Stakeholder-relevant progress evaluation in adaptive management

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Stakeholder-relevant progress evaluation in adaptive management Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River ecosystem
Berkley, James
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xv, 257 leaves : ; 28 cm


Subjects / Keywords:
Adaptive natural resource management -- Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico) ( lcsh )
Adaptive natural resource management -- Arizona -- Glen Canyon Dam ( lcsh )
Adaptive natural resource management ( fast )
Arizona -- Glen Canyon Dam ( fast )
North America -- Colorado River ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references (leaves 253-257).
General Note:
College of Architecture and Planning
Statement of Responsibility:
by James Berkley.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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LD1193.A735 2009d B47 ( lcc )

Full Text
James Berkley
B.S. Geology, University of Missouri, 1982
B.S. Civil Engineering. University of Missouri, 1983
M.P.A. University of Colorado, 1995
M.S. Civil Engineering, University of Colorado, 2002
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado Denver
in partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy in Design and Planning

This dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy
Degree by
James E. Berkley
Date ' '

Berkley, James E (PhD, Design and Planning)
Stakeholder-Relevant Progress Evaluation in Adaptive Management: Glen Canyon
Dam and the Colorado River Ecosystem
Dissertation directed by Professor Kenneth Strzepek
Adaptive Management (AM) is a stakeholder-driven process. However, a blind spot
exists in operations and in measuring the progress of AM programs. No explicitly
agreed upon definition of progress exists. Stakeholders have very different definitions
of and perceptions of what progress means. Yet, these differences are not part of
progress evaluation in AM programs.
This study examines four distinct aspects of AM stakeholder behavior in the Glen
Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (AMP) stakeholder groupthe Adaptive
Management Work Group (AMWG). In this dissertation, I examine these behavioral
aspects through an evaluation of four propositions:
(1) Stakeholder behavior is an important aspect of AM complexity. Explicit
evaluations of this behavior are rarely conducted but are integral to perceived progress
of AM.
(2) A definition that integrates AMWG stakeholder evaluations can be used to
identify Adaptive Management Program (AMP) barriers-to-progress.
(3) AMWG stakeholders are the most important source of information for the
definition of AM problems. Individual stakeholders often define AM problems and
progress differently. Research on critical coalitions suggests that formal evaluation of
stakeholder behavior can help AM progress.
(4) AMWG member evaluations are integral to producing a greater degree of
stakeholder-relevant evaluations of progress.
In my research, I found that behavior does contribute to AM complexity and should be
integrated into the definition of AM progress. AMWG stakeholder evaluations can be
used to identify AMP barriers-to-progress. The critical coalitions concept can be used
to aid in AM problem definition, solution formulation, and identification of stakeholder
coalitions for problem solving. Integration of individual stakeholder evaluations into
the definition of progress yields results that provide a greater degree of stakeholder
It is important to integrate aspects of stakeholder behavior into AM. Without their
inclusion, problems may be misidentified and incorrectly addressed or go unrecognized

and unaddressed. Because of differences among stakeholders in perceptions and
definitions of progress, it is critical to make these differences explicit and include these
perceptions and definitions in evaluations of AM progress. Integration of these aspects
makes for a more stakeholder-relevant evaluation of progress.
This abstract accurately represents the contents of the candidates dissertation. I
recommend its publication.

I wish to thank all on my committee members for their generosity in giving of their
guidance and patience, and the sharing of their wisdom. I owe a great debt of
gratitude to my parents and my family, who have always given freely of their love.
And last but definitely not least, I thank Vickie, the love of my life and a true
inspiration to me. She has endured the long road and always with grace.

1. INTRODUCTION....................................................1
Definitions, Indicators, and Progress.......................3
Problem Statement and Appraoch To The Study.................5
Glen Canyon Dam.............................................9
Adaptive Management........................................10
Dissertation Organization..................................19
Stakeholder Group Collaboration............................23
Stakeholder Involvement and Collaboration In Programs Similar to the
AMWG Meeting Minutes.......................................27
Perceptions Of Progress....................................30
Barriers-to-Progress and Problem Definition and Solution

Critical Coalition
The Contingent Nature Of Human Behavior..................34
ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT PROGRESS..................................38
AM Progress Definition...................................39
Introducing an AM Environment Model......................43
Model Structure....................................50
Relational Aspects of the Model....................53
Component to Component Within a Part...............57
Part to Part.......................................59
Two AMP Definitions of Progress..........................64
MANAGEMENT: RESEARCH METHODS.................................69
Research Approach........................................70
Relevance of Measured Variables..........................70
Behavioral Attributes: AMP Needs and Values Data.........72

Individual AMWG Member Evaluations
Subjective Indicators..............................................73
Case Study Selection Criteria...........................................74
Data Collection Methods.................................................75
Evaluation of Progress: Government Behavior........................75
Evaluation of Progress With the Integration of Stakeholder Behavior. 75
Population and Sampling...........................................79
Data Processing........................................................80
Basis of Research Validity.............................................81
Data Analysis..........................................................82
Complex Aspects of AMWG Behavior..................................82
Barriers-to-Progress Analysisi....................................84
Critical Coalition Anaysis........................................85
Cause-Effect Analysis.............................................86
Evaluation of Progress

Current State.................................................86
Desired State.................................................87
Comparative Stakeholder Relevance Analysis....................88
Complex Aspects Of AMWG Behavior..........................90
AM Environment Model..........................................91
AMP Needs and Values Data.....................................92
Detailed Stakeholder Analysis....................95
Detailed Stakeholder Analysis....................98
Critical Coalition............................................124

Evaluation Of Progress.....................................129
Comparative Analysis.......................................129
CONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSION......................................135
Stakeholder Behavior-Related Complexity and Progress of AM.135
The Critical Coalition Concept as an Aid to AM Progress....137
Comparison of the Progress Definitions for Stakeholder-Relevant
Evaluations of Progress....................................138
Dissertation Results, Planning, and Adaptive Management....141
Practical Considerations for a Theoretical Approach........143
Considering Opportunities for Future Research..............146
APPENDIX .........................................................149
B. RESEARCH QUESTIONAIRRE....................................155

D. CODING SUMMARIES..............................182
EVALUATION RESULTS.............................248

1: Colorado River Basin.............................................11
2: Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program Study Area...........12
3: Organizations in the Adaptive Management Program.................14
4: The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Centers Approach
to Adaptive Management...........................................18
5: Adaptive Management Process......................................20
6: A Definition of Progress in AM Without Individual Stakeholder
7: Adaptive Management Environment..................................45
8: Natural System...................................................46
9: Human Built/Human Action System..................................47
10: Behavioral System...............................................48
11: Social System...................................................49
12: A Structural View of the AM Environment ........................51
13: Component to Component Within a Part............................55
14: Part to Part....................................................56
15: A Definition of Progress With Behavioral System Integration.....62
16: EIS Environment.................................................65

17: Governmental Behavioral System...................................66
18: Behavioral System as Practiced...................................68

1: AMWG membership and interest categories..............................16
2: Variables............................................................71
3: AMP Goals and Management Objectives.................................156
4: Characteristics of Complexity........................................83
5: Needs................................................................94
6: Values...............................................................99
7: AMWG Member Evaluations as Indicators of Barriers-to-Progress.......106
8: Adaptive Management as a Type of Management.........................107
9: Stakeholder Qualifying Statements Associated With Their Assessment of
AMP as a Form of Management.......................................108
10: Stakeholder Assessment of Resource Condition Under AMP.............109
11: Stakeholder Unsolicited Assessments of Particular AMP

12: SCORE and Stakeholder Results on EIS Criteria........................248
13: Sufficient Progress..................................................113
14: Stakeholder Assessment of Longitudinal Progress......................114
15: Stakeholder Suggestions for Approaches to Progress Measurement.......116
16: Assessment of Stakeholder Use of Strategic Plan Management
Objectives to Track Progress.........................................120
17: Fairness.............................................................122
18: Overall Stakeholder Ranking of the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive
Management Program Strategic Plan Goals..............................125
19: Critical Coalition...................................................128

Since the 1990s, formal programs for the adaptive management (AM) of water
and other natural resources have become increasingly common both in the United
States and abroad. Adaptive Management is an evaluative approach to natural
resources planning and policies. Plans and polices are treated as provisional in this type
of management program; they are created and revised in response to the results of
ongoing scientific monitoring. Designed to help manage natural systems more flexibly
and effectively, Adaptive Management initiatives have been established for a variety of
places, such as the Everglades, the Missouri River, and the Columbia River (see
Wescoat and White, 2006, for a listing of additional AM projects).
The perception of, and agreement upon, progress within these programs is
critical to their success and continued existence, as most of these programs are funded
with public monies and, therefore, rely on public support (Harwell, 1999). One
challenge to evaluating progress in these programs is establishing a process for
evaluation that is relevant to stakeholder groups. If one defines a stakeholder to be
someone who can affect or is affected by AM program outcomes A related challenge is
the fact that multiple stakeholders have different definitions of progress and each group

typically has different metrics by which they will evaluate progress. No broad
consensus exists as to the definition of progress in AM. Without a common frame of
reference and measurement, management problems may be misidentified and
incorrectly addressed or remain unrecognized and unaddressed.
This dissertation explores this issue of stakeholder evaluation and program
progress within the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (AMP).
Established in 1996 by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, the AMP is designed to
explore the downstream ecological impacts of the operation of Glen Canyon Dam and
to help protect the resources of Grand Canyon National Park. The operation of Glen
Canyon Dam is of considerable economic and environmental importance to numerous
stakeholder groups, and one particular stakeholder groupthe Adaptive Management
Work Group (AMWG)is central to the structure and function of the AMP. The
AMWG consists of representatives from 25 federal, state, tribal, private, and
nongovernmental groups. These groups have differing goals and objectives for the
operation of Glen Canyon Dam and the state of the downstream ecosystem. This
dissertation explores these different perceptions of progress among the AMWG
stakeholder groups, how those differing perceptions affect progress within the AMP,
and what these differences imply for the future of the AMP. This introductory chapter
discusses the key theoretical topics and approaches employed in this dissertation and
also explains the content of successive chapters and how these contribute to this study.

