Collaborative research as boundary work: learning between rice growers and conservation professionals to support habitat conservation on private lands
Multi-stakeholder initiatives for biodiversity conservation on working landscapes often necessitate strategies to facilitate learning in order to foster successful collaboration. To investigate the learning processes that both undergird and result from collaborative efforts, this case study employs the concept of boundary work as a lens to examine learning between rice growers and conservation professionals in California’s Central Valley, who were engaged in a collaborative research project focused on migratory bird conservation. Through analysis of workshop observations, project documents, and interviews with rice growers and conservation professionals, we identified five distinct factors of the collaborative research process that influenced learning amongst these two groups: having mutually beneficial goals, sharing ownership of the collaborative research process, building trust, integrating knowledge, and institutional alignment. We also examined and identified learning outcomes for both rice growers and conservation professionals, which included new knowledge of the social-ecological system, new practices around farming and collaboration, and shifting identities. Our findings suggest that applying these factors and outcomes for learning when structuring collaborative research, and other multi-stakeholder initiatives, can foster learning amongst diverse stakeholder groups to support new approaches for balancing resource use and adaptive management.
© The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Agriculture and Human Values, 2021, available online at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10460-021-10283-1 . Keywords: collaborative research; boundary work; learning; biodiversity.
Hardie Hale, E., Jadallah, C.C. & Ballard, H.L. Collaborative research as boundary work: learning between rice growers and conservation professionals to support habitat conservation on private lands. Agric Hum Values 39, 715–731 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-021-10283-1