Suzana Blake, PhD
Suzana Dumitrita Blake
My dissertation research focus was on understanding how government agencies in southern Florida integrate climate change in their decision-making processes while dealing with political resistance. I employed multiple qualitative research methods, such as participant observation, semi-structured interviews and document research to analyze the formation, development and activities of one of the most vocal local climate change advisory committees, The Miami-Dade County Climate Change Advisory Task Force (MDC-CCATF) as well as the water management practices of the regional water management agency, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). My dissertation concluded that while planning for potential climate-change impacts can be difficult due to multiple institutional constraints, scientists and policy-makers have crafted an innovative culture that is particularly visible at sites where science and decision making intersect.
In 2017 I began working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) team. One of my main goals was to develop the human dimensions component of the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion Environmental Restoration Project, building on my interdisciplinary experience gained at FIU, and my research experience understanding environmental restoration and water management in southeast Florida. Since 2017 I have been involved in several other applied research endeavors. My work and interactions with NOAA researchers have helped me shape an applied research agenda focused on working with scientists from various disciplines as well as resource-users to identify problems, bring awareness, and find practical solutions to the most critical resource-user concerns.