Definitions, Indicators, and Progress
Within some formal AM programs, objective indicators and associated
performance criteria are developed, and measured observations for each indicator are
compared to the corresponding performance criteria, e.g., the Everglades and the
Columbia River Salmon Recovery. Objective indicators and performance criteria are
commonly used for implicit progress evaluation in AM. Implicit means that no one
explicitly names it progress evaluation, but most stakeholders assume it is a measure of
progress. For example, in the AMP criteria in the Environmental Impact Statement
(EIS) are used to implicitly define and evaluate progress (Gloss et al., 2005).
The problem with some implicit progress definitions is that they do not provide
a good basis for stakeholder-relevant evaluations because they are not structured to
include important stakeholder-relevant information in the evaluations, i.e., individual
stakeholder-based evaluations of progress. ElS-based criteria are usually based on
agency expertise and public input, which is provided during the EIS public comment
period. Once an alternative has been selected from the EIS and a decision has been
made, the ElS-defined indicators and performance criteria are treated as static until they
are changed through an EIS revision. In the case of the AMP, the same EIS criteria
have been in place for 12 years.
This approach is problematic for at least two reasons. First, it does not account
for the complexity of individual stakeholder-based evaluations. These take place on a
temporal scale that is a function of stakeholders needs, values, and preferences. For

example, if power rates increase over night and I am a power marketer, my perspective
on the relative value of an experiment that limits ramping rates for hydropower releases
may also shift over night. I may decide that I am losing too much revenue in light of
the new rates, which may cause me to want to take action to abandon the experiment.
The second reason is that it creates a set of objective indicators based on general
public input and governmental expertise and then relinquishes the evaluation process to
an advisory group of representative stakeholders such as the AMWG. However, the
groups advice to decision makers is not based on the same set of aggregate needs,
values, and preferences as those held by the general public and governmental experts.
In the majority of cases, any group of stakeholders will have a unique set of needs,
values, and perceptions. Accordingly, each stakeholder will have his or her unique,
dynamic definition of progress as well as his or her individual and dynamic criteria of
These concerns suggest that it is important to have an explicit and stakeholder-
relevant definition of progress. This definition should reflect public and governmental
needs, values, and preferences as well as the more dynamic needs, values, and
preferences of the individual stakeholders. Whether an AM program has an official
stakeholder advisory group or not, it is important to consider individual evaluations in
the overall evaluation of progress. It seems logical that one would want to know if
evaluation of an AM process by an influential stakeholder could affect the outcome(s)
of the process.

Problem Statement and Approach to the Study
In this dissertation, I examine the importance of individual stakeholder attitudes
(evaluations) to AMP progress. This accomplished by exploration of four propositions.
Each of the propositions is related in that they examine critical and distinct aspects of
the relationship between stakeholder evaluation and progress, i.e., AMWG members
evaluations and AMP progress. The first proposition states, stakeholder behavior is an
important aspect of AM complexity. Explicit evaluations of this behavior are rarely
conducted but are integral to perceived progress of AM. To examine this proposition, I
first introduce an AM environment-behavior model. The model is used to explore the
complexity of the relationships between behavior and other AM systems.
To address the second part of this proposition, a definition of AM progress is
introduced, which integrates stakeholder evaluations (i.e., the integrated definition).
The definition integrates relevant aspects of behavior pertaining to individual
stakeholder evaluations of progress.
The second, third, and fourth propositions flow from the first. The second
proposition is, a definition that integrates AMWG stakeholder evaluations can be used
to evaluate AMP barriers-to-progress. Differences in stakeholders needs, values, and
preferences can result in indirect barriers-to-progress in AM. In the case of the AMP,
what is perceived as credible and salient AMP information and whether the process in
which it was collected is legitimate are both sources of potential conflict among
stakeholders. Such differences in perceptions of credibility, salience, and legitimacy

among stakeholders act as direct barriers-to-action and, hence, progress (Cash et al.,
The impact of different perceptions among AMP stakeholders is no exception.
Therefore, the integrated definition, provides an opportunity to explore whether AMP
stakeholder perceptions can be used as indicators of credibility, salience, and
legitimacy. Then, during the conduct of an evaluation of progress, one can also test
whether AMP stakeholder barriers-to-progress exist so that they can be addressed.
The third proposition is that, AMWG stakeholders are the most important
source of information for the definition of AM problems. Individual stakeholders often
define AM problems and progress differently. Research on critical coalitions suggests
that formal evaluation of stakeholder behavior can facilitate AM progress. To explore
this proposition, the integrated definition is used to gather AMWG members
definitions of progress and information about the potential for creating a critical
coalition. Critical coalitions are ad hoc groups that have a common problem and whose
knowledge and expertise about solving the problem is relevant at a particular time and
location (i.e., organizationally or geographically) (Arias, 2004). An AMP example is a
group of individual AMWG stakeholders who express concerns in an interview about
the lack of native fish in a certain stretch of the Colorado River. During the interview
process, critical coalition members are identified. The identification of the critical
coalition allows individuals who have the appropriate knowledge and interest to work

together to design a solution. In addition, it enables the group to form a political base
from which to act collectively by unifying those who have similar problems.
The fourth proposition is AMWG member evaluations are integral to producing
a greater degree of stakeholder-relevant evaluations of progress. This proposition
argues that stakeholder-relevant evaluation is necessary for identifying and resolving
stakeholder-relevant problems associated with progress in an AM program. Such an
approach, at minimum, makes all parties aware of stakeholder concerns. Otherwise,
stakeholders may seek other avenues for getting their needs met or having them be
known (e.g., going outside the AM process to a member of Congress or by bringing a
I argue that stakeholder input into an AM process does not happen simply by
creating a group such as the AMWG; an explicit phase within AM should formally
include stakeholder evaluation. I also show how implicit progress definitions within
the AMP and AMWG do not include stakeholder-relevant definitions of progress.
Based on this AMWG case study, I propose that AM organizations create a structure to
more formally and explicitly gauge stakeholder evaluations of progress and include
them into the process.
In Chapter 5,1 examine how an inclusion of AMWG member evaluations into
AMP progress evaluation requires different types of research and analyses than those
currently used for the AMP. Qualitative methods of analysis, in addition to the
traditional quantitative approaches used for objective indicator measurement,

observation, and analysis, are needed. Quantitative methods often range from simple
descriptive statistics to linear regression to inferential statistics for the extrapolation of
sample population characteristics to the general population and prediction and measures
of association. Some of these statistical tools are already used in analyses related to
evaluation of AMP progress.
However, individual stakeholder evaluations of AMP progress, i.e., subjective
indicators of progress, are best obtained through interviews and/or surveys and
analyzed via qualitative methods such as coding. Qualitative methods are useful for
gathering data that is not easily quantifiable and making it useful for conducting
analyses and drawing conclusions about AMWG stakeholder evaluations of AMP
Additional quantitative analyses were used to extend the studys analytical
reach. However, the standard reasons for using tools beyond descriptive statistics are
not applicable in this study with respect to individual stakeholders assessments of
progress. For instance, researchers usually use a deeper analysis to provide information
about statistical certainty, e.g., confidence intervals of results or to determine the ability
of the results to aid in predicting outcomes (linear regression). Because of the uncertain
and transitory nature of stakeholder assessments, these tools do not significantly add to
a decision makers ability to solve problems related to AM progress.
Stakeholder assessments are based on their values, needs, and preferences,
which change over time and are relevant or not depending on the geographic location of

the problem, which also can also vary temporally. Statistics will not predict these
changes or the actions needed to address them. Such information lies within each
stakeholder and is gained through individual interviews or surveys.
In summary, in this dissertation I explore the need for stakeholder-relevant
progress evaluation and a stakeholder-relevant progress evaluation definition.
Subsequently, an assessment of stakeholder evaluations on aspects of the AMP is made
to test them as potential indicators of credibility, salience, and legitimacy. The
integrated definition is used to explore its capacity for allowing researchers to collect
AMWG member problem definitions and identify critical coalitions. Finally, I conduct
an assessment of the comparative stakeholder-relevance of two progress evaluation
definitions (using the ElS-based and the integrated-based definitions).
Glen Canyon Dam
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau) is responsible for management of
Glen Canyon Dam. The construction of the Dam was authorized by the Colorado
River Storage Project Act (CRSPA) of 1956 and was completed by the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation in 1963. CRSPA authorized the construction of five large storage
reservoirs, which were called the Storage Projects: Powell (Glen Canyon), Flaming
Gorge, Navajo, Aspinall (Curecanti), and Fontanelle. A primary purpose of these
storage reservoirs was to regulate the Colorado River and allow the Upper Basin States
to fully develop their river compact entitlements while meeting 1922 Lower Basin
Colorado River Compact and Mexico Treaty requirements. From the time of the Glen

Canyon Dam placement, its operations have altered the hydrologic and temperature
regimes of the river, which has resulted in the transformation of the ecosystem.
The dam is located just south of the Utah-Arizona border on the Colorado
River, and it impounds the waters of Lake Powell (Figure 1). The segment of the
Colorado downstream of the dam flows through a 15-mile stretch of Glen Canyon
before it enters Grand Canyon National Park and flows an additional 278 miles until it
reaches Lake Mead, which is impounded behind Hoover Dam (Figure 1). This 293 mile
stretch of river is flanked by American Indian reservations, federal public lands, and
private lands (Figure 2). The river corridor and its ecosystem have deep cultural
significance for many social groups and as a result are associated with a diverse set of
stakeholders and values.
The operational effects of Glen Canyon Dam have been studied more
extensively than any other dam in the United States. These efforts have been ongoing
since the early 1980s. Glen Canyon Environmental Studies Phase I (1982-1987) and
Phase II (1987-1996) were designed to identify and predict the effects of variations in
operating strategies on the riverine environment below Glen Canyon Dam. The dam is
also home to the AMP, which has been in existence since 1997.
Adaptive Management
The Adaptive Management approach, which focuses on ecosystem dynamics,
was conceived by Holling et al. (1978) in a book researched and published under the

Colorado River Basin

Figure 1
Colorado River Basin
Source: As of December 15, 2008, from

Figure 2
Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program Study Area
Source: Gloss, S.P., Lovich, J.E., and Melis, T.S., eds. (2005)

auspices of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in
Luxemburg, Austria.
AM does not postpone action until enough is known about an ecosystem
(Lee, 1999), and it is designed to increase knowledge and reduce uncertainty about
complex systems. Sources of uncertainty mainly stem from the inherent variability
associated with natural systems and human behavioral systems. Another source of
variability is the interaction of the first two systems with other types of human systems
(e.g., dams, levees, resource extraction, and so on) and larger social systems (e.g.,
economics and government) in AM. The goal of Adaptive Management is to create
policies that help managers and organizations respond to and even take advantage of
the uncertainty related to unanticipated events (NRC, 2004). Ideally, it also allows
decision makers to design a range of possible future outcomes rather than simply focus
on attempts to predict a precise future outcome. Adaptive Management is also subject
to the social learning process (Lee, 1999). Social learning occurs as stakeholders and
scientists gain a clearer understanding of how the ecosystem works, how it responds to
management alternatives, and how society interprets and values those responses and, on
the basis of that new knowledge, makes conscious trade-offs and adjustments (Parson
and Clark, 1995).
The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program
The 1992 Grand Canyon Protection Act directed the Bureau to conduct an
assessment and write an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) about the effects of the

