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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Component

SummaryNon-governmental researchers focused on studies within the sanctuaries. Most of these researchers are involved in the SIMoN program, the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network. SIMoN is an integrated, long-term program that takes an ecosystem approach to identify and understand changes in each of the three sanctuaries. It provides resource managers with the information needed for effective decision-making and integrates ongoing efforts at the over 30 regional marine research institutions.
SubtypeResearch Community
SectorScientific Research and Conservation
Interest HeterogeneityMedium (2)
ExplanationThe Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) includes dozens of institutions and agencies that perform monitoring activities in the Gulf of Farallones, Cordell Bank, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries. Most research within these three areas are conducted by university or college researchers with an ecological emphasis. Conservation groups tend to be more bias in their efforts than these academic groups, yet not to the point to warrant a high divergence of interests. Some research groups are interested in topics that are not looked at by others (e.g. deep sea ecology vs invasive species in the estuaries).
Costs Of ExitNo
ExplanationResearchers can leave the field or move on to other projects not in SIMoN without any cost. The cost of discontinuing any long-term monitoring study is difficult to assess.
Proportionality (Of Costs And Benefits)Yes
ExplanationMost research is not being funded by individual group members but by grants for the directed research. While many research objectives are to improve the ecosystem health of the sanctuaries, some do not result in any direct application. Overall most research is used to benefit one or more aspects of the Sanctuary and benefit the researcher's career.
Actor Group CoordinationBoth formal and informal
ExplanationFormal projects consist of multiple members of the research community, while informally collaboration does occur. Some members do not coordinate with other members.
ExplanationVarious projects have various leaders, typically a principal investigator (PI). PIs can be searched here: http://sanctuarysimon.org/regional_sections/other/network_partners.php
Leadership AccountabilityLow (1)
ExplanationPrincipal investigators are accountable to their own institutions, projects, and funders but typically not to other members of the group.
Leadership AuthorityHigh (3)
ExplanationPrincipal investigators are restricted by their funding demands and by Sanctuary rules (e.g. permits required) but otherwise have full authority over their respective projects.
Actor Group TrustMedium (2)
ExplanationThe peer review process allows for formal credibility among members of the group. Since some institutions are associated with particular biases or restrictions (e.g. federal projects vs conservation group projects), trust of conclusions may be lower. However, while conclusions and methods may be debated, the rigorous research process that each project is held to allows for some trust of other members.
Past CollaborationHigh (3)
ExplanationMany of the research projects are a collaboration of multiple institutions, or at least a larger team of researchers from the same institution. SIMoN was created to serve as a network to provide easily accessible information about each project to other members, allowing further collaboration and to build upon each others work. Some projects are not in conjunction with others, however all are reported SIMoN affiliates and to the broader research community.
Personal CommunicationMore than once a year (5)
ExplanationMany researchers meet regularly in person about projects or while collecting data for projects. Conferences and workshops provide in person communication opportunities as well.
Remote CommunicationMore than once a year (5)
ExplanationCommunication via email, telephone, and teleconferencing occurs many times during the year. Some projects never coordinate with others, but for the most part communication occurs many times during the year.