Case Study Collection



Participants of the Teaching Socio-Environmental (S-E) Synthesis with Case Studies short course have developed a collection of case studies, each focusing on learning goals critical for understanding and practicing S-E synthesis. These case studies provide information about the case itself, detailed teaching notes, and all materials to be used with students in the activity. Many provide suggestions for ways to modify the activities to suit different time constraints, levels, or course goals. The durations of these cases range from a small number of class periods to entire semesters. Several of these cases have been tested in the classroom and/or peer reviewed.

Unless otherwise noted in the case studies, reproduction of these materials is authorized for non-profit/non-commercial educational use only. All reproduction or distribution must provide full citation of the original work and provide a copyright notice as follows:

“Copyright 2015, by the authors of the material, with license for use granted to the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center. All rights reserved.”

Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of SESYNC.

Case Study Collectionsort descending
"Expanding the Pie" in the Jordan River Basin: Multiple-issue Water Negotiations(2015-3)
Author(s): Jacob Petersen-Perlman

This resource was developed as part of the Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies short course, held at SESYNC in July 2015.

Are Eastern Fox Squirrels "Good" or "Bad" for the Greater Los Angeles Area? (2015-4)
Author(s): Teresa Lloro-Bidart

This resource was developed as part of the Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies short course, held at SESYNC in July 2015. This case has been classroom tested.

Sustainable Development: It’s as easy as F-E-W (2017-2)
Author(s): Thushara Gunda, Katherine Nelson, Nirav Patel

This resource was developed as part of the Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies short course, held at SESYNC in July 2017. This case has been classroom tested.

A Case Study on Ocean Acidification (2013-19)
Author(s): Sindia Rivera-Jimenez

This resource was developed as part of the Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies short course, held at SESYNC in July 2013. This case has been tested in a classroom.

A Pipeline in Paradise, Part 1: Learning the Relevant Science (2014-6)
Author(s): Shannon N. Conley, Kathryn De Ridder-Vignone, Mary K. Handley, and Michael L. Deaton

This resource was developed as part of the Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies short course, held at SESYNC in July 2014. This case has been classroom tested.

A River Runs Through It: Socio-Environmental Synthesis as a Means for Preparing Ecological Restoration Goals- Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River (2013-18)
Author(s): John Graham

This resource was developed as part of the Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies short course, held at SESYNC in July 2013.

A simple example of a socio-environmental system: coupled rabbit and farm dynamics
Author(s): Andres Baeza-Castro and Neil Carter

Quantitative models are excellent tools for understanding the dynamics of complex socio-environmental systems (SES), and for explicating those dynamics in a meaningful way to students. Here we utilize both a dynamical and an agent-based model to examine a suite of human-environment interactions in a hypothetical SES. Specifically, the hypothetical SES involves the management of rabbit populations while maximizing nearby farm productivity and profitability. The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate how manipulating different components of these two alternative models can help students visualize and analyze key features of the SES, such as feedbacks and adaptation. The models also allow students to assess how different decisions, like implementing certain policies, influence tradeoffs and synergies in the SES.

Addressing deforestation and other land-based conflicts in the frontier forests of eastern Panama: The case of REDD+ (2015-5)
Author(s): Javier Mateo-Vega, Ana Spalding, Gordon Hickey

This resource was developed as part of the Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies short course, held at SESYNC in July 2015. This case has been classroom tested.

Addressing environmental degradation and climate change in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria (2017-6)
Author(s): Oluseyi Olutoyin Olugbire

This resource was developed as part of the Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies short course, held at SESYNC in July 2017. 

Balancing economic and environmental tradeoffs for dairy production in California and New Zealand (2015-6)
Author(s): Rachael Garrett and Meredith Niles

This resource was developed as part of the Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies short course, held at SESYNC in July 2015. This case has been classroom tested.

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