From animal movements to knowledge movement: knowledge mobilization associated with rapid developments in electronic tagging technology and its application

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Nguyen, Vivian




The conservation of biodiversity and sustainable management of natural resources should be built on evidence-based decision-making principles and policies. The application of scientific evidence, however, is imperfect, especially in the realm of fisheries management. I propose a knowledge-action framework to understand the gap between knowledge production and utilization. The framework provides a sociological perspective to understanding the movement of knowledge into conservation and resource management actions, and is grounded in theories of knowledge mobilization and exchange. The framework provides a roadmap for scholars to organize and synthesize research related to the knowledge-action gap in conservation and natural resource management. This thesis evaluates what roles do components of the knowledge-action framework, for example, environmental and contextual factors, characteristics of knowledge actors, the relational dimension, and the characteristics of the focal knowledge have in influencing the uptake of knowledge. I addressed this research question by using a sociological approach and applying a mixed-method strategy to evaluate case studies and model systems using both qualitative and quantitative analyses. First, I evaluated a case study with complex environmental and contextual factors, the Fraser River Pacific salmon fisheries in British Columbia. Second, I evaluated the barriers to the application and use of a relatively new technological tool in fisheries management – telemetry technology – from both a qualitative and quantitative approach. In the Fraser River case study, the greatest perceived barriers to using new knowledge were institutional barriers and constraints. The quantitative study revealed that researchers who are committed, collaborative and engaged in outreach and dissemination activities achieved greater knowledge uptake such as formal integration or social acceptance of their work. The qualitative study that evaluated perceived barriers to using fish telemetry revealed that researchers perceived the limitations and challenges of telemetry itself (characteristics of the focal knowledge) as a barrier to integration. Together, the components of my dissertation applied and evaluated the proposed knowledge-action framework to evaluate how scientific knowledge moves in the context of fisheries management. This is important to inform an era of evidence-based decision making and I believe has implications for the broader community of conservation and natural resource management.  


Fisheries and Aquaculture




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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