Joint EESS Seminar and Stanford Woods Environmental Forum featuring Tracy Van Holt
Tracy Van Holt
Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Geography
East Carolina University
Fishers have always had to switch strategies in response to their fluctuating environment. Increasingly, however, adaption to the environment in coastal systems is shifting in scope and nature. Examples of these changes include climate-induced sea level rise and increasing intensity of storms, increasing population densities and/or pressure on marine resources, and effects of land use/cover change on nearshore resources. In Chile, the quality and marketability of benthic resources has decreased in areas with extensive tree plantations in nearby watersheds, resulting in a greater flow of nutrients into the nearshore. I show how changes associated with plantations, combined with recent fishery regulations and management intended to conserve resources, have limited the opportunities for fishers to adapt in the fisheries. However, these limitations have helped motivate them to seek out new sustainable seafood markets and make the most of their catches. My research uses terrestrial and marine satellite image analysis, interviews and ecological surveys to create interdisciplinary models of human-environment interactions. I link individuals’ perceptions and behavior to larger scale, spatially explicit data to show how terrestrial activities have contributed to transform fisher behavior.