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Science and Policy

Boundary Organization Services

SeaTrust Institute works at the intersection of science and policy to change the way we make environmental decisions. As with many NGOs, we engage in so-called "boundary work." Developing, analyzing and disseminating research for use by scientists, policy makers, businesses, governments and communities are services we provide. Because in many cases it is vital that these sectors work collaboratively, yet retain their sectoral identies and ways of thinking, SeaTrust Institute provides a bridge through policy interaction, publications, teaching and consultancy at the organizational and disciplinary boundaries.

Reaching Beyond the Boundaries

In conjunction with some of our innovative partners, we are developing and supporting the efforts of a growing group of new interdisciplinary researchers, CO-RE Participant Practitioners(sm), who consciously and fully participate in the processes they research. Reaching beyond observation, these participants materially change the context of their research conditions as part of the research plan. This approach draws from traditional participatory action research and other research traditions such as transformative participatory action research to incorporate action is not activism, and imbedding cultural sensitivity from participatory rural appraisal approaches. One of the ways this approach differs from the familiar participatory approaches that challenge the paradigm of the objective, distanced researcher is in its iterative inclusion of experts, knowledge claims and the conscious co-creation of negotiated expert-traditional-lay knowledge. This approach is not appropriate for all research projects and situations, nor do we employ it in many SeaTrust Institute projects. However in some situations, the conscious choice to have a direct expert-informed action effected by the research during the research itself supersedes the premium value often placed on research detachment or on culturally driven participatory action.