Glen Canyon Dam on downstream resources. In the EIS, nine alternatives were
developed, which included criteria and operating plans for the Dam and a long-term
monitoring approach. Each of the alternatives included AM as the management
approach. The structure for the AMP was initially presented in the EIS and eventually
adopted for the Program (Figure 3).
Figure 3
Organizations in the Adaptive Management Program
Source: Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center (1997).
The AM structure contains six main components. At the top of the structure is
the Secretary of Interior, who is also the top AMP decision maker. Just below the
Secretary is the Secretarys designee, who acts as the chairperson for AMWG meetings

and who facilitates the AMP. The AMWG makes recommendations for the AMP to
the Secretarys designee and facilitates consultation with all interests. The Technical
Work Group (TWG) reports to the AMWG and is the advisory committee appointed by
the AMWG to address technical aspects of resource management. The Grand Canyon
Monitoring and Research Center (GCMRC) is a science center created in November
1995 to administer monitoring and research needed by the AMP. It is operated and
managed by the United States Geological Survey. The goal of the GCMRC is to
provide credible, objective scientific information to the AMP. The last structural
component is comprised of the Independent Review Panels. These are formed to
provide independent reviews of the GCMRCs scientific programs and documents.
The AMWG representative stakeholder group is the structural component that is most
relevant to this dissertation because this group focuses on stakeholder evaluations in
As explained by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (1995), The EIS also
described the membership categories for AMWG. AMWG members are appointed by
the Secretary of Interior (Secretary) with representation from each of the cooperating
agencies associated with 1995 EIS, each of the Colorado River Basin States, and two
representatives each from environmental groups, recreation interests, and contractors
for Federal power from Glen Canyon Dam (see Table 1). Each member serves a four-
year term as prescribed in the AMWG Charter. The AMWG generally meets

Table 1: AMWG membership and interest categories
Federal Agencies Tribal Governments State Agencies Environmental Groups Recreation Groups Federal Power Purchase Contractors
Bureau of Reclamation Navajo Nation Arizona Department of Water Resources Grand Canyon Wildlands Council Federation of Flyfishers /Northern Arizona Flycasters Colorado River Energy Distributors Association (CREDA)
Arizona Game and Fish Department
Bureau of Indian Affairs Hopi Tribe Colorado River Board of California Grand Canyon Trust Grand Canyon River Guides Utah Associated Municipal Power
National Park Service Hualipai Tribe Colorado River Commission of Nevada
Department of Energy Pueblo of Zuni Wyoming State Engineer
Fish & Wildlife Service Southern Paiute Consortium Director Colorado Water Conservation Board
San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe New Mexico State Engineer's Office
Utah Division of Water Resources
biannually. Currently, five members of AMWG are also members of the Technical
Work Group.
The Technical Work Group (TWG) is currently comprised of 26 technical
stakeholder representatives from Federal, State, and Tribal Governments, and other
interests represented on the AMWG. The TWG is appointed by the member agencies or
interests represented on the AMWG. The group translates AMWG policy and goals
into resource management objectives and establishes criteria and standards for long-

term monitoring and research in response to the Grand Canyon Protection Act (U.S.
Bureau of Reclamation, 1995). The TWG meets quarterly or more frequently when
The AMP has two sets of criteria for measuring progress. One set was defined
in the 1995 EIS Preferred Alternative and used as the basis of an evaluation in the 2005
United States Geological Surveys report, State of the Colorado River Ecosystem in
Grand Canyon (Gloss et al., 2005). The other set of criteria, which are detailed in the
2001 Strategic Plan, were developed by the AMWG stakeholders. The Strategic Plan
criteria consist of 12 goals and 56 related management objectives. These goals and
objectives were created in the context of the EIS criteria and thus subsume the EIS
criteria. At the time of my field research, the AMP did not use the goals and objectives
for purposes of evaluating progress.
The 1995 EIS defined AM as a process whereby the effects of dam operations
on downstream resources would be assessed and the results of those resource
assessments would form the basis for future modifications of dam operations. Figure
4 represents the AM Process at Glen Canyon Dam. The Plan step in the process
defines what should be or the desired state of the resource. In this figure, the desired
state is based on the goals and objectives of the AMP. Based on the planning analysis,
testable hypotheses are developed as the basis for examining a range of dam operations

Management Information Status of
Objectives Needs Knowledge
Research ----
New ------
Objectives ___

Figure 4
The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center's Approach to Adaptive Management
Source: Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center (1997.

through experiments. The range of dam operations step in the process represents the
execution of these experiments.
For example, experimental high flows were run out of the dam in 1996 to
examine what effect this might have on sediment transport and beach building. The
next step is the monitoring step, where experimental data (e.g., the change in beach
surface area as a result of the high flow releases) are gathered to be used in assessing
the results of a particular experiment. The assessment step as portrayed in the Glen
Canyon Dam AM process model is synonymous with evaluation in other general
models of AM (see Figure 5). This is the part of the process where experimental results
are compared to performance criteria, i.e., measurements of what is are compared to
what ought to be. As the gap between what is and what ought to be narrows
after every iteration of evaluation, progress is being made, because the ultimate goal of
progress is movement in the direction desired. Therefore, as I stated earlier, the
assessment step in the AMP model (Figure 4) is equivalent to progress evaluation
(Figure 5).
Dissertation Organization
The remainder of the dissertation is organized into five additional chapters.
Chapter 2 is a review of the literature related to the integration of stakeholder
evaluation in AM. Source material includes AM-related literature and research from
the AMP, the Social Learning Group, Ecology and Society, the Resilience Alliance,
and the Collaborative Adaptive Management Network (CAMNet).

Figure 5: Adaptive Management Process
Source: Nyberg (1998)

Chapter 3 introduces an AM Environment Model, which is used as the basis of
a theoretical exploration of the importance of including the behavioral system in AM.
The Model is also used to make the case that behavior contributes to complexity in
AM. And finally, based on the Model, an AM progress definition is introduced, which
integrates stakeholder evaluation into AM progress evaluation.
Chapter 4 describes the research methodology used. Included in this chapter
are criteria by which variables were selected, the case study was selected, and data were
collected and processed. The approach to data processing and analysis is also presented
and the basis for research validity is described.
Chapter 5 presents the dissertation analyses and corresponding findings. An
analysis of behavioral complexity is presented. Second, a comparative stakeholder-
relevance analysis is provided. Third, a knowledge-to-action barriers analysis is
Chapter 6 provides the discussion and conclusions of the dissertation. I also
examine implications for planning and AM. In this chapter, I also discuss practical
considerations for implementing the theoretical approach to AM progress evaluation
presented in the dissertation. I close with a discussion of opportunities for future
research related to additional testing and use of the stakeholder-relevant approach to

The literature surveyed for this study was limited to two main areas: Adaptive
Management (AM) and stakeholder behavior in planning and design. I narrowed the
survey scope by limiting the literature review to publications or groups associated with
AM, e.g., the Ecology and Society Journal, the Social Learning Group, and the
Collaborative Adaptive Management Network (CAMNetan AM network for
practitioners). In addition, literature related to the AMP and other Adaptive Management
programs that involve stakeholders in the decision-making process were surveyed.
Most of the literature documenting relationships between stakeholder evaluations
and AM progress can be put into four categories: (1) AM journal literature on stakeholder
group collaboration in AM literature, (2) AM practice literature on stakeholder
involvement and collaboration in AM programs similar to the AMP, (3) AMWG meeting
minutes identifying concerns and actions related to the AMP, and (4) pertinent
characteristics of stakeholder behavior related to progress in AM. The literature did not
contain any examples of research that directly examined the relationship of individual
stakeholder evaluations to perceived AM progress.

Stakeholder Group Collaboration in AM
Stakeholder group collaboration has been an active area of research related to
progress in AM. Camacho (2008), Camacho et al. (2009), and Walkerden (2006) view
mediation as an important component of successful collaboration. Research on the AMP
process by Camacho (2008) suggests the importance of the relationship between individual
stakeholder needs and progress. Camacho explores this relationship in the context of
AMP decision making. AMP decisions are made by majority vote instead of consensus.
A majority vote approach means that the needs of nonmajority stakeholders are not met.
Another instance in which AMWG member needs are not met is when the Secretary
(Department of the Interior) acts unilaterally, without regard to stakeholder needs. In
these instances, Camacho argues, the AMP process essentially ignores particular
stakeholders (Camacho, 2008). A potential outcome is that stakeholders who are ignored
may go outside of the process to get their needs met, e.g., lawsuits or they seek a legislative
remedy. Mediation as a part of collaboration is ineffective when participants dont
recognize each others rights [or needs] (Camacho, 2008). Camachos work supports the
proposition that when stakeholders needs are ignored or their rights go unrecognized,
then stakeholders may leave or act outside of the process. Either way, progress is delayed.
Therefore, it is key to use a method of progress evaluation that integrates and identifies
individual stakeholder needs in AM progress evaluation.
In Camacho et al. (2009), research on the AMP emphasizes the significance of
reconciling competing stakeholder objectives in order to make progress. Walkerdens
(2006) research suggests the value of an effective mediation or conflict-resolution process

in AM. AM workshops do not serve the same function as conflict resolution and conflict
is an inherent, yet necessary part of AMparticularly as it relates to problem solving
(Walkerden, 2006). He also found that without a strong conflict-resolution component,
AM programs may not address stakeholder needs, which may be an impediment to
progress. Mediation is a method of making AM more effective by addressing group
concerns and making progress (Walkerden, 2006). Mediation is can be a critical tool for
helping to get stakeholder needs met. His research also supports the proposition that
addressing stakeholder needs is critical to AM progress.
Henriksen and Barlebo (2008) and Manring and Pearsall (2006) focused their
research on collaboration and its effectiveness. The effectiveness of collaboration can
impact the degree of progress. Henriksen and Barlebo (2008) emphasize the usefulness of
Bayesian belief networks for improving collaboration through the integration of domains
and knowledge bases and [as] a good tool for focused dialogue, e.g., identification of
[information] gaps. In other words, they argue that Bayesian belief networks are an
effective method for group collaborative-process-information-gathering. Increased
effectiveness of the collaborative process leads to increased effectiveness in making
Manring and Pearsall (2006) explore interorganizational networks as a tool for
enhancing collaboration in the AM process and forming an AM network. Manring and
Pearsall also argue that [AM] seeks consensus around a systems view.. .such that each
stakeholders goals now also include the larger holistic vision. Their work implies that a
systems approach to collaboration improves the effectiveness of collaboration and

therefore, affects progress. AM research on collaboration concludes that effective
collaboration is critical to making progress.
Stakeholder Involvement and Collaboration in
Programs Similar to the AMP
The literature also surveyed different examples of stakeholder involvement in
other AM processes similar to the AMP. These efforts were examined for the structure of
their stakeholder involvement, and whether the participation explicitly addressed the
relevance of individual stakeholder evaluations to perceived progress of AM. The survey
reviewed five examples: (1) Columbia River System, (2) California Bay-Delta Program, (3)
the Upper Mississippi River Management Program, (4) the Chesapeake Bay Program, and
(5) the South Florida Ecosystem/Everglades Restoration Program (see Appendix A).
All of the programs included some form of stakeholder participation in the
decision-making process, which implies the importance of stakeholders to AM progress.
None of the processes explicitly addressed individual stakeholder evaluations and their
importance to perceived progress of AM. In each of these processes, the relationship of
the stakeholders to the decision-making structure was found to be more organizationally
complex than in the AMP. The Columbia River System program consists of three
stakeholder-related groups: (1) the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (Idaho,
Montana, Oregon, and Washington and the Bonneville Power Administration), (2) The
Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority (representatives from fish and wildlife
agencies of the four basin states, 13 tribes, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and National
Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationFisheries), and (3) the Columbia River Regional

