Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2022

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Ecology and Environmental Sciences


Damian Brady

Second Committee Member

Aaron Strong

Third Committee Member

Esperanza Stancioff

Additional Committee Members

Cynthia Isenhour

Curtis Bohlen


Ocean and coastal acidification (OCA) present a unique set of sustainability challenges at the human-ecological interface, and the waters and communities of the Gulf of Maine are among the most vulnerable to this environmental threat. Successful adaptation and mitigation options to address myriad impacts of OCA– including actions by marine resource and water quality managers, the scientific community, and the aquaculture and fishing industry – depend strongly on the availability of monitoring that can inform decision-making and on developing and implementing best practices for resilience at the community level. Collaboration between technical experts, facilitators, and a locally engaged citizenry can help to ensure information and planning in response to OCA is relevant to stakeholder needs and that co-creative processes match best practices for social-ecological problem solving and active social learning; ultimately building public trust for adaptation measures considered. This dissertation shares extensive outreach, workshop-based training, and coordinated monitoring activities which collectively supported and assessed the regional capacity of science coalitions and stakeholders to engage with OCA monitoring and management. We show that crowdsourcing water measurements of the marine carbonate system is a viable strategy for expanding estuarine carbonate system monitoring and prioritizing regions for more targeted assessment. This work enabled a platform for dialogue about OCA among other interrelated environmental concerns and fostered a series of co-benefits relating to public participation in resource and risk management. The results demonstrate the value and readiness of diverse stakeholder audiences and community science programs in furthering monitoring capacity and political action for OCA.

Files over 10MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."