese...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities and development have contributed to declines in biodiversity across the globe. Understanding and addressing biodiversity loss will require the mobilization of diverse knowledge systems. While calls for interdisciplinary practices in environmental research date back decades, there has been a more recent push for weaving multiple kno...
Preprint
Successful incorporation of scientific knowledge into environmental policy and decisions is a significant challenge. Although studies on how to bridge the knowledge-action gap have grown rapidly over the last decade, few have investigated the roles, responsibilities, and opportunities for funding bodies to meet this challenge. In this study we pres...
Article
Full-text available
Practitioners and policymakers working in environmental arenas make decisions that can have large impacts on ecosystems. Basing such decisions on high‐quality evidence about the effectiveness of different interventions can often maximize the success of policy and management. Accordingly, it is vital to understand how environmental professionals wor...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental decision-makers and practitioners need and deserve high quality environmental evidence for effective decision-making. We collate and share a suite of best practices for applied environmental researchers to support their capacity to inform such decision-making processes. This raises a number of important questions: What does “relevant”...
Article
Full-text available
Background Drawing upon multiple types of knowledge (e.g., Indigenous knowledge, local knowledge, science-based knowledge) strengthens the evidence-base for policy advice, decision making, and environmental management. While the benefits of incorporating multiple types of knowledge in environmental research and management are many, doing so has rem...
Article
Small‐scale fisheries often involve weak management regimes with limited top‐down enforcement of rules and minimal support from legal institutions, making them useful model systems for investigating the role of social influence in determining economic and environmental outcomes. In such regimes, interpersonal relationships are expected to have a st...
Article
Socio–environmental synthesis as a research approach contributes to broader sustainability policy and practice by reusing data from disparate disciplines in innovative ways. Synthesizing diverse data sources and types of evidence can help to better conceptualize, investigate and address increasingly complex socio–environmental problems. However, sh...
Article
This research examines perceptions of the linkages between ecosystem services (ES) and social wellbeing in a small-scale fishing community in Bluefields, Jamaica. It analyzes the perceived changes to these linkages based on the impacts of a marine protected area (MPA) on this coastal social-ecological system. MPAs can have positive long-term social...
Article
Full-text available
Background The incorporation of multiple types of knowledge (e.g., science, Indigenous knowledge, traditional ecological knowledge) is an important undertaking, which can strengthen the evidence-base for policy advice, decision making, and environmental management. While the benefits of incorporating multiple types of knowledge in environmental res...
Article
Full-text available
Complex socio-environmental challenges require interdisciplinary, team-based research capacity. Graduate students are fundamental to building such capacity, yet formal opportunities for graduate students to develop these capacities and skills are uncommon. This paper presents an assessment of the Graduate Pursuit (GP) program, a formal interdiscipl...
Article
Full-text available
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires examining the impacts of health interventions across multiple sectors and identifying regions where health–development–environment conflicts are most likely. Doing this is important for ending the epidemic of malaria by 2030 alongside achieving other SDGs.
Article
Evidence-based approaches to sustainability challenges must draw on knowledge from the environment, development and health communities. To be practicable, this requires an approach to evidence that is broader and less hierarchical than the standards often applied within disciplines.
Article
Full-text available
The complex and interdisciplinary nature of socio-environmental (SE) problems has led to numerous efforts to develop organizing frameworks to capture the structural and functional elements of SE systems. We evaluate six leading SE frameworks, i.e., human ecosystem framework, resilience, integrated assessment of ecosystem services, vulnerability fra...
Article
Full-text available
1 A key challenge facing ecologists and ecosystem managers is understanding what drives unexpected shifts in ecosystems and limits the effectiveness of human interventions. Research that integrates and analyses data from natural and social systems can provide important insight for unraveling the complexity of these dynamics. It is therefore a criti...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity conservation is often limited by inadequate investments in monitoring and enforcement. However, monitoring and enforcement problems may be overcome by encouraging resource users to develop, endorse, and subsequently enforce conservation regulations. In this paper, we draw upon the literature on common‐pool resources and social networks...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainable fisheries require strong management and effective governance. However, small-scale fisheries (SSF) often lack formal institutions, leaving management in the hands of local users in the form of various governance approaches (e.g. local, traditional, or co-management). The effectiveness of these approaches inherently relies upon some leve...
Technical Report
Full-text available
analyzing qualitative data to answer questions that have many dimensions, to interpret other research findings, and to characterize processes that are not easily quantified. Qualitative data is increasingly being used in socio-environmental systems research and related interdisciplinary efforts to address complex sustainability challenges. There ar...
Article
Full-text available
As the extent and intensity of human impacts on ecosystems increase and the capacity of ecosystems to absorb these impacts dwindles, unanticipated behavior in ecological systems-or surprises-is likely to become more common. The concept of ecological surprise is broadly applied but seldom explicitly developed in ecological literature, and ecologists...
Article
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Social networks are frequently cited as vital for facilitating successful adaptation and transformation in linked social-ecological systems to overcome pressing resource management challenges. Yet confusion remains over the precise nature of adaptation vs. transformation and the specific social network structures that facilitate these processes. He...
Article
Full-text available
1. Most MPA networks are designed only with ecological processes in mind to increase their conservation utility. However, since MPA networks often involve large geographic areas, they also affect and involve multiple actors, institutions, and policy sectors. 2. A key challenge when establishing an effective MPA network is to align the 'social syste...
Poster
Full-text available
Ecological surprises are situations where social-ecological system behaviour is qualitatively different from what humans anticipate. Surprise occurs when management results in unexpected changes, or when humans incorrectly predict natural system behaviour. To determine the relative contribution of governance and ecological system dynamics to surpri...
Article
Full-text available
Governance networks can facilitate coordinated action and shared opportunities for learning among conser-vation scientists, policy makers, and communities. However, governance networks that link local, regional, and international actors just as often reflect social relationships and arrangements that can undermine con-servation efforts, particularl...
Article
Full-text available
How social networks support or constrain the transition to co-management of small-scale fisheries and marine reserves is poorly understood. In this paper, we undertake a comparative analysis of the social network structures associated with the transition to co-management in three Jamaican marine reserves. Data from quantitative social relational su...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of our paper is to characterize challenges and offer potential solutions for structuring collaborative research that benefits conservation, based on our collective experience as foreign and local scientists conducting collaborative research in small island states. Specifically, we draw upon presentations by the authors and discussions amon...
Article
Coastal-marine systems in small island developing states of the Caribbean are highly vulnerable to both current and future climate change. Societies navigate these changes in part through processes of governance and the institutions through which governance takes place. The concept of institutional adaptive capacity is used to explore how governanc...
Chapter
Full-text available
Adaptive management is an elegant concept. Structure management interventions and policies as experiments, monitor feedback, and make necessary adjustments. Yet, the implementation of adaptive management has often been difficult, and the outcomes unclear. We examine in this chapter six issues or concepts that emerge as central to ongoing efforts to...
Article
This mini-review outlines the emergence and benefit of applying a structurally explicit, social relational network perspective to inform the establishment and governance of MPAs and MPA networks. This is an important conservation research and policy frontier. We draw on concepts from relational sociology and social network analysis to highlight the...

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