Using Social Network Analysis to Identify Communication Patterns among Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership Partners
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As one of the original “estuaries of national significance” designated by the Clean Water Act of 1987, the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership (APNEP) works to protect and restore the valuable resources of one of the largest estuary systems on the Atlantic coast. In order to accomplish its mission with a limited budget, APNEP engages in cooperative projects with partners from federal and state government agencies, environmental non-profits, academic institutions, and municipal planners. As APNEP moves forward with the implementation of its 2012 Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, communicating with existing partners, accessing potential partner organizations, and encouraging information sharing between environmental professionals in the region is crucial to efficiently accomplishing management plan objectives. In order to assess how APNEP interacts with its partners and the larger environmental community in the Albemarle-Pamlico watershed region, a social network analysis was developed to map individuals and organizations that regularly communicate about environmental issues in the area. Using snowball survey methodology to identify individuals and organizations that are involved in watershed management issues, regional social network maps were created using the statistics program R. The social network maps include representations of communication links between sectors, network connectedness, the relative importance of specific individuals within the network, and a geographic representation of the connections between environmental professionals in the region. Analysis of the network maps identified geographical and organizational gaps in APNEP’s outreach efforts, as well as key individuals whose network position could be leveraged to improve the efficiency of information transfer among the larger network. The structure of the various network maps provided implicit recommendations for APNEP to improve its outreach efforts to establish new partnerships and exchange information with the regional environmental community. As a long-term project, social network analysis can help APNEP target its limited communications resources to increase collaboration and share information efficiently with stakeholders.
CitationBrogan, Katherine (2013). Using Social Network Analysis to Identify Communication Patterns among Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership Partners. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/6864.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment