Yellowstone BAC and the Sciences of Vulnerability

2014 to 2015

The upcoming activities of the Yellowstone BAC present a rare opportunity to investigate the dynamics of a working citizen advisory group, particularly one convened to address water policies under conditions of scarcity. The data collected can be used to investigate a central question: How do citizen groups integrate scientific data into their deliberations of how to prepare for climate vulnerability? Specifically, we will have data to approach these questions:

1.   When attempting to deal with climate vulnerability, what factors or conditions encourage citizen groups to integrate scientific data into policy-making processes?

2.   When attempting to deal with climate vulnerability, what factors or conditions discourage citizen groups from integrating scientific data into policy-making processes?

Examining the Yellowstone BAC process provides an opportunity to develop three broader lines of Socio­ Ecological-System (SES) inquiry that can be applied to other river basins: 1) the political ecology of water as a finite resource, with consideration of how ecological functions are promoted and valued; 2) human responses to the threat of resource depletions, especially in terms of willingness to adopt and advocate pre-crisis strategies that recognize human and non-human interests and functions; and 3) equity and justice  in resource sharing, both with human and non-human communities and functions.


IoE Team: 


MSU IoE Office

Montana State University
605 Leon Johnson Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717
(406) 994-2374
MSU Director: Bruce Maxwell

UM IoE Office

The Universityi of Montana

The University of Montana
Davidson Honors College
Missoula, MT 59812
(406) 243-6058
UM Director: Maury Valett


Montana University System

Montana University System

Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
2500 Broadway Street
Helena, MT 59620