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Derek Armitage is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo, where he leads the Environmental Change and Governance Group ( His research interests centre on the human dimensions of environmental change and the formation of adaptive, multi-level governance systems, with a primary focus on marine/coastal contexts in the Arctic and Southeast Asia. His publications have appeared in such journals as Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Global Environmental Change, Ecology and Society, and International Journal of the Commons. He is co-editor (with Fikret Berkes and Nancy Doubleday) of ‘Adaptive Co-Management: Collaboration, Learning and Multi-Level Governance’ (UBC Press, 2007) and co-editor (with Ryan Plummer) of “Adaptive Capacity and Environmental Governance’ (Springer, 2010). He has served as a consultant on a variety of projects for government agencies in Canada (Fisheries and Oceans, OMNR, Alberta Environment, Environment Canada), the Global Environmental Facility (World Bank), ADB and IADB. He is past Working Group Leader – Oceans Management Research Network (Canada), Adjunct Professor – Natural Resources Institute (University of Manitoba), and serves as an Editor for Conservation Letters and Ecology and Society

Recent Publications:

“Rapid environmental change calls for individuals and societies with an ability to transform our interactions with each other and the ecosystems upon which we depend. Adaptive capacity – the ability of a social-ecological system (or the components of that system) to be robust to disturbances and capable of responding to changes – is increasingly recognized as a critical attribute of multi-level environmental governance. This unique volume offers the first interdisciplinary and integrative perspective on an emerging area of applied scholarship, with contributions from internationally recognized researchers and practitioners. It demonstrates how adaptive capacity makes environmental governance possible in complex social-ecological systems. Cutting-edge theoretical developments are explored and empirical case studies offered from a wide range of geographic settings and natural resource contexts, such as water, climate, fisheries and forestry.”

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