SESYNC Welcomes Dr. Lorien Jasny

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) is pleased to welcome our newest Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Lorien Jasny. Lorien’s research will focus on dynamic belief networks and belief change within the transdisciplinary research teams hosted by SESYNC. This process will simultaneously work to understand how differences in belief structures are negotiated to develop group synthesis, and give the participants a concrete tool to show what they have achieved jointly through exposure to different viewpoints.

Lorien comes to SESYNC from the University of California, Davis where she was a Postdoctoral Researcher. There, she wrote and implemented a survey to elicit individual cognitive networks from participants in the Rangeland Public Lands Grazing Project. She analyzed initial results comparing the conversation dynamics with changes in individuals' cognitive networks, and used semantic network methods to examine a variety of survey respondents' interpretations of the term “sustainable” and compared their position in this network with attribute data.

Lorien received her PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine in spring 2012. She also holds a dual MA in Mathematical Behavioral Science and Sociology, also from the University of California, Irvine, as well as a dual BS/BA in Applied Mathematics and Sociology from Columbia University.

Lorien can be contacted at or (410) 919-9143.


The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) is a national research center funded through a National Science Foundation grant to the University of Maryland.

Located in Annapolis, MD, SESYNC is dedicated to solving society’s most challenging and complex environmental problems. We foster collaboration amongst scholars from a diverse array of the natural and social sciences (such as ecology, public health, and political science), as well as stakeholders that include resource managers, policy makers, and community members.

Socio-environmental synthesis is a research approach that accelerates the production of knowledge about the complex interactions between human and natural systems. It may result in new data products—particularly ones that address questions in new spatial or temporal contexts or scales—but may also involve evaluating textual or oral arguments, interpreting evidence, developing new applications or models, or identifying novel areas of study.

Click here to see a list of projects funded by SESYNC.