Solving Complex Problems in Coupled Natural and Human Systems: Socio-Ecological Research at the Frontier of Global Change
Thursday, August 13, 2015: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
327, Baltimore Convention Center
Krista A. Capps, University of Georgia
Arianne Cease, Arizona State University
Carla Atkinson, University of Alabama
Anthropogenic influences on community structure and ecosystem function are well recognized; however, the interactions within coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) influencing the structural and functional characteristics of ecosystems are complex and are not well understood. The CHANS perspective emphasizes the novel and multifaceted social-ecological relationships and feedbacks that are revealed when environmental problems are simultaneously studied using biophysical and social-science perspectives. To promote global economic and ecological sustainability, policies that reflect the complexity of coupled human and natural systems must be developed, tested, and employed.
The goal of this session is to bring together pairs of biophysical and social scientists who are actively involved in interdisciplinary research in CHANS to feature innovative approaches to address ecological problems throughout the globe. The session will feature talks from researchers studying ephemeral wetlands and forests in the northeastern United States, agroecosystems in Africa, Asia, and Australia, and watersheds in the United States and China. Researchers from a variety of social and biophysical sub-disciplines, including agroecology, community ecology, ecosystem ecology, landscape ecology, physiological ecology, environmental geography, and economics will present their work in a CHANS perspective. As part of their presentations, the speakers in this session will be asked to highlight how integrating biophysical and social science in their research has created unique opportunities to address ecological problems, integrate stakeholders into their research, and advance their understanding of CHANS. Moreover, we will ask each speaker to briefly outline effective strategies to create interdisciplinary teams to address environmental problems at the frontier of ecological research.