Year of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department or School/College
College of Forestry and Conservation
Dr. Alexander L. Metcalf
Dr. Laurie Yung, Dr. Justin Angle
invasive control, collective action, public goods, common pool resources
University of Montana
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Weeds reduce the biodiversity and productivity of agricultural systems, and are a problem both around the world, and in Montana. Weeds are challenging to control because their effective dispersal mechanisms enable cross-boundary colonization, and so managers must engage diverse groups of private landowners. Researchers have recognized weed control is a collective action problem, but there is little research quantifying the role of collective factors on an individual’s decision to control. To fully understand the motivations behind independent weed control, I initiated a study to quantitatively assess different types of landowners and their weed control behaviors, the relationship between collective interest variables and individual landowners’ willingness to engage in weed control behaviors. I identified a k-means cluster analysis as a way to segment the Montana landowner population, and the Collective Interest Model as a way to understand the influence of collective factors on an individual’s decision to control for weeds, while holding individual factors constant. I surveyed 4,500 Montana landowners, and analyzed results using descriptives and ordinarily least squares regression. I found five different groups of landowners, and that collective factors, such as an injunctive norm and the belief weeds are a cross boundary problem, were significantly correlated with willingness to engage in three different weed control behaviors. This suggests if weed control outreach explicitly promotes collective messages, it may be able to more effectively engage landowners. In addition, I believe that weed control has been mis-classified in the literature as a common pool resource problem, instead it should be considered a public good problem. I present reasoning that weeds are a public good problem and draw on solutions to public good problems generally and adapt them to weed control.
Lubeck, Alice, "Weed Control as a Collective Action Problem: Quantifying group effects on individual behavior, and clarifying the theoretical frame" (2018). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 11175.
© Copyright 2018 Alice Lubeck