Cultural Models of Environment and Pollution Project is a three year
study of the underlying cultural beliefs and values that Bay stakeholders
implicitly draw upon to frame ecological and environmental knowledge.
At the conceptual center of the project is the theoretical construct
of cultural model. Cultural models are cognitive frames or templates
of assumed or implicit knowledge that assist individuals in interpreting
and understanding information and events. The project is particularly
interested in how cultural models are generated, shared, and implicitly
present in environmental discourses and whether their presence is
a source of agreement or disagreement about the cause and solution
of environmental problems. The project has been working with
Bay watermen (commercial fishers), farmers, scientists, resource managers
and policymakers. The results of the project are being used
to promote dialogue among blue crab stakeholder groups, evaluate the
applied and theoretical contributions of both qualitative and quantitative
approaches in the study of cultural models, and to contribute to theoretical
and applied interests in environmental and marine anthropology.
for this project is provided by the National Science Foundation, the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Maryland Sea Grant.