Date of Award
Master of Science in Environmental and Energy Policy (MS)
College, School or Department Name
Department of Social Sciences
Adam M. Wellstead
In Michigan, environmental issues, such as invasive species, are not geographically constrained, affecting citizens throughout the state. Regulations and management plans organized by scientists and officials are intended to address issues statewide, but these policies may not adequately tackle the threat from invasive species as it impacts different parts of the state at different times. Participation and contributions from citizens can offer insight into the impacts and changes non-native species have on the local ecosystem. However, chances to participate and contribute may be influenced by geographic location in the state. To understand if this was the case, this research studied publicly available documents and completed participant observations and semistructured interviews with participants, leaders, and officials included in invasive species management.
Between the two study locations, Metro Detroit and the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan, locational differences had some impact on opportunities to contribute to invasive species management. Population and the differences in the type of advertising used to alert citizens about events influenced access to participation opportunities. This research also revealed that this public policy issue lacks public involvement and contributions. Between the two locations, more involvement opportunities and organizations were present in Metro Detroit. However, it was the organizations themselves and their limited political involvement, and not geographic location, which had a greater impact on citizens' lack of participation in invasive species management.
Yu, Angela, "Pesky Pests of the Great Lakes State: Is Public Participation Influenced by Geographic Differences?", Master's Thesis, Michigan Technological University, 2013.