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.
Microbial communities directly or indirectly support a range of ecosystem services, including the provisioning of clean air and water, abundant food supply, nutrient transformations, aesthetics, and human health support. While some microbial genes, functions, and processes are well-studied, the majority remain poorly-described or undescribed. Here we ask: How well can microbial research inform decision making in an ecosystem services framework?
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: