SESYNC Feedbacks: News from the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center

September 19, 2013
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Welcome, friends and colleagues! We're excited to share our inaugural e-newsletter with you and hope you find it a useful source of information that you share with your contacts.

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Socio-environmental Synthesis? Yeah, We’ve Got an RFP for That

Great ideas need support—SESYNC honors this need by offering a variety of integrated, socio-environmental synthesis programs. The structure of these programs allows us to make advances in areas of national and international priority while still accommodating the need for innovation and knowledge generation around emerging problems or opportunities. Each program also encourages links to policy and actionable outcomes.

So, you want RFPs? We’ve got three:

  • For scholars interested in critical questions at the interface of biodiversity and ecosystem services, funding is available for up to six collaborative synthesis projects that bring together data, ideas, theories, or models that investigate a pressing environmental issue involving complex human-nature interactions and global change. Proposals are due October 9, 2013.
      
  • For graduate students interested in the complex interactions between human and natural systems, we will be hosting a Socio-Environmental Synthesis Research Proposal Writing Workshop that will provide participants with:
    • introductions to SESYNC, socio-environmental synthesis research, team science, and actionable science;
    • networking opportunities to build professional relationships with other students, particularly those from different disciplines; and
    • training sessions on the methods, challenges, and strategies associated with writing successful proposals, especially those related to the type of work SESYNC supports.
      Applications are due October 11, 2013.
  • For University of Maryland faculty, funding is available for innovative interdisciplinary workshops that bring together scholars from diverse disciplines to inspire novel research that focuses on topics related to the interdependency between humans and the natural environment. Proposals are due November 1, 2013.

Food for Thought

This fall, we’ve invited leading scholars in the fields of wildlife biology, applied mathematics, social anthropology, and beyond to SESYNC for our brown bag seminar series. Bring a lunch and an open mind and join us at our Annapolis facilities for these unique science conversations.

Click here for a listing of our seminars, which begin at 12:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public.


Image: Ana Luisa Ahern, Creative Commons

Is a Fish Saved a Forest Lost?

What are the unintended consequences of closing off large marine areas to fishing? It’s a question leading SESYNC scholars have a lot to say about. We interviewed Drs. Ray Hilborn, Taylor Ricketts, and Brendan Fisher about the global implications of marine protected areas (MPAs)—you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Have a response you want to share with us? Email it to news@sesync.org

Epistem ... what?

Earlier this year, Alan Alda—an award-winning film and television star, as well as a founder and visiting professor of journalism at the Stony Brook University Center for Communicating Science—told participants at a workshop hosted at Cornell University to ease up on the jargon when communicating science to the public. Scientists sometimes take specialized terminology, core to the research that they do, for granted. While the use of such “trade language” can make communication between issue specialists more efficient, it can make communication with audiences outside of those niches—including scientists in other specializations—less clear and less productive.

We wanted to pull back the veil from some scientific terms that we use at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC). So today, we took to the streets to see how many people know what “epistemology” means.

Watch the video below:

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