Land-use change is rapidly converting forests and savannas into land whose primary focus is agriculture or production of other goods and services of direct benefit to the human economy. This significantly alters the interactions between the environment, disease vector species, and populations of humans and domestic livestock.
One of the most prominent forms of environmental change in the modern era is the rapid loss in the diversity of genes, species, and biological traits in ecosystems. A consequence of this loss of biodiversity is that natural and managed ecosystems are less efficient in capturing biologically essential resources, which leads to a decline in ecosystem productivity and stability.
We propose an integrated, spatial assessment of the potential chemical, biological, and human dimensions of ocean acidification (OA) facilitated by three meetings and a parallel data synthesis guided by two overarching goals: 1) assess the potential impact of OA on coastal communities in order to identify hot spots where OA impacts will be most acute, and 2) assess whether current natural and social science research can address policy and environmental management needs for OA; we will identify research needs that are unmet.
We will address two urgent problems: (1) designing and delivering undergraduate STEM courses that better engage students and increase their learning; and (2) preparing citizens to address global challenges (e.g., energy, environment, health, food) that are coupled with strong economic development. Research indicates that both problems can be addressed by connecting STEM education with real-world problems in sustainability.
The Socio-Environmental Synthesis (SES) Teaching Study is a SESYNC Venture addressing a number of critical questions:
As the world becomes ever more interconnected, the decision-making processes of a range of global and local actors and their social-environmental contexts have increasingly influenced use of rural agricultural lands. Rethinking and re-examining rural dynamics in the context of both biophysical and socioeconomic drivers is therefore essential. While a wealth of case study evidence exists, there is a need to integrate this data into a global context.
Dr. Dan Sarewitz, Co-Director of the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes at Arizona State University, discusses the need for a shift in thinking on conducting useful science in the latest weekly seminar series.