|Published in||Environmental Development, v. 38:100582|
Smyth, R.L.,  Uroosa, F., Segarra, M., Borre, L., Zilio, M.I., Reid, B., Pincetl, S., Astorga, A., Huamantinco Cisneros, M.A., Conde, D., Harmon, T., Hoyos, N., Escobar, J., Lozoya, J.P., Perillo, G.M.E., Piccolo, M.C., Rusak, J.A., Velez, M.I.
Environmental and Urban Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, USA
We acknowledge collaborators, SHs, and students for their participation in the work that made this study possible and the helpful feedback of anonymous reviewers. This research was funded by the Inter American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) CRN 3038 to establish the SAFER network and U.S. National Science Foundation Award #1336839 to TH. The views and opinions held in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the funding agency for this research. We also wish to acknowledge the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network for helping to facilitate this collaboration and financial support under NSF Awards #113753, #1137327, #1702991. NH was partially funded by a Fulbright Visiting Scholar fellowship from the Fulbright Commission of Colombia. JE and NH were partially funded by The Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships (QES), a partnership among Universities in Canada, the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF), Community Foundations of Canada (CFC). The QES-AS is made possible with financial support from IDRC and SSHRC.
Maintaining and restoring freshwater ecosystem services in the face of local and global change requires adaptive research that effectively engages stakeholders. However, there is a lack of understanding and consensus in the research community regarding where, when, and which stakeholders should be engaged and what kind of researcher should do the engaging (e.g., physical, ecological, or social scientists). This paper explores stakeholder engagement across a developing network of aquatic research sites in North and South America with wide ranging cultural norms, social values, resource management paradigms, and eco-physical conditions. With seven sites in six countries, we found different degrees of engagement were explained by differences in the interests of the stakeholders given the history and perceived urgency of water resource problems as well as differences in the capacities of the site teams to effectively engage given their expertise and resources. We categorized engagement activities and applied Hurlbert and Gupta's split ladder of participation to better understand site differences and distill lessons learned for planning comparative socio-hydrological research and systematic evaluations of the effectiveness of stakeholder engagement approaches. We recommend research networks practice deliberate engagement of stakeholders that adaptively accounts for variations and changes in local socio-hydrologic conditions. This, in turn, requires further efforts to foster the development of well-integrated research teams that attract and retain researchers from multiple social science disciplines and enable training on effective engagement strategies for diverse conditions.