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Watershed Diagnostics for Improved Adoption of Management Practices: Integrating Biophysical and Social Factors Across Urban and Agricultural Landscapes

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131668614,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Paul T Leisnham, Hubert Montas, Adel Shirmohammadi, Victoria Chanse, David Lansing, Amanda Rockler, Thomas Hutson, John McCoy, Lee Cain, Sacoby Wilson, Doug Lipton, Kaye L. Brubaker, Yan Wang
Keywords:   4-h bmps interdisciplinary sustainability pollution watershed

Abstract. The Chesapeake Bay has undergone considerable water quality degradation over the past 60 years. There has been little improvement in water quality with the focus of previous research and intervention on technological or social components alone. We propose a shift away from discipline-specific research and intervention towards an integrative research, extension, education approach that embraces both biophysical and social dimensions of pollution transport and Best Management Practice (BMP) adoption. We describe a multi-institutional inter-disciplinary project that will develop next-generation GIS-based assistive tools that integrate biophysical and social factors to target pollution hot spots and prescribe appropriate BMPs in urban and agriculture watersheds. It will use social research to evaluate stakeholder attitudes and behaviors towards watershed health and BMP adoption, and combine its results with biophysical research within a Diagnostic Decision Support System (DDSS) to strengthen the technical abilities of community, State, and Federal partners at precisely targeting effective BMPs. Community Based Participatory Research, social marketing, ecosystem-orientated education programs, and technology transfer will be applied in cooperative partnership with community associations and State officials in study watersheds to improve effective outreach strategies and lower BMP adoption thresholds so that greater advancements and actions can be made towards watershed sustainability.

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