Forum (comprised of representatives from the US Army Corps of Engineers, US Bureau
of Reclamation, Bonneville Power Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, US
Fish and Wildlife Sendee, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-Fisheries,
and five states [four basin states plus Alaska, 13 tribes, the Northwest Power and
Conservation Council, and two electric utility companies]).
The California Bay-Delta Program includes two groups related to stakeholder
involvement: (1) the California Bay-Delta Authority (6 state members, 7 federal, 7 general
public, 1 from the Bay-Delta Public Advisory Committee, and 4 nonvoting state
legislators), and (2) the Bay-Delta Public Advisory Committee (20 to 30 members
appointed by the Secretary of the Interiorrepresentative of the geographic affected area).
The Upper Mississippi River Management Program may be one of the most
complex, yet least stakeholder-inclusive structures among the five examples. Least
inclusive refers to the lack of explicit inclusion of nongovernmental parties. There are
three main structures related stakeholder involvement: (1) the Federal Government
(Department of Defense, Department of the Interior, Department of Transportation,
Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal
Emergency Management Agency), (2) the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association
(Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin), and (3) the Upper Mississippi River
Conservation Committee (Fisheries, Law Enforcement, Vegetation, and Wildlife
Divisions). In addition, there are at least seven other interagency groups.
The Chesapeake Bay Program consists of four stakeholder-related advisory groups:
(1) the Chesapeake Executive Council (Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Environmental

Protection Agency, the District of Columbia Mayor, and the Chair of the Chesapeake Bay
Commission), (2) Citizens Advisory Committee (NGOs, private firms, commissions, and
individuals), (3) Local Government Advisory Committee (counties and municipalities), and
(4) Federal Agencies Committee (several federal agencies).
The South Florida Ecosystem/Everglades Restoration Program has two
stakeholder-related advisory groups: (1) the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task
Force (7 federal agencies, 2 tribes, 2 state officials, 1 South Florida Water Management
District, and 2 local government representatives), and (2) the Water Resources Advisory
Commission (representatives from business; water supply utilities; agriculture; public
interest; federal, state, and local agencies; and American Indian tribes).
Judging by the prevalence of stakeholder participation as an integrated part of
these AM programs, it can be said that these process designs imply that stakeholders have
a critical relationship to progress. With so many programs integrating stakeholders into
the process, there is an implied importance placed on the explicit inclusion of stakeholder
AMWG Meeting Minutes
AMWG meetings are intended to provide an opportunity for, among other things,
stakeholder communication about perceived AMP problems and solutions. The meeting
minutes show that problems are identified in the AMWG group setting, but they do not
always result in successful problem resolution. This can be interpreted as indicating that
the group process alone does not address all concerns related to the AMP. It also suggests

that gathering explicit information on individual stakeholder perceptions or evaluations of
progress is important for making progress in AM.
AMWG meeting minutes were reviewed for evidence of stakeholder concerns or
actions that signify the significance of understanding individual stakeholder evaluations of
progress in making overall progress in AM. The minutes reviewed represent meetings held
between September 10, 1997, and August 31, 2005 (U.S Bureau of Reclamation, 1997-
2005). The first date represents the first AMWG meeting and the last date represents the
final meeting prior to the beginning of data collection for this study.
The minutes did contain examples of concerns that were recurring and that
continued unresolved for over four years. I interpret these concerns as representing
instances in which the approach to defining problems and devising solutions is not
An example of a recurring concern identified in AMWG meetings was the funding
of Tribal participation. The concern first arose at the October 21, 1999, meeting and
appeared again in the January 12, 1999, meeting and the January 17, 2002, meeting, as well
as the August 9, 2004, meeting (U.S Bureau of Reclamation, 1997-2005). One possible
interpretation of the persistence of this concern over time is that individual stakeholder
perceptions about what the problem is are not being expressed or captured solely
through AMWG group interaction.
Another example is actions taken by stakeholders that go outside of the process.
Two examples of this in the minutes are in the notes from January 2001 and also August
2005 (U.S Bureau of Reclamation, 1997-2005). In these instances, stakeholders unilaterally

approached members of Congress about AMP, seeking to get their needs met in a forum
other than AMWG meetings. Although not in the meeting notes reviewed for this study,
there have been lawsuits filed to management of the resource, indicating that some
stakeholders view lawsuits as a more effective outlet for getting their needs met.
In addition to these two examples of how stakeholders have gone outside the
process to get their needs met, the voting structure of AMWG operates on a majority vote
not consensus. Therefore, those whose needs are not met through a vote may seek other
avenues. In the meetings from 1999 to 2005, forty-four votes were taken in which
consensus was not reached (U.S Bureau of Reclamation, 1997-2005).
The implication is that by explicidy obtaining information about individual
stakeholder evaluations of progress, and providing this to the group so the group can take
action may result in less end runs, i.e., stakeholders seeking resolution of their problems
outside of the process. The AMWG group process alone is not enough to obtain all the
relevant information about progress. Individuals should be interviewed about their
evaluations of AMP progress.
Aspects of Stakeholder Behavior Related to Progress of AM
Some people may assume that if a stakeholder participates in stakeholder group
processes, his or her individual evaluations of progress, i.e., whether his or her needs are
being met, will be expressed in the group. Barker (1978) states that this assumption is not
always true. Therefore, it is important to explicidy gather information about individual
stakeholder evaluations of progress.

Perceptions of Progress
Baskerville (1988), Zube and Sell (1986), and Kloprogge and Van DerSluijs (2006)
all state that individual stakeholder values are a source of differing perceptions of problems
among individuals in a stakeholder group. The difference in values results in many
different ideas about the meaning of progress (Zube and Sell, 1986). Each stakeholder has
his or her own unique set of values, which results in a unique perspective or perception of
each AM-related issue (Kloprogge and Van DerSluijs, 2006). It is important to explicidy
capture these differing values-based perspectives of progress (Baskerville, 1988).
AMP research points to the values-related information that is necessary for AM
evaluations of progress. Jacobs and Wescoat (2002) and Schmidt et al. (1998) recommend
that operations of the Glen Canyon Dam reflect social and human goals and needs. This
requires understanding stakeholder values that shape the goals and needs of Dam
operations. Burmil et al. (1999) also support the notion of the value of including values in
shaping policies and management approaches.
Barriers-to-Progress and Problem Definition and
Solution Formulation
Another important aspect of behavior is each stakeholders unique knowledge.
Researchers suggest that integrating this knowledge into the process of defining and
solving problems is essential to progress of AM (Rittel, 1984). Scholars also argue that a
diversity of stakeholder knowledge is the appropriate source for definitions of problems
and for creating solutions, both of which aid progress of AM programs.

At the same time, this diversity can also act as a barrier-to-progress because of
differences in socially constructed and negotiated borders between societal, cultural, and
professional backgrounds (Cash et al., 2002). Societal differences, as described in this
study, are differences between communities (e.g., American Indian Tribes, hydropower
generation representatives, and river rafting communities) about their relationship to a
particular natural resource. For example, some American Indian AMWG members have a
spiritual relationship to the Colorado River and Grand Canyon, while other AMWG
members have a more economic relationship with the river, i.e., revenue from hydropower
generation or using the Canyon for guided river rafting tours.
Cultural differences refer to differences in attitudes and behavior that characterize
the functioning of a group or community. Cultural knowledge can refer to other ways of
knowing, i.e., other cultural perspectives on problem definitions and resolutions. An AMP
example of two different culturally based ways of knowing are gathering knowledge
through the use of the scientific method versus local experiential or traditional knowledge
such as that provided by the Tribal AMWG members (Gadgil et al., 2001; Ludwig, 2001).
Differences in professional and educational backgrounds can also act as barriers
(Cash et al., 2001). AMP examples of differences in professional backgrounds are U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, Wyoming State Engineer, or the Grand Canyon
National Park Superintendant. The barriers originate from the differences in these
backgrounds and the diversity in perspectives from which dissimilar ideas about credibility,
salience and legitimacy arise.

Differences in societal, cultural, and professional backgrounds can create borders
that can become barriers-to-progress among stakeholders. These differences have resulted
in conflicting perceptions of what constitutes credible and relevant information and
legitimacy of process (Cash et al., 2002). If these differences are not discussed and
reconciled, knowledge will not be transformed into action and progress will not be made.
Different sources of knowledge add to complexity in that they provide diverse
perceptions, behaviors, needs, competencies, and cognitive approaches across cultures. It
is crucial to integrate these various sources of knowledge when designing solutions to
complex problems. The reasoning behind meshing all of these sources of knowledge
comes from the notion generated by Arias (1996) that information about complex
problems is distributed across stakeholders and that no one stakeholder holds enough
knowledge to solve a complex problem. Stakeholders are like information subsystems, i.e.,
if you do not include a particular stakeholder in the information system, it can no longer
function as a whole. Without the entire information system intact, the solution
formulation will incomplete.
The idea of systems applies to concept of critical coalition in that the critical
coalition concept can be viewed as a systems approach to integrating various knowledge
sources, i.e., the system is incomplete and cannot function if a particular stakeholder with
relevant knowledge is not included (Bosch et al., 2007). The solution designed in such a
case will be incomplete.
Wilcocks (2007) work supports the notion of the importance of integrating these
various knowledges for essentially the same reasons as stated above. In addition, the

idea that knowledge is held by the resource users supports the integration of local
knowledge (Gadgil et al., 2003; Shindler and Cheek, 1999). Again, this research supports
the notion that knowledge across different organizational, academic, and ethnic traditions
is important to include when defining problems and formulating their solutions in AM.
Critical Coalition
Another aspect of behavior important to evaluation of AM progress is the
distributed nature of knowledge. Because of the nature of complex problems that involve
human behavior, relevant knowledge about a problem and its solution is tacit and
distributed among many stakeholders (Rittel, 1984; Arias, 1996). In other words,
knowledge about a problem and its resolution is distributed across the group of
stakeholders (Folke et al., 2005). In order to obtain individual stakeholder knowledge
about problems and resolutions, one must explicidy solicit it. The distributed nature of the
knowledge requires a different approach to problem solving, i.e., something other than
solely collecting information in the group setting. It requires collecting group and
individual stakeholder information.
Knowledge distribution is multidimensional, i.e., it can have spatial, temporal, and
cultural dimensions; therefore, it is important to accommodate this multidimensionality in
gathering information on AM progress. An example of the spatial distribution of
knowledge is if a stakeholder is located in a different geographic location and thus has a
unique geographically influenced perspective and knowledge about a problem (Gadgil et
al., 2003). An example of the temporal aspect of distributed knowledge relates to the
timeliness of the knowledge, i.e., that a particular stakeholders knowledge might be more

relevant at a particular time than at some other time (Arias, 1996). Finally, distributed
knowledge can be more or less relevant based on cultural background. For example, if one
is working on how American Indian cultural resources (e.g., burial sites, sacred sites, etc.)
are affected by dam releases. An American Indians knowledge may be more relevant as it
relates to these resources in this geographic location, based on his or her cultural
background. Being from a particular culture can provide the knowledge to act as an expert
when addressing a particular issue or concern related to that culture, e.g., how to properly
handle human remains exposed from dam operations (Wilcock, 2007). Critical coalitions
have the potential to leverage this type of diverse knowledge.
Research on critical coalitions indicates that if stakeholders with problems in
common can be identified, then these individuals can form coalitions to develop solutions
and gamer resources and political support to solve problems (Arias, 1996). Gathering
individual stakeholder evaluations of progress allows for coalition identification. Group
process alone does not explicitly gather all the relevant information about problems and
their solutions.
The Contingent Nature of Fluman Behavior in AM
One of the sources of complexity within AM human behavior is its contingent
nature. This section outlines examples of the contingent nature of human behavior in
AM. The AM context is situational. The context is provided by three variables: the AM
setting, process, and outcomes (Mandelbaum, 1979). These three variables change as one
moves from location to location, utilizes different AM process approaches, and generates
outcomes. Designing an approach for progress evaluation in a situational context that

