I am a master’s student studying Ecosystem Services at the University of Edinburgh, and will be conducting my dissertation research within OPERAs, under the supervision of James Paterson, focused on the application of the Blueprint Protocol. The OPERAs Project has developed the Blueprint Protocol to serve as a foundation for the integration of the concept of ecosystem services in management practice. The Blueprint Protocol is an analytical tool that will allow OPERAs to standardise and synthesise information across exemplar case studies as well as provide a methodological basis for the exemplar case studies’ data collection. Through a systematic review and analysis of the exemplar projects, I aim to determine how effective the OPERAs Project’s current blueprint protocol is at ensuring the operationalization of applied ecosystem services conceptual tools and instruments across the exemplar case studies.
Initially, my research is focused on the synthesis of this information provided by the completed blueprint protocols. This assessment is focused on identifying how suitable the blueprint protocol is in its current state in summarising OPERAs exemplar case studies project aims, strategies, and stakeholders. Following the synthesis and cluster analysis of the protocols in order to extract key findings and patterns, I will then be conducting interviews with the exemplar case projects’ leads to gain more knowledge about the tools and instruments used in the project and the effectiveness and usability of the blueprint protocol in capturing this information. My research will then collated into a suite of recommendations for the OPERAs Blueprint Protocol.
I hope to have my research contribute to a broader investigation into how the concept of ecosystem services through various tools and instruments is being used to shape and support land, marine, and coastal-based decision-making.