Immersion Distinguished Scholar Workshop: Change in Socio-Environmental Systems

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Time of Event: 
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 09:00 to Friday, April 15, 2016 - 17:00

The change in socio-environmental synthesis workshop brought together five scholars to discuss theories and methods used to study change in socio-environmental systems. Over the course of the first two days, each scholar presented a lecture on the theories and methods they use from their own disciplines as well as emerging interdisciplinary frameworks and approaches for studying change. Participants were given time to reflect upon and further discuss the content of the presentations in small group discussions and informal conversation during the second half of the workshop. Scholars highlighted in their presentations the evolution and integration of theories and methods from various disciplines into interdisciplinary frameworks, and they situated their own work applying these theories and methods to complex dynamic socio-environmental systems. 


  • Stephen Carpenter, University of Wisconsin–Madison
    • Resilience in socio-ecological systems
  • Simon Levin, Princeton University
    • Collective decision making and collective action
  • Barbara Cosens, University of Idaho
    • Law and socio-ecological systems
  • Karen Seto, Yale University
    • Urbanization in the 21st century
  • Oran Young, UC Santa Barbara
    • Institutional fit in complex systems

An edited video recording of each lecture is available below, along with a written summary of the lecture contents, an associated reading list, and the scholar's slides. A full playlist of the video lectures is available here.


Event type: 
Immersion Workshop
Event Attendance: 
Private Working Group
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Immersion Distinguished Scholars: Anthropology

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 11:15
Immersion Lecture: Collective Motion, Collective Decision-Making, and Collective Action

Speaker: Simon Levin, Professor of Biology at Princeton University

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 09:15
Immersion Lecture: Resilience in Social-Ecological Systems: Models and Field Studies

Speaker: Stephen Carpenter, Professor of Zoology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 11:00
Immersion Lecture: Rethinking Urbanization in the 21st Century

Speaker: Karen Seto, Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science, Yale University

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 13:30
Immersion Lecture: The Problem of Institutional Fit in Complex Systems

Speaker: Oran Young, Professor Emeritus in the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 15:00
Immersion Lecture: Law and Social-Ecological Systems: Barriers and Bridges to Change

Presenter: Barbara Cosens is a Professor with the University of Idaho College of Law.