Social Network Analysis of Lake Erie HABs Stakeholder Groups

Mapping the social landscape for stronger water quality ties

Principal Investigator

V. Kelly Turner, Kent State University


New research at Kent State University will make community water quality collaborations a little easier by mapping connections between groups with a stake in the Lake Erie watershed.

Improving water quality requires sharing knowledge and experiences across community and county boundaries. But without knowing who the key stakeholders are and how they are connected with each other, central agencies may be lacking valuable input or missing the mark when trying to send public safety messages.

A research team led by Kelly Turner, assistant professor of geography, aims to develop a map of the social connections between important players in the Lake Erie watershed. Those connections will be examined to determine how strong each link is—say, between a watershed management group and a crop advising company—and whether the groups share information back and forth or just listen without talking back.

The final network map will inform decision making and education efforts, and will show communities how they can more effectively collaborate to improve water quality.

The End Result

Better information sharing that helps communities learn from each other and reduces the cost of adapting to and preparing for water quality issues such as harmful algal blooms. 

Full Project Information

Read about the project at the Ohio Sea Grant website.