Date of Award

Spring 2009

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources and Environmental Studies

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Andrew Rosenberg


Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) is a relatively new and promising approach to the management of marine systems. EBM is holistic by seeking to include ail stakeholders affected by marine policy. Stakeholders may include individuals from ail levels of government, academia, environmental organizations, and marine-dependent businesses and industry. This dissertation lays out the substantive differences of marine EBM stakeholder engagement processes versus other, single sector processes. EBM processes are more complex than existing stakeholder engagement mechanisms, to sufficiently require a more sophisticated conceptual understanding of the process and the people involved. There are implicit cognitive, interpersonal, and intra-personal demands of EBM that are not addressed by current literature. This research seeks to understand the mental demands of EBM. A constructive developmental framework (from the field of developmental psychology) is used to illuminate how decision-makers reason or make sense of the ideals and values underlying EBM, the mutual relationships that must be built among management sectors, and the personal experiences and emotions that accompany change. The research considerations include useful lessons for facilitating an ecosystem-approach to policy formation by understanding the mental and emotional capacities of those responsible for change.