Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Esther Schuch

Date: 20 October 2020
Time: 11:00 - 12:30
Location: Auditorium, Wageningen University

Dissertation title: 

Behaviour, uncertainty, and the role of information in resource management

Environmental Economics and Natural Resources, Wageningen University
Promotor: prof. F Alpizar
Co-promotor: dr AP Richter and dr SGM Gabbert


Natural resources and their exploitation by humans form a social-ecological system which is influenced by resource dynamics, the ecological system, human behaviour, and the institutional setting governing humans. This thesis examines the role of information, human behaviour, and uncertainty in natural resource management using fisheries as an example. Depending on the kind of uncertainty (social uncertainty, strategic uncertainty, ecological uncertainty) people employ different coping strategies such as social norms or reducing complexity of the problem. Also, the role of experts and how they generate information of management is scrutinized. Natural resource dynamics pose challenges for management on an institutional (ecosystem dynamics change due to climate change) as well as individual level (managing nonlinear versus linear natural resources). Further, the framing of the resource management problem contributes significantly to its solution. This thesis makes a start at disentangling the role of information and human behaviour under uncertainty in social-ecological systems.

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