In 2012, Pacific RISA launched a multi-year social network analysis project to examine communication patterns and how climate information spreads across different sectors and countries in the Pacific Islands region. Using the December 2012 release of the Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment (PIRCA) report as a spring board, researchers collected data on the professional and scientific networks of climate change stakeholders. By tracking information flows, key hubs, and isolated groups using network analysis and statistical methods, the researchers are mapping out strengths and gaps in the delivery of climate information, allowing Pacific RISA and other groups to focus research and resources on areas that have been previously ignored.
“There are no existing formal analyses that track the flow, sources, and the quality of this information across the Pacific Islands region, so this project will help address the blind spot researchers and agencies currently have as to which communities and stakeholders may not be getting access to key knowledge.”
– Dr. Victoria Keener, East-West Center Research Fellow and Social Network Analysis Principal Investigator
For data collection, a network analysis survey was developed and survey invitations were distributed to over 1,000 climate change professionals in the Pacific Islands between December 2012 and March 2013. The survey collected information in several categories, including professional and personal demographics, network connectedness, climate change risk perception and resiliency, and sense of community. Pacific RISA distributed the survey online through surveygizmo.com. In addition, paper copies were distributed at three subregional meetings, two in Honolulu and one in Fiji, and contact information was collected so that email invitations could be sent to additional potential participants. Email, phone, and face-to-face follow-up inquiries were attempted for the entire list of invitees. Three hundred thirty one climate change professionals in the Pacific Islands region and their global collaborators completed the survey, listing a total of 967 professionals in our network with whom they discuss weather, climate, and the environment.
During the development and implementation period, communication was kept open with the Network Analysis team at the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP) for a beneficial cross-RISA comparison of methods and survey design. Also throughout the data collection period, Research Fellow Dr. Kati Corlew exchanged email conversations, phone calls, and face-to-face discussions with hundreds of climate change professionals regarding the need for a network resource and support for increased collaboration, especially in remote areas in the Pacific. For further details about the data collection process and the analysis, check out this May 2013 interview with Dr. Corlew.
Network Analysis Products
Full Network Maps. This page includes the network maps created by including all network connections reported during the study. These large (967 person) network maps reveal broad trends of centrality and connectedness in Hawaiʻi and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands, the broader Pacific Islands region, and globally.
Pacific RISA Core Region Network Maps. These network maps explore the Pacific RISA’s focal region, Hawaiʻi and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands. These core region (452 person) network maps reflect the dense international and interdisciplinary communications networks inherent in our region.
Posters and Presentations
Victoria Keener, PhD, Research Fellow, East-West Center
Kati Corlew, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Maine at Augusta
Pacific RISA’s social network analysis project is jointly funded by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program and the US Department of the Interior’s Pacific Islands Climate Science Center.