Johnathan Held’15 (Environmental Studies and Government). Bowdoin College. “Factors Influencing Collaboration among Androscoggin River System Stakeholders.” John Lichter, advisor.
The Androscoggin River is associated with a diverse array of institutions, including industrial corporations, local governments, local and state-based agencies and non-governmental organizations, small businesses, and communities. Together, these stakeholders, the river, and its nearshore marine environment comprise an adaptive and complex socio-ecological system. A history of limited collaboration among certain river stakeholders points to the need for research that seeks to identify the obstacles to inter-organizational cooperation and the factors inhibiting the development of a shared vision for the watershed. Drawing on interdisciplinary research in history and the social sciences, this study seeks to (1) determine the underlying factors that inhibited collaboration during past interactions among Androscoggin River stakeholders, (2) understand stakeholders’ vision for an institution designed to build collaboration, and (3) assess whether or not stakeholders see a movement towards collaboration currently or in the future, and what they see as the factors driving this potential shift. Data will be collected through semi-structured qualitative interviews with professional staff from a variety of organizations connected to the Androscoggin River. Findings will be applied to institutional capacity building with the goal of advancing system-wide recovery and resilience.