includes stakeholders requires an evaluation framework that can be adapted to each new
The goals that stakeholders pursue, the choices they make, and the processes that
they consider legitimate are influenced by the organization for which they work (Adeger et
al., 2004). The organizational context of the AM program is situational in itself, i.e.,
whatever organization is the lead agency (e.g., Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation,
Forest Sendee, and so on) for a program will view the process through its organizational
culture and norms. These can van from organization to organization and sometimes
office to office within an organization. The culture of each stakeholder group varies from
setting to setting.
Values are also situational because they are stakeholder dependent. Societal
acceptance of approaches to problem solving is important for moving forward and making
progress in an AM process (Schmidt et al., 1998). An approach to evaluating progress
which can accommodate or at least acknowledge the diverse set of societal values is
necessary for an approach to evaluation that is relevant to the public, which is the main
funder for most of the major AM projects.
An important part of the contingent nature of behavior in AM is that of the
individualgroup interaction (Arias, 1989). For example, based on what a stakeholder has
done for a group and the impact that action has had on the groups esteem for him or her,
a stakeholder will have more or less influence and autonomy with respect to the group
(Arias, n.d.). Behavior in AM can influence the groups ability to shape the perspectives of

other stakeholders and it can influence a particular stakeholders ability to change the
groups perspectives.
The contingent nature of stakeholder behavior suggests the importance of an
approach to progress evaluation that accommodates situational stakeholder variables. The
critical coalition approach is able to do this.
Through a survey of the literature, several key aspects of stakeholder behavior
related to making progress in AM were identified. Chosen methods of progress evaluation
should explicitly identify and integrate individual stakeholder needs. When conflict arises,
mediation is a critical tool for helping stakeholders get their needs met. Research on
collaboration suggests that effective collaboration is also critical for AM progress. By
examining AM programs similar to AMP and noting the prevalence of stakeholder
participation as an integrated part of AM, it is implied that stakeholders have a critical
relationship to progress, which should be acknowledged explicitly. In addition,
stakeholder behavior should explicitly be included in AM and evaluations of progress.
With respect to the AMP, solely relying on the AMWG group process to obtain all
relevant information about progress does not appear to be adequate. The distributed
nature of knowledge related to problems and their solutions requires a different approach
to problem solving, i.e., something other than solely collecting information in the group
setting. It requires collecting group and individual stakeholder information. Individuals
should be interviewed about their evaluations of progress. It is essential to explicitly gather

information about these evaluations and integrate them into the evaluation of AMP
Research on critical coalitions indicates that if one can identify stakeholders with
problems in common they can form coalitions to develop solutions and gamer resources
and political support to solve problems (Arias, 1996). Group process alone does not elicit
all necessary information related to progress, particularly with respect to problems and
their solutions. Because stakeholder behavior is context dependent an approach to
progress evaluation that accommodates situational stakeholder variables is vital to progress
evaluation (Arias, 1989). The concept of critical coalition is designed for this purpose and
should be incorporated into an AM progress evaluation approach.

In this chapter, I examine the importance of considering stakeholder behavior in
measuring the progress of AM programs Natural resource management combines
human and natural systems, both of which are inherently complex and uncertain. AM
is a management approach that was conceived to address complexity and uncertainty
by treating policies, plans, and management actions as experiments; ideally, this type of
management program (in its active form) narrows the range of uncertainties by testing
multiple hypotheses (Gunderson, 1999).
Much of the historical AM work has focused on understanding complexity and
reducing uncertainty with respect to relationships within the natural system. In this
chapter, I propose that human behavior contributes to complexity and uncertainty in
AM and should be addressed in a definition of AM progress. Up until now, little
emphasis has been placed on uncertainty as it relates to the human behavioral system,
the interaction between human systems and the natural system, and the resulting
complexity. In order to make sufficient progress within AM programs, it is important
to address all known sources of complexity and uncertainty; in particular, those that are
behavior related should be explicitly addressed in AM.

Reduction of uncertainty is important because it leads to an increase in
knowledge about how to address management goals and objectives. This implies an
increased ability to move toward achieving the goals and objectives of the process, i.e.,
making progress. However, currently there is no consensus on the definition of AM
progress. This makes it difficult to identify barriers to progress, which makes it hard to
achieve progress.
Although stakeholder participation is a central part of AM at Glen Canyon
Dam, the management program has not introduced a definition of progress that
explicitly incorporates behavior, as practiced in the AMP. In this chapter, I present an
AMP progress definition. One of the main propositions of this dissertation is that
behavior contributes to AM complexity. An environment-behavior model is introduced
to explore this proposition. Using information from the model about the relationship of
behavior to AM, I present a second version of the AMP progress definition. The main
differences between the two definitions are then discussed.
AM Progress Definition
Evaluation in AM as presented in this dissertation is considered equivalent to
measurement or evaluation of progress. Progress is defined as the fit or congruence
between what is and what should be or the current and desired states, respectively
(Alexander, 1967). Objective indicators and related performance criteria are usually
identified for a particular AM process. Objective indicators represent measurable and
observable characteristics of the resource. Each objective indicator ideally has

corresponding performance criteria, which are designed to represent the desired state,
i.e., subjective indicators. Measurements of the performance criteria represent the
current state, i.e., objective indicators measurements. These indicators are often
developed through a process that is intended to produce objective science and policy,
e.g., the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process. In addition, subjective
indicators are often assumed to be comprised of objective and static criteria in the short
term. The short term can be variable depending on the AM setting and process. Figure
6 introduces a definition of evaluation of progress as: the measurement of fit between
objective indicator and subjective indicator measurements.
As labeled in Figure 6, the physical and nonphysical objective indicators are
located within the large, light-gray box labeled objective indicators. Arrows
represent relationships. Relationships 1, 2, and 3 show indicator performance criteria
information identifying which indicators are relevant and their associated criteria.
Indicators may have reciprocal relationships with one another, as represented by
relationships 4, 5, 6, and 16.
Measurements are obtained for each indicator and are represented by
relationships 7 and 8. The fit of subjective indicator criteria, relationships 9 and 10,
with indicator measurements and relationship 11 represent progress in AM. The
motivation for further evaluation of progress and the outcomes of the previous
evaluation are represented by relationship 12. In a case such as this, where the progress

Progress (Fit)
Requirement To Evaluate and
Outcomes of Previous
Source: Adapted from Arias, 1988

definition does not include the stakeholder behavioral system, the stimulus for initial
and future evaluation may be the result of some requirement, e.g., statutory,
administrative, ongoing experiment monitoring, and so on. Outcomes of previous
evaluations may be used to make minor adjustments to the indicators and their criteria,
relationships 13 and 14. However, if significant changes are made to indicators and
criteria, another EIS process may have to be undertaken before they are finalized and
implemented, relationship 15 (dot-dashed line represents occurrence on a relatively
long time-scale with respect to continuous stakeholder assessments). Once these
adjustments are made and an evaluation is triggered, the cycle repeats.
Although it may be generally agreed upon that stakeholders are important to
evaluation in AM, there is no apparent consensus about the relationship of the
stakeholder to the rest of the AM environment. Without a common mapping of the AM
environment and its relationship to the stakeholder, it is difficult to have a common
definition of the problem and, therefore, it is difficult to make advances in addressing
AM progress with respect to stakeholder-related problems. This dissertation aims to
take a step toward more clarity in this area. In practice, the stakeholders role varies
from AM program to program. For purposes of this study, a stakeholder is defined as
one who can affect or is affected by AM outcomes. Most of the large AM programs in
the U.S. are managed by a federal entity and therefore require some form of public

Some programs have processes that include stakeholders who make advisory
recommendations directly to the government, e.g., the Glen Canyon Adaptive
Management Program (AMP) (NRC, 1999) or the Missouri River, while others provide
some alternative form of involvement such as public meetings, e.g., the Everglades.
Whether stakeholders are formally included in decision making or not, they are always
making their own evaluations of progress, they will seek to have an influence on AM
decisions, and they are involved in evaluation of the policies, plans, and actions either
directly or indirectly as well as individually, in groups, or both. Evaluations can be
triggered in a number of ways, e.g., a formal evaluation is statutorily required of the
program, a request is made by an interested party, or stakeholder individuals and
groups request it (each of us is a planner and is constantly evaluating and planning)
(Rittel, 1984).
Introducing an AM Environment Model
A conceptual model is introduced here to aid in examining the importance of
stakeholder behavior with respect to its functional and structural relationships in the
context of the AM environment in all its complexity (adapted from Arias, n.d.).
Because AM represents a set of complex relationships that are socio-physical in nature,
the environment-behavior paradigm was chosen as the basis for construction of the
model (Arias, n.d.). The concept of stakeholder behavior in the AM environment is
that the stakeholder satisfies his or her needs related to the adaptive management
process, and optimizes the fit between behavior and the natural resource environment

by making adjustments to behavior, the natural and human systems of the physical part,
and the social system of the nonphysical part (Arias, n.d.).
No examples of AM environment models were found in the survey of literature
done for this study. The model was developed from the theoretical relationships among
parts and components presented in Figure 7 and based on similar work in planning and
design (Arias, n.d.). It is a mapping of the relationships associated with the
stakeholders AM-environment-related behavior. The individual stakeholders
behavior is based on their evaluation of the perceived environment through values,
preferences, satisfaction of needs, what is known about the environment, and expressed
behavior. Based on the aforementioned, the stakeholder evaluates the environmental
condition and adjusts behavior accordingly. This conceptual model offers a way to
examine the importance of stakeholder behavior in the environment and the importance
of the stakeholder to AM programs.
The model presents the AM environment, which consists of a physical and
nonphysical parts. As the arrows indicate, the systems and their components consist of
a set of complex relationships, described in the paragraphs below. The physical
component consists of N (natural systems) (Figure 8), e.g., sediment, water, plants, etc.
and HB/HA (human built/human action systems) (Figure 9), e.g., dams, levees, timber
harvest, etc. The nonphysical component consists of B (behavioral systems) (Figure
10), e.g., individuals and groups, and S (social systems) (Figure 11), e.g., economical
and governmental subsystems. The systems concept is central to the construction of the

Physical Non-Phvsical
Source: Adapted from Arias (n.d.)

Source: Adapted from Arias (n.d.)

Source: Adapted from Arias (n.d.)

component and social
component and social
Source: Adapted from Arias (n.d.)

Source: Adapted from Arias (n.d.)

