Enid Carol Kumin, Ph.D., is a 2015 graduate of the PhD Program in Environmental Studies at Antioch University, New England.
- James W. Jordan, Ph.D., Committee Chair
- Joy W. Ackerman, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Herman A. Karl, Ph.D., Committee Member
alternative energy, case studies, coastal zone, collaborative management, content analysis, ecosystem-based management, environmental policy, environmental decision making, Massachusetts, renewable energy, siting, wind energy, wind power, wind turbines
While there are as yet no wind energy facilities in New England coastal waters, a number of wind turbine projects are now operating on land adjacent to the coast. In the Gulf of Maine region (from Maine to Massachusetts), at least two such projects, one in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and another on the island of Vinalhaven, Maine, began operation with public backing only to face subsequent opposition from some who were initially project supporters. I investigate the reasons for this dynamic using content analysis of documents related to wind energy facility development in three case study communities. For comparison and contrast with the Vinalhaven and Falmouth case studies, I examine materials from Hull, Massachusetts, where wind turbine construction and operation has received steady public support and acceptance. My research addresses the central question: What does case study analysis of the siting and initial operation of three wind energy projects in the Gulf of Maine region reveal that can inform future governance of wind energy in Massachusetts state coastal waters? I consider the question with specific attention to governance of wind energy in Massachusetts, then explore ways in which the research results may be broadly transferable in the U.S. coastal context. I determine that the change in local response noted in Vinalhaven and Falmouth may have arisen from a failure of consistent inclusion of stakeholders throughout the entire scoping-to-siting process, especially around the reporting of environmental impact studies. I find that, consistent with the principles of ecosystem-based and adaptive management, design of governance systems may require on-going cycles of review and adjustment before the implementation of such systems as intended is achieved in practice. I conclude that evolving collaborative processes must underlie science and policy in our approach to complex environmental and wind energy projects; indeed, collaborative process is fundamental to the successful governance of such projects, including any that may involve development of wind energy in the Massachusetts coastal zone or beyond. Three supplemental files of coded data accompany this dissertation.
Kumin, E. C. (2015). Ecosystem-Based Management and Refining Governance Of Wind Energy in the Massachusetts Coastal Zone: A Case Study Approach. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/220