Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Georgia Mavrommati

Second Advisor

Robert Chen

Third Advisor

J. Cedric Woods


Community driven priorities can help guide decision-making to better address complex local problems like climate change. Diversity in the different cultures of communities and the knowledge held by those communities are important considerations but are rarely heard. The research presented aims to assist two underserved coastal communities in eastern Massachusetts (the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe and the Falmouth Cape Verdeans) in identifying their priorities through discourse-based workshops. From the transcripts made from those discussions, an applied thematic analysis was used to better understand what cultural values drove those communities’ priorities. The coding framework adapted from the cultural services framework used in the United Kingdom National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-on allowed a deeper look into the underlaying cultural values of practices, subjective well-being, and services and goods that arise from the interactions of people and environmental spaces. Acknowledging the cultural history and the relationship with the land that a community has, will give strength to cultural value and community priorities in decision-making.


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