AM environment model. This approach allows for the expression of the hierarchy of
structural and functional components in the environment, i.e., from simple to detailed.
The systems concept also provides a set of rules that aid in the structural
categorization, explanation, and examination of the environment and its function. One
of the central concepts of the system that addresses the importance of stakeholder is:
when viewed functionally, the system is an indivisible whole, i.e., some of its essential
properties are lost when it is taken apart; however, when viewed structurally, the
system is a divisible whole, i.e., parts of a system may be systems themselves and also
may be part of a larger system (Ackoff, 1974). Therefore, when looking at the AM
environment as a system, essential properties may be lost if a part of it is not included.
This concept suggests that when one does not explicitly include stakeholder behavior in
the AM environment, the system may not function as a whole, i.e., the functions that
the stakeholders perform in that system will be lost or not presentincluding in the
evaluation of progress (Ackoff, 1971).
Model Structure
The following paragraphs present the structure of the parts, components, and
features of the model (Figure 12). This hierarchical organization is important in that it
can be presented in terms of hierarchical indicator parts, components, and features that
are useful for analyses such as the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) (Saaty and
Vargas, 1982; Schmoldt et al., 2001). AHP can be used in helping stakeholders
prioritize various tasks associated with identifying problems and resolutions in the AM
environment (Arias, n.d.). The physical and nonphysical parts are at the highest and

Source: Adapted from Arias (n.d.)

most complex level of the AM environment hierarchy. The physical part consists of
components of the human built/human action and natural systems at the second tier of
the hierarchy. Natural systems are characterized by inherent variability (Miller, 1997),
e.g., river flows or weather. Human physical systems are usually designed or planned
for predictability and stability, e.g., a dam or a forest harvest (Figure 9). Humans are
generally not in control of natural systems; therefore, the natural system portion of the
physical part is usually the source of relatively greater complexity and variability.
There are exceptions, e.g., when a dam fails unexpectedly or a human activity causes an
unexpected impact. In addition, the interactions of the natural and human components
are dynamic. The natural system of the physical component is made up of two systems,
the biotic and the abiotic ( Figure 8). The biotic consists of living things such as fish
and plants while the abiotic system is made up of nonliving things such as sediment and
The nonphysical part consists of the behavioral and social systems. The
behavioral system is the more dynamic of the two (Figure 10). It consists of the
individual and the group and the interactions between the group individuals and the
group itself. The individual dynamics come from the changing values, needs, and
preferences of the individuals which in turn affect the group dynamics. The other
component, the social system, consists of governmental and economical activity, both
of which can be variable (Figure 11). The social systems are designed and planned to
be predictable and stable over time. However, both of these systems can experience
temporary instability. The predictability and stability of these systems is also

contingent on the setting, processes, and outcomes of the respective systems.
Therefore, the interaction of the two systems is dynamic.
The features of each component form the simplest aspect of the AM
environment. These can also be useful as indicators in analyzing the system. These
features represent characteristics that change over time as the components of the
environment interact. Examples include: natural river flows, individual perceptions of
progress, the impact of a human-made structure on the natural system, or a change in a
law in the social system.
Although the structural representation of the parts, components, and features is
important to understand, it does not present the complex patterns of action and reaction
between them. Understanding the relational aspects allows one to track changes that
occur and to define the evolution of the AM environment. There are two general
relationships of interest: component to component within a part, and component to
component between parts. The relationships of most interest are those in which the
behavioral system is involved. All of these are presented and discussed in this section.
Relational Aspects of the Model
The relational aspects of the model depict the dynamic relationships between
the stakeholders, the social system, and the natural and human systems. By
understanding these relational aspects, one can recognize the relational importance of
the stakeholder and behavior in the AM environment and its importance to evaluation
of progress in AM.

The relationships have been divided into two relational categories. The first
represents component-to-component relationships within the physical and nonphysical
partsbetween the natural and human, and the behavioral and social systems,
respectively (Figure 13). The second relational category represents relationships across
the parts (Figure 14).
The behavioral system is quite complex (Figure 10) because it is composed of
the individual and the group. All psychological and social stakeholder processes are
contained within this system. This is important to note because this is where tacit
stakeholder knowledge about what needs to change to resolve problems resides (Arias,
1996; Rittel and Webber, 1973). This is also where individual stakeholder evaluation
takes place through perceptions, cognition, and expressed behavior related to perceived
progress in meeting AM goals and objectives.
The stakeholder group and individual have a reciprocal relationship. The group
can affect the individuals behavior. Individual-group interactions can result in
informal group community rules and concepts that may influence social group
behavior. In addition, group size and behavioral capacity can affect the individuals
participation in group activities. However, the evaluative tacit knowledge of the
individual and the group are distinct; knowledge from individuals should be gathered
away from group influence to increase the odds of gamering unfettered individual
stakeholder knowledge.

Source: Adapted from Arias (n.d.)

AM Environment
0 0

Part to Part
0- r Mutual Interaction -1 0 0 -- - Component to Pari -0 0
0- /hS\ \HA/ -0) 0 Reciprocal Interaction "* - -* Component to Component 0 - -0
Unidirectional Interaction
Component to Component
Source: Adapted from Arias

According to Barker (1978), a group or a group context may be considered a
behavior setting. Research demonstrates that behavioral settings exert influence on the
inhabitants For example, what one might say or do as an individual stakeholder may
be different when in the presence of the group. This varies by individual based on such
factors as individual autonomy within the group, their participation, and their influence
(penetration) in the group (Arias, n.d.). Influence in the group may be a function of
perceived accomplishments. Individual stakeholder knowledge solicited in a group
setting may be controlled relative to when it is solicited from an individual outside the
presence of the group. As a result, different or additional knowledge may be obtained
by interviewing the individual stakeholder about their evaluation of progress in AM
outside the presence of the group. I did not gather data on individual stakeholder
evaluation of progress in the presence of the group and consequently did not perform a
comparative analysis of individual stakeholder evaluations of progress in the presence
of and not in the presence of groups.
Component to Component Within a Part
In this section, I take a more detailed look at the component-to-component
relationships within the physical and nonphysical parts, i.e., the natural and human, and
the behavioral and the social systems, respectively (Figure 13). The interactions
between the natural-human and the behavioral-social systems represent a reciprocal
relationship. When simplified, these can be reduced to two unidirectional relationships.
These simplified relationships are the most useful for analysis, i.e., as indicators.

The N H relationship represents the interaction between the natural and
human physical systems. For example, the placement of a levee (human system) along
a river (H > N) may result in an increase in a flood peak downriver of the levee (N
H) during high flow conditions. This may, in turn, result in the overtopping or breach
of downstream levees (H > N) and flooding of the landward floodplain area.
The B S relationship represents the interaction between the nonphysical
behavioral and social systems. Including the behavioral system is critical for
explaining stakeholder behavior, change in the AM environment, and how stakeholder
individuals and groups use their perceptions of their relationship to other components to
evaluate progress. Therefore, the B <-> S relationship represents one that includes
stakeholder behavior and it is typically not explicitly included in the AM environment.
B > S is a relationship that represents how a change in stakeholder behavior
may result in a change in the social system. An economics example is if stakeholders
perceive that a change in dam operations has resulted in a decrease in peaking power
revenues that fund the AM program, and, consequently, they recommend that the
program seek revenue from additional sources. S > B represents a reciprocal reaction
to the original B > S. To continue the example, stakeholders decide to change the AM
group charter to allow funding from additional sources, and other entities commit to aid
in funding the program, which results in stakeholders perceiving that the problem with
decreased power revenues has been resolved.
Behavioral system dynamics warrant special note in that they can represent the
informal rules that are created through individual-group (I G) interaction. An

example of this are the group rules created about how to implement the AM program in
the context of the Endangered Species Act. This is where the group could have
influence on particular members by allowing their viewpoints to be represented or
potentially suppressed, depending on their autonomy in and/or their influence within
the group (Arias, n.d.) (Figure 10).
Part to Part
The most complex relational interactions in the model are across parts. Figure
14 represents interactions across parts and, at the highest level, represents all the
possible interactions between the physical and the nonphysical systems. Although the
relationships across parts represent these interactions quite elegantly, the interactions
are too complex to be useful in analysis. These relationships must be simplified to
allow for useful analysis. Therefore, they are shown at simpler levels in a hierarchical
structure. The second level (component to part) represents the part-to-part relationships
through four reciprocal component-to-part mutual interactions. These relationships can
be simplified further and represented at the third level by four reciprocal component-to-
component relationships. Finally, at the fourth and simplest level, these relationships
can be simplified further by representing them as eight unidirectional component-to-
component relationships. This is the level at which they can be used for analysis, i.e.,
as indicators.
Two sets of cross-part unidirectional relationships B N, N B, and H
B/HA> B, B > HB/HA represent the interactions between the behavioral and the
natural physical systems and the behavioral and human physical systems. These

relationships explain stakeholder behavior, change in the AM environment, and how
stakeholder individuals-groups use their perception of the natural and human
components to evaluate progress. An example of a B - N relationship is stakeholders
perceive that there is not enough sediment in the system and beaches are eroding, and
that the dam is acting as an impediment to a sufficient supply of sediment. This
perception results in a stakeholder recommendation to build a sediment bypass to
increase sediment load downstream of the dam, which will result in an increase in
beach area. To continue the example, N B represents stakeholders who have
perceived a change in beach morphology as a result of the sediment bypass and who no
longer perceive that the beaches condition is a problem.
Regarding cross-part behavior relationships, an example of the B > HB/HA
relationship is when stakeholders perceive that pine beetle kill has resulted in a
significant increase in wildfire danger in the local forest, which is a threat to the
community. The stakeholders recommend increased harvest of the affected trees to
reduce the fire danger. The trees are removed and HB/HA > B is a relationship that
represents the stakeholders perception that the fire danger has decreased to a safe level
as a result of the tree removal.
The relationships N > S and S N represent the cross-part interaction of the
natural and social systems. An example representing the N > S relationship is if a
rivers native fish are threatened and a change in the law that requires a program to
recover the fish is enacted. S N represents an example in which the river restoration

has been effective and the fish population has increased to viable levels and they are no
longer considered threatened.
HB/HA > S and S > HB/HA represent relationships between the human and
social systems. An example of a HB/HA > S relationship is an instance in which the
fish harvest in a particular region has resulted in near collapse of the fish population
and the result is an economic or market incentive program to reduce harvest. An
example related to the S HB/HA relational interaction is that the market incentive
program for the fish harvest has been effective and has resulted in less of a need to rely
on fish hatcheries.
The relational aspects of the AM environment highlight the importance of
integrating the behavioral system and, specifically, stakeholder behavior in AM and
evaluations of progress. These relationships also demonstrate the contingent nature of
stakeholder behavior, which is a source of complexity in AM (Arias, 1989). The
relational aspects also emphasize the complexity arising from myriad system
relationships and interactions.
An AM Progress Definition that Explicitly Integrates Stakeholder Behavior
The model presents stakeholder behavior as an integral part of the AM
environment. It also structurally and functionally defines stakeholder behavior as
integral to progress and the evaluation thereof. It further supports the proposition that
Figure 6 should be modified to include the subjective assessments/evaluations of
stakeholders in the definition of progress, as in Figure 15. The subjective assessment

Progress (Fit)
Stake Subjt Indie (De Sts holder ctive ator ired ite)

