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Human Dimensions Research on the West Coast

We study the human dimensions of management of Pacific Northwest marine resources and ecosystems.

Two pulling up trap with crabs in it

What We Do

Social scientists study the human species – our behavior, our institutions, our relations to one another and the natural world. We seek a better understanding of the human values, actions, communities, and institutions that influence marine and anadromous fish, marine mammals, and other marine species and ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. 

Our research provides data and tools that support NOAA Fisheries and other agencies' regulatory and management decisions, and we contribute scientific work and information to the broader research community and the public.

The Human Dimensions Team conducts economic and sociocultural research spanning a diversity of topics. Our work contributes to:

  • Conservation and Recovery planning for Pacific Salmon and Steelhead, Southern Resident Killer Whales, and other endangered or protected species.
  • Understanding the contributions of Pacific Coast fishing and ecosystem resources to human well-being.
  • Understanding the social and economic impacts of fishery management on fishing communities. 
  • Design of ecosystem-based fishery management (EBFM) approaches that promote profitability and sustainability of fisheries while minimizing adverse ecosystem impacts.

Our Ongoing Research Projects

About Our Team

Our team includes economists as well as social scientists with training in anthropology and environmental policy. We work closely with the Economic and Social Science Research Program in the Center’s Fisheries Resource Analysis and Monitoring Division and collaborate with scientists of multiple disciplines in other NOAA offices, universities, and research institutes.


Dan Holland (team lead)