Interpreting Results and Developing Policy Alternatives

A primary goal of a participatory modeling exercise is to resolve the difference between perceived and actual sources of an ecological problem. Whereas stakeholders may have proposed scenarios based on their perception of the problem or system, they may be particularly well adept at proposing new policy alternatives following initial model results from a scenario modeling exercise. The participatory modeling process can further facilitate development of new policies through development of a collaborative network between stakeholders and their respective agencies or constituents throughout the research process. Stakeholders are important communication agents to deliver the findings and the decision alternatives to the decision makers in federal, state, or local governments. They are also more likely to be listened to than the scientists who may be perceived as foreign to the problem or the locality. The governments certainly have better ear for the electorate.

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