UW Faculty Member Publishes Book on Democratic Methods to Protect Coral Reefs

Kelly Dunning and Ryan WilliamsonKelly Dunning, an associate professor of sustainable tourism and outdoor recreation in the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming, has published a book about democratic methods to protect coral reefs.

Her book, “Democratic Management of an Ecosystem Under Threat,” was co-written with her graduate students, as well as Ryan Williamson, an assistant professor of political science at UW.

The book explores ways people can collaborate and participate in reef protection. The publication is the culmination of several years of field work in Florida and the Caribbean and was funded by grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

“Co-authoring this book with my four graduate students -- Amanda Alva, Sabine Bailey, Dan Morris and Kasen Wally -- was an extremely rewarding experience that saw their expertise grow and resulted in a really interesting piece of research on our fragile reefs and how people can work together to care for them,” Dunning says.

“Democratic Management of an Ecosystem Under Threat” finds that opportunities for public participation in decision-making for reef systems is essential to steward reefs into the 21st century.

“Growing up on the reefs of south Florida and seeing the way that they’ve changed in my lifetime inspired the book,” she says. “It’s my belief that the only way forward in reef protection will be collaboration and involving the public in decision-making.”

Dunning is director of the Wildlife and Wilderness Recreation Lab in the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources. Her research focuses on Western wildlife, ecosystems and tourism; public policy of wildlife and ecosystems; hunter/angler satisfaction and recruitment, retention and reactivation; coral reef management; fisheries communities; and institutions for common pool resource management.

Williamson’s areas of expertise include electoral politics, electoral institutions, election administration and legislative procedure. His research on these topics includes published work in the Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Electoral Studies, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, Election Law Journal and various other outlets.

For more information about this book, email Dunning at kelly.dunning@uwyo.edu.

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