I Stimulus |
i Evaluate j

Stakeholder Evaluation
1 Results of
. Previous
1 Stakeholder
Evaluation i
Source: Adapted from Arias (1988)

portion of the definition arises from the behavioral system, as explained earlier (Figure
Figures 6 and 15 are quite similar and many of the relationships remain the
same between them. However, there are some significant differences. Integrating the
behavioral system into the definition changes the government subjective/objective
assessment (static) box into stakeholder subjective assessment, which effectively
integrates stakeholder behavior. The integration of the stakeholder behavioral system
leads to five other box-related changes. The Figure 6 box labeled requirement to
evaluate and outcomes of previous evaluation transforms into a total of three boxes
labeled: stimulus to evaluate, evaluation, and results of previous evaluation. It
also results in a change from the box labeled Government Subjective-desired state to
Stakeholder Subjective Indicator-desired state. In addition, the integration of the
behavioral system results in the relocation of three relationship arrows (12, 13, and 14)
and the addition of two more (15 and 16).
Relationship 12 was moved because the stimuli to evaluate grew to include
stakeholder perceptions and assessments of progress. Theoretically, stakeholder
progress evaluations are continually taking place (Rittel, 1984), as represented by the
subjective indicator box; therefore, stakeholder perceptions of progress stimulate
further evaluation, as represented by relationship 12 and the stimulus to evaluate box.
This leads to an evaluation, relationship 13, which leads to results of the evaluation
relationship 14. These results impact stakeholder perceptions, relationship 15.
Relationship 16 represents the interaction between the two nonphysical components of

the AM environment. Outcomes of previous evaluations may be used to adjust the list
of stakeholder-relevant indicators and criteria by each stakeholder, relationships 17 and
From this perspective, AM progress has a dualistic nature consisting of
objective and subjective indicators (Arias, 1988). The difference between this
definition of progress and the one previously described in Figure 6 is that it includes in
the desired state part of the definition the subjective assessments of progress made by
stakeholders. Therefore, this definition includes the stakeholder behavioral system.
Another significant difference from the previous definition is that government behavior
was assumed to be relatively static in the short term and that all objective indicators are
selected as being relevant to these assessments. In addition, subsequent to identifying
and setting performance criteria, the government treats its subjective assessment as an
objective assessment.
Two AMP Definitions of Progress
The case study also employs two definitions of progress. One uses EIS criteria,
with government behavior and the EIS model (Figures 16 and 17). The other uses
AMWG member criteria and the AM environment model (Figures 7 and 10). As
Figure 17 shows, the AM environment differs from the EIS environment in that the EIS
behavioral system is the governmental behavioral system and is comprised of the
government individual and the governmental organization. It is an expert-oriented
model, i.e., it assumes experts have the knowledge to define the problem and the
solution. In addition, the EIS environment represents a sans behavior environment in

Physical Non-Physical
Source: Adapted from Arias (n.d.)

Source: Adapted from Arias (n.d.)

that once the progress criteria are set in place, they can be static for a long period of
time, e.g., in the case of AMP, they had been in place for nine years at the time of data
collection for this case study.
In practice, the evaluation of progress by the AMWG is only done implicitly by
taking actions in quarterly meetings and providing advice to the government (Figure
18). The groups evaluation of progress is not explicitly solicited and recorded,
although meeting proceedings are documented by the program. This study did not
gather information on the groups evaluation of progress but focused only on individual
group member evaluations. As depicted in Figure 18, the individual is not explicitly
included in AMP third-party evaluations of progress.
Two definitions of AM progress are introduced in this chapter. The first is
based on an interpretation of the definition of progress currently used for the AMP.
The second is based on the structure and relationships presented in the AM
environment model. The model and the second definition support the notion that the
explicit integration of individual stakeholder behavior in AM progress evaluation is
critical to an understanding of multiple stakeholder perspectives and perceptions of
progress. Explicit acknowledgement and identification of these diverse perceptions is
important for identifying barriers-to-progress, properly defining problems, and
formulating solutions to problems in AM.

Outputs to social
Outputs to physical
Source: Adapted from Arias (n.d.)

This chapter provides supporting information for the rationale used and the
methodological approach employed in the field research. The research involved a
case study of the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (AMP) and
was designed to address the four propositions identified in Chapter 1 by examining
the following: (1) complex aspects of AMWG member behavior (2) the use of
AMWG member evaluations as indicators of barriers-to-progress, (3) the use of the
critical coalition concept and formal evaluation of AMWG behavior as a tool to
help AMP progress, and (4) how the integration of AMWG member evaluations
produce a greater degree of stakeholder-relevant evaluations of progress.
The remainder of the chapter presents a summary of the research approach.
I begin with an explanation of the relevance of the measured variables. Then, I
provide a description of the case study selection criteria. After examining these
criteria, I discuss the data collection methods and my approach to data analysis.

Research Approach
A focused case study approach was employed. The AMP was selected because
it is an AM program in which stakeholders play a central decision-making role and it is,
therefore, a case in which stakeholder behavior is a part of the overall process. A single
case was selected because it addressed the research propositions. The goal of the
research was not to infer whether the results would apply to other cases but rather leave
that to be determined by future research (Yin, 1994).
The AMWG is the AMP stakeholder group from which the data were gathered.
All data were obtained through the use of interview and survey instruments.
Stakeholders chosen to participate in the research were selected from each of the six
main AMP interest groups (Table 1). A more detailed explanation of the approach to
population sampling is provided in the population and sampling section below.
Relevance of Measured Variables
The variables were chosen based on the importance of their relationship to
behavior and progress in AM and their relevance to the research (Table 2). The three
categories of variables are behavioral attributes, individual AMWG member
evaluations, and subjective indicators. As the reader will recall, a Chapter 3 discussion
of the theoretical AM environment model was presented with respect to stakeholder
behavior-related characteristics of complexity.

Table 2: Variables
Category Name Description
Needs Stakeholder organizational
Behavioral needs
Attributes Values Stakeholders guiding values related to the AMP
Individual AMWG
Fairness Stakeholders perception on whether management of the river is fair with respect to all uses
Adaptive Management Stakeholders perception on AMP as a form of management for this stretch of the Colorado River
Management Objective Tracking Stakeholders awareness of strategic plan management objective status
Resource Condition Stakeholders characterization of the resource condition under the AMP
Sufficient Progress Stakeholders assessment of whether AMP is making sufficient progress
C3 .£ *2 C/3 Length of time in process Stakeholder length of time in process
ob 5 O O u J Cu Assessment of progress Stakeholder assessment of progress over time
Progress Measurement Ideas Stakeholders suggestions for AMP progress measurement approach
Needs-not-met Stakeholder identification of problems/assessment of AMP progress

Following the introduction in Chapter 3, a progress definition was introduced that
included stakeholder behavior based on the theoretical relationships put forth in the
model. The complexity is reflected in the theoretical model and definition but is it also
reflected in the AMPa real-world case?
Behavioral Attributes: AMP Needs and Values Data
To address this question, behavioral attributes were selected and collected based
on their primary role in modifying behavior (Figure 10). These behavioral attributes
were examined for how they indicate stakeholder behavior complexity. The subjective
indicators were collected for purposes of progress measurement and were used in the
proposed definition of progress (Figure 15).
Individual AMWG Member Evaluations
Individual stakeholder perceptions of various aspects (e.g., the condition of the
resource, adaptive management as a form of management and others) of the AMP were
recorded to be tested as potential indicators of barriers-to-progress (Cash et al., 2002).
AM is a scientific and policy process focused on gathering and providing information
that, ideally, results in actions to solve problems. One of the main barriers-to-progress
is the ability to move from knowledge to action. These barriers arise from dissimilar
stakeholder perceptions and values regarding what defines credibility and salience of
information and the legitimacy of the process that was used to collect it (Cash et al.,

2002). These differences result in boundariesbetween science and policy, among
organizations, disciplines, stakeholders and across geographic scalesthat make the
conversion of knowledge to action more challenging. Researchers have shown that
effective efforts to connect knowledge to action require sufficient informational
credibility and salience, and process legitimacy among all participants. All three of
these informational attributes must be present (Cash et al., 2002). In addition, the
development of a shared understanding among stakeholders of what qualifies as
credible, salient, and legitimate information is also an important step to transferring
knowledge to action.
Subjective Indicators
Subjective indicator data, i.e., needs-not-met, were gathered for purposes of
conducting the critical coalition analysis (the third proposition) and performing the
integrated evaluation of progress (Veenhoven, 2002). The critical coalition analysis
consisted of a two-part analysis. First, a cause-effect analysis was performed. Second,
the results of this analysis were used to identify objectives that address the problems
and to link critical coalition members with each objective. The critical coalition
analysis provided the information for the integrated progress evaluation (where the
evaluation of progress uses the definition that integrates stakeholder behavior). These
results were used for the comparative analysis to analyze evaluations of progress for
stakeholder relevance (the fourth proposition). A schematic representation of the

relational relevance of subjective indicators is represented in the assessment portion of
the progress definition in Figure 15.
As Figure 10 shows, the subjective indicator information is also a key modifier
of psychological processes that affect individual stakeholder behavior. These variables
also directly relate to each stakeholders subjective assessments of progress in AM.
The subjective assessment portion of Figure 15 represents a simplified depiction of the
behavioral system in Figure 10.
Case Study Selection Criteria
The AMP was selected because it has an ongoing adaptive management
program. It incorporates periodic evaluations of progress, which provide evaluation
data that can be used for a comparative analysis. In addition, AMP has been operating
for a long enough period of time that experiments have been conducted and evaluation
of progress is possible. The AMP also provides a setting in which stakeholders are a
central part of the decision-making process. Therefore, it serves as an example of how
integrating stakeholder behavior into evaluation of progress is relevant to the success of
an AM program. See Chapter 1 for a detailed description of the AMP.

Data Collection Methods
Evaluation of Progress: Government Behavior
Progress is normally measured without explicit inclusion of individual
stakeholder behavior, and the AMP provides an example of this as represented Figure
6. In this figure, behavior is represented by government behavior. The definition of
progress comes from the fit or congruence of subjective indicator and objective
indicator measurements. A report entitled The State of the Colorado River Ecosystem
in Grand Canyon (SCORE Report 2005) was written and published by the United
States Geological Survey (USGS) for purposes of providing a third-party evaluation of
AMP progress. The report was used as the source of data for the government behavior
portion of the comparative analysis of the evaluation.
Evaluation of Progress With the Integration of Stakeholder Behavior
A definition of progress that explicitly integrates behavior is measured by how
well stakeholder assessments of progress, i.e., subjective indicator measurements and
objective indicator measurements, fit together (see Figure 15). Subjective indicators
represent individual stakeholder evaluations of progress and their subjective
assessments regarding the desired state of progress. Stakeholder progress evaluations
are based on behavioral attributes or are otherwise identified as implicitly held
professional/institutional needs, values, and preferences (Figure 15). These attributes

are the lens through which stakeholders perceive and choose the objective indicators
that are relevant to their evaluations of progress (Figure 15).
Subjective indicators can also be viewed as stakeholder assessments or
definitions of problems associated with progress. Properly defining problems remains
one of the challenges to including stakeholders and is one of the reasons I argue for the
integration of behavior. Defining problems is a challenge because of the implicit
knowledge that is held by stakeholders and is only made explicit through specific
interactions with them. Integration of behavior is designed to incorporate stakeholder
definitions of problems in order to more accurately define the problems and to
formulate the informational basis for solving problems. The concept of problem
identification will be discussed further in the cause-effect analysis.
Interviews were conducted to collect data on the complex nature of stakeholder
behavior. These data were used as subjective indicators. I interviewed stakeholder
participants using a questionnaire with 10 standard questions in both open- and closed-
ended formats (Appendix B). The interviews were conducted either in person or via
telephone. Each interview was documented using an audio recorder with the
informants knowledge and consent. The interviews were transcribed from audio to
written format. Once the interviews were transcribed, they were returned to the
informant to check for accuracy of content and then returned to the researcher.

