Redefining expertise and improving ecological judgment
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Expert judgments are a necessary part of environmental management. Typically, experts are defined by their qualifications, track record, professional standing, and experience. We outline the limitations of conventional definitions of expertise and describe how these requirements can sometimes exclude people with useful knowledge. The frailties and biases in expert judgments can interact with the social status afforded to experts to produce judgments that are both unassailable and wrong. Several approaches may improve the rigor of expert judgments; they include widening the set of experiences and skills involved in deliberations, employing structured elicitation, and making experts more accountable through testing and training. We outline the most serious impediments to the routine deployment of these tools, and suggest protocols that would overcome these hurdles. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00165.x
Publication InfoBurgman, M; Carr, A; Godden, L; Gregory, R; McBride, M; Flander, L; & Maguire, L (2011). Redefining expertise and improving ecological judgment. Conservation Letters, 4(2). pp. 81-87. 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00165.x. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/6683.
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Professor of the Practice Emeritus
Dr. Maguire's current research uses a combination of methods from decision analysis, environmental conflict resolution and social psychology to study environmental decision making. She focuses on collaborative decision processes where values important to the general public and stakeholders must be combined with technical analysis to determine management strategies. Her recent applications of decision analysis include the management of rare species, invasive species, and wildfire risk. Dr. Maguir