Rabel J. Burdge & Donald R. Field Outstanding Article Award – SNR Journal

Rabel J. Burdge & Donald R. Field Outstanding Article Award – SNR Journal

Society & Natural Resources publishes a call every Spring for nominations for the Rabel J. Burdge and Donald R. Field Outstanding Article Award, for best general research article published in each volume of the journal. The award recipient receives a US $500 cash prize,* sponsored by the journal’s publisher, Taylor & Francis, and is recognized at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (ISSRM) in June each year; and through the journal and related websites.

Past Paper Award Recipients:

Viveca Mellegård
Wiebren J. Boonstra

Abstract: Indigenous and Local Ecological Knowledge (ILEK) has been recognized for its potential and contribution to sustainable use of natural resources. It has proven difficult, however, to investigate and observe its tacit and embodied character. The objective of this article is to explore ways in which we can theoretically and methodologically understand ILEK. It does so by theorizing ILEK as craftsmanship using literature on practice theory, and analyzing the tacit and embodied nature of craftsmanship of a Sámi craftswoman and an archipelago fisherman through the use of visual methods. Results of this study are used to analyze and discuss how craftsmanship reproduces ILEK and its potential to contribute to environmental sustainability.

Paper Award Committee Members: Former Editor-in-Chief, Linda S. Prokopy and SNR Editorial Board members Cynthia Caron (Clark University, USA), Trevor Hill (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa), and H.M. Tuihedur Rahman (McGill University, Canada). 

Claudia Baldwin
Claudia Baldwin
Graham Marshall
Graham Marshall
Helen Ross (1)
Helen Ross
Jim Cavale
Jim Cavaye
Janet Stephenson on beach cropped (1)
Janet Stephenson
Lyn Carter 2.JPG
Lyn Carter
claire Freeman
Claire Freeman
Acurtis photo (1)
Allan Curtis
Syme2
Geoff Syme

Abstract: Neoliberalism is frequently blamed for challenges in achieving sustainable development; consequently some also question if sustainability is still a useful concept. Neoliberal influence on natural resource management has evolved over the last 30 years to a hybrid form that seeks to compensate for its negative social and environmental externalities. Through review of literature and critical analysis of three case studies of resource development in Australia and New Zealand, we argue that, in spite of modifications under hybrid approaches, neoliberalism still tests achievement of sustainability goals, due to privileging industry and shifting risk and costs to future generations, through inadequate regulation, neglect of public consultation, lack of transparency, and weak impact assessment. We suggest that while neoliberal approaches bring both benefits and disadvantages, sustainability principles must continue to be kept at the forefront of legislation, regulation and management.

Mylek Melinda_Headshot
Melinda R. Mylek
Jacki Schirmea
Jacki Schirmer

Abstract: Multiple studies have examined ‘what’ people think about fuel management (perceptions); fewer have examined ‘how’ people think about it (structure of thoughts). In an Australian study, we used Integrative Complexity Theory (ICT) to explore the relationship between how complexly people thought about, and how acceptable they found, three fuel management strategies: prescribed burning, mechanical thinning and livestock grazing. Integrative complexity (IC) was associated with the direction of acceptability of the most familiar practice – prescribed burning, but trust in organizations was associated with acceptability of all strategies. IC was associated with the extremity of acceptability, with higher IC associated with more moderate attitudes. Our findings support the argument that targeting communication to (i) match current IC and (ii) encourage growth in complexity of thinking has potential to encourage more moderate and stable attitudes about fuel management.

Kimberly Coleman
Marc J. Stern

Abstract: Successful natural resource management increasingly requires collaboration across boundaries and between diverse stakeholder groups, and trust is a key ingredient of successful collaboration. This study represents an early qualitative empirical attempt to understand how different forms of trust develop, function, and interact in collaborative natural resource management initiatives. We conducted case studies of four landscape-level initiatives in the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP). Our results suggest that three forms of trust, affinitive, rational, and procedural trust, were all important for successful collaboration, but different forms of trust appeared to function more powerfully during convening, recruitment, retention, and ongoing collaboration of stakeholders, with affinitive trust particularly important for convening, and rational and procedural trust gaining importance for recruiting and retention of members. We discuss the implications of the findings in both theoretical and practical terms.

