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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Electronic Green Journal

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A SWOT Analysis of the Great Lakes Water Quality Protocol 2012: The Good, the Bad and the Opportunity

Since the signing of the Great Lakes Water Quality Protocol by Canada and the United States on September 7, 2012, there has been no review of it in the literature. This paper aims to fill that gap by conducting a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats (SWOT) analysis that will aid in deducing strategies to maximize the strengths and opportunities and minimize the weaknesses and threats to achieving the purpose of the Protocol. The review found that the Protocol has maintained the basic visionary infrastructure retaining the purpose and main objectives while broadening the scope to include three new Annexes; Aquatic Invasive Species, Habitat and Species and Climate change. Weaknesses include instances of ambiguous language, the separate treatment of groundwater, lack of Annex on Indigenous engagement and discrepancies between the principles and the Annexes. A key threat remains the lack of resources for the implementation of the Protocol.

Initiating Sustainable Behavior: Feel Good for Doing Good

This study investigated if alteration of cues and rewards of people at a university workout center could impact water bottle disposal behaviors. Using a Social Cognitive Theory model, two 8-week interventions were conducted. After a baseline was determined, educational signs were posted and then environmental changes were made to affect on awareness and cognition. Results recorded changes from a baseline proportion 73.2% of recyclable plastic and glass bottles disposed of in garbage cans to 26.8%  in the recycling bins to 26.1% of the bottles in the garbage cans and 73.9% in the recycling bins after the interventions. Surveys also suggested supportive cognitive changes. The simple interventions used to nurture, support and reinforce pro-environmental behaviors would not only lower garbage costs, research indicates these actions also improve morale, well-being, and public image. This study documents destructive waste habits can be changed toward positive recycling behaviors with proper support and design.

Some Thoughts on the Notion of Environmental Information Science

Environmental information is important for understanding how our planet is changing and what is the role of human activities in the process of these changes. Access to quality environmental information is crucial for developing relevant policies and appropriate practical responses for the global and regional environmental problems. Environmental information systems have been developed for many years to facilitate environmental information creation, organization and access; however the boundaries of environmental information research are beyond dealing with just the systems and can cover various topics under the broad discipline of environmental information science. This article reviews the concept of the science of environmental information and the topics that might be included in it.


Review: Water, Peace, and War: Confronting the Global Water Crisis

Book Review: Water, Peace, and War: Confronting the Global Water Crisis

Review: Yellowstone's Wildlife in Transition

Book Review: Yellowstone's Wildlife in Transition

Review: Tracks and Shadows, Field Biology as Art

Book Review:  Tracks and Shadows, Field Biology as Art

Review: The Wilderness Writings of Howard Zahniser

Book Review: The Wilderness Writings of Howard Zahniser