Document Details

Adaptive Management – Applications Guide

U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) | January 1st, 2012

The Department of the Interior (DOI) Adaptive Management Working Group sponsored the development of this applications guide to provide thorough examples for a better understanding of how adaptive management can be implemented in the field.

The applications guide builds on the framework for adaptive management presented in the DOI Adaptive Management Technical Guide, and illustrates the elements of adaptive management with a large number of
natural resource examples.

The Adaptive Management Working Group includes representatives from most DOI bureaus and offices. Writing teams of resource managers, technical experts, and other specialists worked with the group to identify and describe applications of adaptive management in four thematic areas: climate change, water resources, energy resources, and the interface of human and natural systems.

These themes were chosen to illustrate the elements and processes of adaptive management because of their importance to DOI management responsibilities, the current interest in the thematic areas in using adaptive management, and the broad potential in each thematic area for learning-based management.

In writing this guide, we attempted to provide enough background about the elements of adaptive management implementation, and the challenges in implementing it, to give the reader a context for the resource examples. We also sought to provide enough detail in the examples to illustrate clearly the elements of adaptive management. Thus, the guide includes summaries of the principles and issues relevant to adaptive management, followed by descriptions of potential and actual applications in each of the four thematic areas.

The intention was to provide enough detail about the actual process of adaptive management to be informative, while limiting the scope, complexity, and size of the document.


adaptive management, ecosystem management, habitat restoration, planning and management, science management