We believe in the merits of adaptive management (AM) and ESSA has been practicing it since our origin as a company over 40 years ago. Recently, we have been motivated to find different ways of engaging with the people with whom we work and to leverage insights from ESSA’s successes and failures with AM over many years (Murray and Marmorek 2004; Greig et al. 2013; Murray et al. 2015; Marmorek et al. 2019).
We have also been inspired by the games and efforts of others who bring play into the work they do. ‘Serious games’—games used for purposes other than entertainment—provide a way to bridge gaps between public understanding and scientific knowledge, while also enhancing opportunities for social learning and enabling positive action (Flood et al. 2018).
We developed the card game ADAPT! as a ‘serious’ yet friendly and fun way to introduce people to the steps, elements, and enabling factors that support rigorous AM. Within the game, characters consider a scenario and try to close the learning loop by making it through the three sequential phases of gameplay that relate to adaptive management—PLANNING, DOING, and LEARNING.
Developing the game involved crowd-sourcing and harnessing the collective wisdom of ESSA staff; involving them in all stages of game development from “workshopping” the concept at a company retreat, to card creation, and to many, long rounds of testing and refinement over pizza and beer.
AM may not be appropriate for all, but we believe in the transferability of its principles and practice. We hope ADAPT! can serve as a useful tool to help facilitate conversations for people who want to understand and learn more.
We hope you enjoy it!
Flood, S., N.A. Cradock-Henry, P. Blackett, and P. Edwards. 2018. Adaptive and interactive climate futures: systematic review of ‘serious games’ for engagement and decision-making. Environmental Research Letters 13. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aac1c6
Greig, L.A., D.R. Marmorek, C. Murray, and D.C.E. Robinson. 2013. Insight into enabling adaptive management. Ecology and Society 18(3): 24. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-05686-180324
Marmorek, D., M. Nelitz, J. Eyzaguirre, C. Murray, and C. Alexander. 2019. Adaptive management and climate change adaptation: two mutually beneficial areas of practice. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 1–25. https://doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.12774
Murray, C., and D. R. Marmorek. 2004. Adaptive management: A spoonful of rigour helps the medicine go down. Submitted to the 16th International Annual Meeting of the Society for Ecological Restoration, Victoria, BC, Canada.
Murray, C.L., D. Marmorek, and L. Greig. 2015. Adaptive Management Today: A Practitioners’ Perspective. Chapter 10 in Adaptive Management of Social-Ecological Systems. C. Allen, A. Garmestani, and C. Smith (editors). Springer. http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-94-017-9682-8