UBC Theses and Dissertations
The relationship of the higher education system to formulation of integrated forest land-use policy : a comparative analysis of Newfoundland, Tasmania, and Alaska Roy, Michael Austin
During the past three decades, in Newfoundland, there have been repeated high level recommendations made concerning the formulation of an integrated land-use policy. In particular, the forest sector has expressed the need for such a policy through recommendations made by several Royal Commissions on Forestry, a Federal-Provincial Task Force on Forestry, and through a number of other documents and forums. This research study began as a problem solving mission, i.e., to answer the questions: Why has an integrated forest land-use policy not been formulated? What are the limiting factors constraining the policy formulation process? After a preliminary review of the literature and an initial listing of some possible constraints, it became obvious that the complexity of the policy formulation process all but precluded any neatly bounded solutions. Therefore, the problem solving mission evolved into an exploratory process. Based on some empirical observations, I decided that the higher education system might be one of the weak links in the land-based policy formulation process in Newfoundland. At the same time, the higher education system appeared to hold great promise in finding long-term pervasive solutions to land-use problems. My thesis is that the higher education system is one of the weak links, if not weakest link, in the forest land-use policy formulation process in Newfoundland. To examine and clarify this position, I have conducted a comparative analysis of the higher education systems in three peripheral jurisdictions that have much in common: Newfoundland, Tasmania, and Alaska. Each is peripheral in their respective federation, has a population of approximately one-half million, and has a comparable forest land-base and industry. The comparative analysis consisted of an: assembly, review, and analysis of relevant documents; on-site reconnaissance in Newfoundland, Tasmania, and Alaska; and interviews with non-replaceable respondents. Specifically, I analyzed the teaching, research, and service functions of the higher education system and how they relate to the integrated forest land-use policy formulation process. It is concluded that overall Newfoundland's higher education system has contributed less to the integrated forest land-use policy formulation process than the systems in Tasmania or Alaska. For teaching, Memorial University of Newfoundland has the least number of related faculties and departments, offers no professional or graduate level degrees in land-based renewable resource management, and has the least number of related individual courses. Memorial University has also conducted less research on related policy topics. As well, related service functions fall behind contributions made by the University of Tasmania and are roughly on a par with the University of Alaska. From this comparative analysis, I have begun construction of a conceptual framework that places higher education and natural resource public policy formulation in a wider context. It is suggested that there may be an imbalance between liberal, scientific, and professional approaches in the higher education system and that this may have significant implications for natural resource/environmental policy formulation and implementation. This study is original in two respects. It is the first research project to compare Newfoundland, Tasmania, and Alaska; and it is one of the first, if not the first, empirical study to examine linkages between the higher education system and formulation of forest land-use policy.
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