Community perceptions of flooding, water quality, and riparian habitat in Thomas Creek watershed of Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9k41zk168

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  • The complexity of human/riverine systems has led to an increasing focus on land use patterns and policy. My goal is to understand the dynamics of a coupled human and natural system. The central question is how people in the community of Scio, Oregon perceive flooding, water quality, and riparian habitat. I use the concept of cognitive models to identify and describe individual models of the environment, while cultural models explain and describe shared models of the environment. I utilize the ethnographic techniques of 22 semi-structured interviews, six months of participant observation, and a review of secondary data to identify cognitive and cultural models. I developed two hypotheses in order to approach the question of how people perceive flooding, water quality, and riparian habitat. The first hypothesis is that landowners who have high levels of risk perception and adaptability are more likely to respond to flooding, water quality, and riparian habitat. I found that even though landowners had high levels of risk perception the variable did not necessarily translate into action in the form of adaptability. The second hypothesis is that cognitive models have a pattern of variation that can be identified by land use. Although land use is a small-scale pattern, I found the more prevalent pattern of two shared cultural models to exist in the community of Scio, Oregon. The first model is characterized as human-centered, particularistic, short-term, locally relevant, stewardship focused, rural-oriented, and informed by experience. The second model is characterized as wildlife-centered, holistic, long-term, and informed by science. Local residents overwhelmingly aligned with the first model while agencies and scientists aligned with the second model. The pattern suggests a wide division between the understanding of local and scientific knowledge, therefore, I recommend a multi-objective management solution that mediates between local and scientific knowledge.
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  • File scanned at 300 ppi (Monochrome, 24-bit Color) using Capture Perfect 3.0.82 on a Canon DR-9080C in PDF format. CVista PdfCompressor 4.0 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR.
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