Stakeholders were asked to describe their AMP-related needs. As a follow-up
question, they were asked if any of their needs were not met. Their identification of
needs-not-met was used to identify problems with AMP progress. Particular questions
were asked for purposes of gaining an explicit understanding of the individual and
collective stakeholder contexts in which their needs-not-met were expressed. Having
this contextual information is important for examining the complexity of behavior in
AM and is helpful for explaining stakeholder assessments of progress. The information
can lead to recommendations for resolution of problems. Questions were asked about
stakeholder perceptions of the fairness of management of the resource with respect to
all uses, on the AMP as a form of management, on the condition of the resource, on the
sufficiency of progress, and on longitudinal AMP/Glen Canyon Environmental Studies
(GCES) progress. These questions were asked to gather information about
informational credibility, salience, and legitimacy. GCES represents pre-AMP efforts
to understand the nature of the downstream impacts of Glen Canyon Dam. The science
program for the AMP was essentially a continuation of GCES efforts.
Fairness of process is important in governance because it is one of the bases of
process legitimacy. Legitimacy of governmental process is a factor in whether a
decision-makers authority is accepted by those in the process (Adger et al., 2004).
Perceived fairness may affect the level of stakeholder good-faith participation.
Stakeholder perceptions of AMP as a form of management provide important
contextual information for the understanding of attitudinal predispositions about the

program. Because the evaluation in this study is for a program that is focused on
restoration of ecosystem function and recovery of species, it makes sense that it would
be important to understand stakeholder perceptions of the condition of the resource that
the program is designed to manage. These perceptions could then be included in the
evaluation. Stakeholder perceptions of sufficiency of progress are also critical for
signaling an opportunity for improvement and problem resolution. Understanding
stakeholder perceptions of the longitudinal progress informs how stakeholders
formulate attitudes about the overall progress of the program. Their attitude may affect
their assessment of progress and is related to their perceived credibility, salience of
information and legitimacy of process.
AMWG members were given a survey. The survey queried individual stakeholders
about the Strategic Plan goals and management objectives to assess the relative
importance of each goal to the stakeholder and to understand the variation among
individual stakeholder perceptions about which goals are most relevant for use in
progress measurement. The Strategic Plan consists of 12 goals and 56 associated
management objectives. The survey was administered via an electronic form, which
was e-mailed to each respondent, filled out, and then returned by the respondent (Table
3) (Appendix C).

Population and Sampling
A nonrandom sampling approach was used for this study. The sample was
limited to members of the AMWG. The sampling strategy was designed to obtain
information from a cross-section of AMWG stakeholders. Table 1 shows the six main
categories of stakeholders: federal agencies, tribal governments, state agencies,
environmental groups, recreation groups, and federal power purchase contractors. Out
of the six categories, all federal agencies, two out of the five participating tribes, five of
the seven states (three upper and two lower basin), one of the two environmental
groups, one of the two recreation groups, and one of the two federal power purchase
contractors participated. In total, 15 of the 25 AMWG members participated in the
research. The sampling was representative and a cross-section of interests was
obtained for the purposes of the study. The one group I would have liked to have more
participation from were the tribes. Each tribe is a sovereign nation and each has its own
unique interests and perspectives. However, not all were able to participate.
The sample size was not large enough to be able to make statements about the
population with a particular confidence level or to use the data in statistical tables to
calculate confidence intervals. Because the population size of the AMWG is so small,
one would have had to sample the entire population to be able to make conclusions
about the population at a particular confidence level, which would make the use of

these statistical tools a moot point. At the time of the study, not all AMWG members
were available for participation. Thus a nonrandom sampling approach was employed.
Data Processing
All transcribed interviews were coded to quantify and analyze the data. Nvivo
software was used for purposes of coding the transcripts. An example of coding is
when the researcher wants to record stakeholders who hold a particular value, e.g., river
rafting experience. She wants to do so to understand this river rafting and its
contribution to the context in which stakeholders assess progress of the adaptive
management program. The Nvivo program allows one to create nodes to represent
concepts. If the researcher identifies timeliness of process as a value, she highlights the
transcript text that represents that concept and electronically connects it to the node
named timeliness of process. As she reads through each interview transcript and notes
the mention of this concept she highlights the text and connects it to the node. After
reading through all of the transcripts and highlighting where this value is encountered,
the researcher can instruct the program to present a summary of all the stakeholders
who had that particular value. The coding addressed the following research areas of
interest for AMWG stakeholders related to AMP progress: assessment of their needs
and needs-not-met, values, AMP fairness with respect to management of the river for
all uses, AMP as a form of management for the AMP stretch of the Colorado River, the

current status of the 56 Strategic Plan Management Objectives, AMP progress, the
resource condition under the AMP, ideas for progress measurement, and AMP
longitudinal progress. Coding reports are presented in Appendix D.
Survey results were tabulated, summarized, and presented in table format.
Excel spreadsheets were used to perform descriptive, e.g., mean, frequency, etc.,
statistical calculations on the survey data. Frequency distribution calculations were
performed to summarize individual stakeholder assessments of strategic-plan
management goals and objectives. This was accomplished though the use of Excel
spreadsheet statistical tools and the tabulation of individual survey results. Summary
result tables were then produced.
Basis of Research Validity
The AM environment model and progress definition were constructed based on
theoretical and practice notions from the planning, natural resources management, and
environmental policy literature. The SCORE report was peer reviewed via a EfSGS
peer review process.
The analysis of behavioral complexity used theory and practice literature to
build the model and to create the progress definition. I also checked natural resources
management practice literature for corroboration of definitional components.

Stakeholder relevance of evaluation results were measured against stakeholder
developed progress criteria, i.e., AMP strategic plan goals and management objectives.
The cause-effect analysis was checked against the stakeholder-developed criteria
described above.
The barriers-to-progress analysis and the individual stakeholder evaluation
interviews were checked for accuracy by stakeholders and evaluated in light of
definitional criteria from the literature. Records of coding and nodes associated with
development of interview and survey results supports the data summaries presented in
the text, figures, and tables.
Data Analysis
Complex Aspects of AMWG Behavior
AMWG needs and values data were collected and examined for characteristics
of complexity (see Table 4). They were selected as relevant variables to use to test for
complexity because they are primary modifiers of stakeholder psychological processes,
as identified in Figure 10. If a primary modifier is complex, then behavior is implicitly
A two-phased approach was used to perform the detailed data complexity
assessment. In the first phase, AMWG member needs and values data sets were
examined for characteristics of agent-based and heterogeneous complexity. These

Table 4: Characteristics of Complexity
Complex Systems: a phenomenon in the social, life, physical, or decision sciences is a complex system if it has a significant number of the characteristics described below:
Characteristics Adaptive Management Complexity Characteristics: Examples
Agent-based: The basic building blocks are the characteristics and activities of the individual agents in the environment under study. Agent: Stakeholders
Heterogeneous: These agents differ in important characteristics. Heterogeneity: Values, needs
Dynamic: These characteristics change over time as the agents adapt to their environment, learns from their experiences, or experiences natural selection in the regeneration process. The dynamics that describe how the system changes over time are usually nonlinear, sometimes even chaotic. The system is rarely in any long term equilibrium. Dynamics: Administration changes, election cycles, economics
Feedback: These changes are often the result of feedback that the agents receive as a result of their activities. Feedback: Increases/decreases in levels of funding support
Organization: Agents are organized into groups or hierarchies. These organizations are often rather structured, and these structures influence how the underlying system evolves over time. Organization: AMP program decision-making structure, stakeholder group, agencies, NGOs
Emergence: The overlying concerns in these models are the macro-level behaviors that emerge from the assumptions about the actions and interactions of the individual agents. Emergent behavior: political end runs, law suits, collaboration
Source: Please note the definitional characteristic content of this table originates from The Center for the Study of Complex Systems (

two criteria were selected for their ability to be examined for complexity in the case of
a snapshot in time, i.e., this data was taken once during one period of time.
The first data set represents needs as identified by two randomly chosen
AMWG stakeholders and their coded interview responses. The second set represents
the same but as they relate to values. Two stakeholders were chosen for each data set
because it was the minimum sample size that would allow one to test for both
agent-based and heterogeneous criteria (see Table 4). Coded stakeholder
quotations were used to support analytical findings.
Phase two of the analysis used descriptive techniques to examine the data
against the four remaining characteristics: dynamism, changes due to feedback,
hierarchical organizational structure, and emergence. These aspects were analyzed
through description because analysis through data would have required longitudinal
data. Longitudinal data were beyond the scope of this study.
Barriers-to-Progress Analysis
Cash et al. (2002) have noted that differences among stakeholders in criteria for
credibility and salience of information and legitimacy of process can act as barriers-to-
progress. Seven variables were used to obtain individual AMWG member evaluations
during the field research, with the aim of appraising them as AMP indicators for
credibility, salience, and legitimacy. The following definitions of each of these were
used to assess credibility, salience, and legitimacy (Cash et al., 2002):

Credibility refers to whether an actor perceives information as meeting
standards of scientific plausibility and technical adequacy. Credibility is
often assessed by proxy, and participants judge credibility by the
scientific process (information tends to be discounted by those who
believe the process allowed interests rather than science to
determine the results), who participates (key individuals seen as experts
imbue credibility), or which organizations are engaged (organizations
with a history of getting the right answer or valid results accrue
Salience refers to the relevance of information for an actors decision
choices or for the choices that affect a given stakeholder. Information
that arrives at the wrong time in the evolution of an issue (too early, or
too late), or that is too broad or narrow in scope, or is not at the right
scale for a decision maker, also can fail to influence action for lack of
Legitimacy refers to whether an actor perceives the process in a system
as unbiased and meeting standards of political and procedural fairness.
The legitimacy that policy participants and scientific participants
attribute to a given process rests on their belief that the processes are
respectful of their views and concerns and conform to their perceptions
of procedural fairness.
Coded AMWG member interviews were used to support analytical findings.
Critical Coalition Analysis
A critical coalition is a group of individuals who can affect or may be affected
by a particular problem (Arias, 2004). Those who have a problem in common are
critical coalition members. Identification of critical coalition members allows one to
form a political base and gamer the resources to solve a particular problem. Coding of
the interviews made possible the identification of critical coalition members as well as
objectives to address the causes of particular problems.