Document Type


Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Resilience (Personality trait), Communities


Biology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Increased concern with the impacts that changing coastal environments can have on coastal fishing communities led to a recent effort by NOAA Fisheries social scientists to develop a set of indicators of social vulnerability and resilience for the U.S. Southeast and Northeast coastal communities. A goal of the NOAA Fisheries social vulnerability and resilience indicator program is to support time and cost effective use of readily available data in furtherance of both social impact assessments of proposed changes to fishery management regulations and climate change adaptation planning. The use of the indicators to predict the response to change in coastal communities would be enhanced if community level analyses could be grouped effectively. This study examines the usefulness of combining 1130 communities into 35 relevant subgroups by comparing results of a numerical taxonomy with data collected by interview methods, a process herein referred to as “ground-truthing.” The validation of the taxonomic method by the method of ground-truthing indicates that the clusters are adequate to be used to select communities for in-depth research.


This is the authors' accepted version of the article that appeared in Environmental Impact Assessment Review. The final version may be accessed at



Publisher Citation

Pollnac, R. B., T. Seara, L. L. Colburn, and M. Jepson (2015). Taxonomy of USA East Coast fishing communities in terms of social vulnerability and resilience. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 55: 136-143.