Solutions to difficult problems at the interface of the environment and human society require the synthesis of diverse types of information from natural and social sciences. If today’s undergraduate and graduate students are to effectively address socio-environmental (S-E) problems, they must develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities that allow them to undertake such synthesis efforts and to successfully engage in interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary efforts. The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) is dedicated to developing S-E synthesis knowledge and skills among students and scholars through a variety of education programs and initiatives including:
Brief Summary


The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) is committed to supporting research to advance understanding of the competencies that are critical for socio-environmental (S-E) synthesis. SESYNC’s first education focused Theme, Learning to Integrate Across Natural and Social Sciences, called for research to advance our understanding of:

  1. How undergraduate and graduate students learn to integrate data, concepts, techniques, approaches, tools, perspectives, theories, etc. from natural and social sciences to understand environmental problems and inform solutions, and
  2. Pedagogies that support the development of this cognitive ability in a socio-environmental context at the undergraduate or graduate level.


Opportunities to learn about and practice socio-environmental (S-E) synthesis are critical for building capacity for S-E synthesis research and for developing understanding of this problem-solving approach and its associated concepts and competencies. Currently, the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) offers several training and learning opportunities including:

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Programs;
  • Graduate Research Program;
  • Short Courses, such as Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with the Case Study Approach.

Teaching Resources

Socio-environmental (S-E) synthesis is by nature a complicated, challenging process: equally so is the teaching and learning of the core concepts and competencies required for this research process. Here, you will find a growing collection of resources to help with the teaching and learning of S-E synthesis at the undergraduate and graduate level, from materials that are ready for use in the classroom to assessment resources and relevant education research publications.