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EMI Research Program

Rocky Mountain landscape © EMIEcosystem management requires a deeper understanding of ecological and social processes, spatial patterns, decision-making mechanisms and approaches in order to motivate individual and organizational change. We need to build the long-term research capacity that enables us to develop this understanding and create the tools needed for others to manage ecosystems effectively. We also need to learn from the experiences of places and programs that have been and are presently attempting to manage using an ecosystem management approach.



In order to develop the necessary knowledge base and tools for better management, new modes of integrative and interdisciplinary research are required. To foster such research, EMI is employing three strategies:

  • research at multiple scales,
  • development of interdisciplinary research, and
  • graduate student research to test ideas for clients.

Research Themes


Featured Research Projects

In an effort to highlight cutting-edge research into ecosystem management, a new research project will be featured on the website on a regular basis.

Research Accomplishments

Since its inauguration in April of 2000, the EMI research program has realized several accomplishments including:

  • Developing an evaluation planning process to assess on-the-ground progress on ecological, socio-economic, and process or organizational-based goals of ecosystem and community-based organizations. This process was based on reviews of evaluation literature, analysis of the evaluation practices of ecosystem and community-based projects, and extensive hands-on experience working with practitioners to test and improve the efficacy of the EMI planning process.
  • In partnership with the US Forest Service and the US Department of Interior, producing a searchable website on natural resource collaboration and partnership case studies and lessons that are designed to inspire and inform people engaged in all stages of partnerships.
  • Using federal McIntire-Stennis forestry research funds to seed research projects ; all with a connection to core themes of ecosystem management, many involving interdisciplinary research approaches.
  • Continuing evaluation research into on-the-ground ecosystem management efforts, to evaluate their success and evolution and to draw lessons for other efforts.
  • Funding past Master's Projects and securing funding for current projects.

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