Frederick I. Lauer
Alexander L. Metcalf
Elizabeth C. Metcalf
Jakki J. Mohr

Abstract: Public engagement is important for improving outcomes of social-ecological systems management. We used a social justice theoretical framework to measure residents’ attitudes toward public engagement processes and satisfaction with outcomes of a restoration project in Western Montana. We predicted process control and decision control domains of procedural justice would significantly predict stakeholder satisfaction, with decision control partially mediating the relationship between process control and satisfaction. We tested these predictions using a path analysis of intercept survey data collected from residents within the project area. We found process control had a significant and positive effect on satisfaction but was fully mediated by decision control, suggesting that successful engagement requires opportunities for stakeholders not only to participate but to clearly shape decisions and outcomes. We discuss implications for public engagement, human dimensions research, and social monitoring of social-ecological systems.

One other article published in Society & Natural Resources in Volume 31(4) (2018) was designated as an Award Finalist: “Shaping and Sharing Responsibility: Social Memory and Social Learning in the Australian Rural Bushfire Landscape” by Karen Reid, Ruth Beilin and Jim McLennan (pages 442-456). 

Hannah E. Clarke
Brian Mayer

Abstract: Culture plays an important role in communities’ abilities to adapt to environmental change and crises. The emerging field of resilience thinking has made several efforts to better integrate social and cultural factors into the systems-level approach to understanding social–ecological resilience. However, attempts to integrate culture into structural models often fail to account for the agentic processes that influence recovery at the individual and community levels, overshadowing the potential for agency and variation in community response. Using empirical data on the 2010 BP oil spill’s impact on a small, natural-resource-dependent community, we propose an alternative approach emphasizing culture’s ability to operate as a resource that contributes to social, or community, resilience. We refer to this more explicit articulation of culture’s role in resilience as cultural resilience. Our findings reveal that not all cultural resources that define resilience in reference to certain disasters provided successful mitigation, adaptation, or recovery from the BP spill.

Another article published in Society & Natural Resources in Volume 30(4) (2017) was designated as an Award Finalist: “Standing Up for Inherent Rights: The Role of Indigenous Led Activism in Protecting Sacred Waters and Ways of Life” by Emma S. Norman.

SNR Volume 29 (2016)

Heather O'Leary

Abstract: Hydrological systems are reflective of the social systems from which they spring. A close examination of the water narratives in a Central Delhi slum reveals that these are imbued with language of developmental struggle and social injustice. This brings clear voice to otherwise tacit, abstract flows ranging from the movement of women, to the circulation of money, and distribution of water, illustrating the delineation and control of the borders and categories over which things flow. In the slum, residents mark the success of their lives, and their measure of the future, by the passing of time in waiting for water. Some residents are believed to live in a state of financial, temporal, and hydrological affluence, while others identify the flows in their lives as stagnant. These abstractions are manifested in stories of daily water struggles, reflecting identities and worldviews that shed light on perceptions of development that are otherwise difficult to express.

Peter Cronkleton
Anne Larson

Abstract: This article compares and contrasts communal and individual properties to examine the relationship between state efforts to formalize property rights and tenure security. The article draws on a study of four landscape mosaics in the Peruvian and Ecuadoran Amazon, selected to represent dynamic forest frontiers. Though Hernando de Soto and other theorists from the property rights school emphasize private individual behavior and land allocation in many collective communities, this research also found collective behavior and land allocation in many individualized communities. The importance of the collective and social relations for both types of properties was particularly salient in the sources of tenure security identified. Though title was one important source, this was insufficient, and often formalization was found to be impermanent. Both groups also emphasized social networks and community relations, on the one hand, and demonstrated use, which further establishes the legitimacy of claims with neighbors, on the other.