The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) is made possible through an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the University of Maryland (UMD).
In addition to support from NSF, additional funding for the Center comes from the three founding partners in this program:
- University of Maryland
- University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
- Resources for the Future
The founding partners will host researchers engaged in activities at the SESYNC headquarters in Annapolis, MD, and RFF's offices in Washington, DC.
Collaborating Institutional Advisors
Collaborators central to the visioning and development of the center proposal include social scientists, educational scholars, and computer and sustainability scientists from:
- Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies – Kathleen Weathers
- Coppin State University – Mintesinot Jiru
- Gallaudet University – Caroline Solomon
- Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – Karin Frank
- Michigan State University – C. Titus Brown
- University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science – Andrew Elmore
- University of Maryland – Karen Lips
- University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) – Amitabh Varshney
- University of Michigan – Joan Nassauer
- Zimmerman Consulting – Ann Zimmerman
External Advisory Board
The External Advisory Board (EAB) is comprised of policymakers, scholars, and experienced leaders representing the broad range of disciplines needed to provide guidance and oversight for SESYNC. Appointed in consultation with NSF, board members meet semi-annually and serve an initial term of two years. As the primary high-level advisory body, the EAB focuses on enhancing SESYNC’s credibility and success by providing critical insights pertaining to strategic directions.
Specific duties include participation in the Center’s strategic planning process and in the selection of the overarching themes to structure research efforts. Board members provide insights on emerging trends and advancements in social and environmental research, modeling, and information technology and, as appropriate, help SESYNC forge connections at the national and international levels.
In a broader context, EAB members serve as ambassadors for SESYNC and are able to effectively communicate with the research and policy community about the philosophy, expertise, and opportunities offered by the Center. They help SESYNC identify and reach out to scholars, policymakers, and others who have the potential to advance the Center’s mission and encourage them to participate in programs.
Scientific Review Committee
SESYNC is committed to supporting synthesis projects of the highest scientific quality and with the greatest potential to contribute to accelerating actionable knowledge on the structure, functioning, and sustainability of coupled human-natural systems. As part of this commitment, SESYNC has identified a diverse set of scholars to form a Scientific Review Committee (SRC). The SRC is charged with assessing applications submitted to the center for various types of synthesis projects. SRC members are asked to make a two-year commitment, and SESYNC covers all travel costs to our Center in Annapolis.