Development of a Decision Aid for Energy Resource Management for the Navajo Nation Incorporating Environmental Cultural Values

Len Edward Necefer
Decision-making surrounding pathways of future energy resource management are complexity and requires balancing tradeoffs of multiple environmental, social, economic, and technical outcomes. Technical decision aid can provide a framework for informed decision making, allowing individuals to better understand the tradeoff between resources, technology, energy services, and prices. While technical decision aid have made significant advances in evaluating these quantitative aspects of energy
more » ... ng and performance, they have not been designed to incorporate human factors, such as preferences and behavior that are informed by cultural values. Incorporating cultural values into decision tools can provide not only an improved decision framework for the Navajo Nation, but also generate new insights on how these perspective can improve decision making on energy resources. Ensuring these aids are a cultural fit for each context has the potential to increase trust and promote understanding of the tradeoffs involved in energy resource management. In this dissertation I present the development of a technical tool that explicitly addresses cultural and spiritual values and experimentally assesses their influence on the preferences and decision making of Navajo citizens. Chapter 2 describes the results of a public elicitation effort to gather information about stakeholder views and concerns related to energy development in the Navajo Nation in order to develop a larger sample survey and a decision-support tool that links techno-economic energy models with sociocultural attributes. Chapter 3 details the methods of developing the energy decision aid and its underlying assumptions for alternative energy projects and their impacts. This tool also provides an alternative to economic valuation of cultural impacts based upon an ordinal index tied to environmental impacts. Chapter 4 details the the influence of various cultural, environmental, and economic outcome information provided through the developed decision aid on beliefs an [...]
doi:10.1184/r1/6715895.v1 fatcat:7cxc4qcvz5eohd2blrc467cqkq