The U.S. Endangered Species Act requires not only protection of all listed threatened and endangered species, but also recovery of species so that they are no longer at risk of extinction. Determining when species are recovered has proven to be difficult, in part because we do not know how to systematically measure the effects of the various factors that contribute to extinction risk. As a result, it is difficult to determine how much of those factors must be alleviated for species recovery.
Change is constant for Pastoral Social Ecological Systems (PSES), which have had to respond to social environmental change over the millennia. Livestock domestication, provision of 10% of the planet's meat, and the use of 20% of Earth's land exemplify the scope and scale of PSES responses.
Novel ecosystems - where biotic and/or abiotic changes have led to systems that have no analog in the present or past - are a worldwide phenomenon. Myriad interacting environmental changes and thresholds to restoration prevent return to some historical state. What should restoration ecologists do when confronted by such systems? One answer may be to restore function to degraded systems.
Reduced diversity of populations can have far-reaching consequences for ecosystem functioning and resilience when it results in lost capacity for individuals to adapt or acclimate to changing environmental conditions. Such losses are of concern for species such as the submersed aquatic plant species Vallisneria americana that have experienced large declines due to anthropogenic factors.
Sustainability, social media, and women are a unique combination. How do people network around concepts of sustainability, and what is the role of social media and social networks in particular? The Global Women Scholars Research Network uses the platform of the Commission for Sustainable Development, Rio+20 to look at how women network around a science issue, particularly sustainability and climate change.
Redefining our Relationship to Nature: Alternative Environmental Metaphors and Socio-environmental Synthesis
Our approach to conservation—and to nature—is shaped in part by our metaphors. In this presentation, I examine alternative ways of conceptualizing invasive species (e.g., “invasional meltdown” versus “novel ecosystems”) and evaluate their implications for socio-environmental synthesis and, more broadly, for our relationship with nature.
Overfishing, the leading social-ecological problem in the marine realm, has modified ecosystem functioning and is jeopardizing the well-being of the billion people that depend on seafood as their primary source of protein. Over the past decade, fisher learning exchanges, in which representatives from different fisher communities are brought together to share knowledge, have become key tools in improving fisheries management.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS), the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the international program dedicated to biodiversity sciences, DIVERSITAS and the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) sponsored a work shop in Annapolis, Maryland, USA from 31 January to 2 February 2012 with the purpose of exploring the program of work of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity a
Citizen-scientists throughout North America perform thousands of surveys each year but, unlike their European counterparts, the data from these monitoring programs are little known and less used. A recent workshop at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) brought together all major butterfly data producers with representatives from the scientific and technology communities with the goal to develop systems to promote and support expanding public participation in and use of butterfly data and knowledge.