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You are here: Home 2010 Weekly Sessions Session 11– 11.22.2010 Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainability (Speaker: Bill Clark) Supplemental readings from Florida International Univ students
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Supplemental readings from Florida International Univ students

Ogden, L. The Everglades Ecosystem and the Politics of Nature. American Anthropologist 110(1): 21-32
In this article, I offer an institutional history of the ecosystem concept, tracing shifts in its meaning and application as it has become the key organizing principle for the Everglades restoration program in Florida. Two institutional forms are analyzed here: (1) quasigovernmental organizations, a term I use to describe interagency science collaboratives and community stakeholder organizations, and (2) government bureaucracies, which are the administrative agencies tasked with Everglades restoration planning and implementation. In analyzing these knowledge trajectories, I both document the complex networks of relations that facilitate the ecosystem’s emergence as an object of knowledge and examine the bureaucratic claims to authority that circumscribe the ecosystem’s transformation into policy.
Gunderson and Light 2006. Adaptive management and adaptive governance in the everglades ecosystem. Policy Science 39:323–334
The Everglades is an intensively managed ecosystem where control of the water has allowed agricultural, urban and economic development, while struggling to meet biodiversity conservation goals. The over 100 year history of control began in response to a disastrous series of floods and droughts followed by environmental crises at an ecosystem scale. Each of these events precipitated technological fixes that extended control of water resources. Institutional structures have been continually reorganized over the last century to meet shifting social objectives, the latest of which is ecosystem restoration. However, the basic response, which employs engineering and technological solutions, is a type of social trap, where governmental mandates, planning-based paradigms and vested interests all interact to inhibit the resolution of chronic environmental issues. Experience from other resource systems indicates that in such an inherently complex system wrought with multiple uncertainties, restoration must be discovered through experimentation and learning embraced by adaptive management. Though minimal steps towards adaptive management have been made, we argue that adaptive forms of experimentation and governance are needed to resolve chronic resource issues and achieve restoration goals.
This article provides a narrative history of the legal proceedings related to the establishment of phosphorus concentration standards for the Florida Everglades