Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Resource Management

Committee Chair

Dr. Steven Hackenberger

Second Committee Member

Dr. Amber Himes-Cornell

Third Committee Member

Dr. James Huckabay

Abstract

Social well-being indices measure how fishing communities are likely to be affected by social-ecological perturbations, and are a significant tool to identify the primary issues influencing communities’ sustained participation in fishing activities. In an attempt to further our understanding of how communities are affected by such perturbations, we have developed a rapid assessment methodology to test the external validity of a set of well-being indices that measure community vulnerability. This methodology informs how well such indices reflect the communities they represent by measuring elements of well-being through field observations, and comparing them to corresponding index components created from secondary data sources. This process helps us understand how well predetermined components of the well-being indices represent real-world conditions observed by researchers.