An interactive, online Geographic Information System (GIS) for stakeholder participation in environmental site selection
Author(s)Adams, Christiaan Scott, 1973-
Interactive, online GIS for stakeholder participation in environmental site selection
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Judith Pederson, Nicholas A. Ashford and E. Eric Adams.
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An interactive, online geographic information system (GIS) was developed to enhance the involvement of stakeholders in the public participation processes of site selection issues in the marine environment. Displaying educational material and interactive maps of relevant data, this new tool allows users to input personal preferences for the criteria they value in the siting decision, and produces a map showing the most and least suitable sites according to the user's weighting of the criteria. Current decision-making processes focus on finding an optimum solution from a number of alternatives using an objective analysis of the criteria, but are often inaccessible to many stakeholders, and do not consider the fairness of the outcome to the stakeholders. This tool is intended to educate stakeholders and enhance their involvement in the public decision-making process. To demonstrate the interactive, online GIS concept, a website called eSite was assembled, using as its case study the hypothetical issue of siting marine reserves within the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Marine resource protection is a controversial issue with many stakeholders in New England, where fishing in the Gulf of Maine has a long history, and human activities have had significant impacts on the marine environment. Marine reserves are an emerging tool for protecting marine ecosystems and enhancing marine resources, and the siting of reserves is an important emerging issue. Pre and post-surveys were conducted as part of the demonstration site to evaluate eSite. It was shown to be effective at increasing understanding of marine reserves and was perceived as a useful tool in improving the decision-making process.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, Technology and Policy Program; and, (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2004.Vita.Includes bibliographical references (p. 113-116).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division; Technology and Policy Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Technology and Policy Program., Civil and Environmental Engineering.