Last week SESYNC convened a multi-disciplinary group of 15 experts including decision makers, NGO leaders, and accomplished social and natural scientists to discuss priorities and questions to be addressed by the Center. This roundtable discussion was one of a number of efforts focused on helping SESYNC understand what the community feels are the most important Themes and critical socio-environmental problems that we should address over the next 2 years.
The increasing movement of corporations towards social and ecological responsibility suggests that the business world may lead a profound change in how we view our dependence upon natural capital: Corporations are increasingly focused on ecosystem services issues; demand for broader corporate impact measurement and disclosure related to ecosystem services parameters is growing; and several new initiatives have launched to further understanding of corporate impacts on ecosystem services.
Over 2.5 billion plants were imported into the United States in 2009. This global trade in live plants is a major pathway for invasion by non‐native insect pests and diseases of agricultural and natural resources. Identifying cost-efficient strategies for reducing the economic and environmental risks associated with invasive pest introduction is a major challenge.
Dignitaries celebrate the opening of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC).
Senator Mikulski speaks on the importance of science and environmental research jobs at SESYNC's opening event.
Here are two seemingly unrelated truisms that can be said about today. First, we have entered a world of big data – much of that big data is freely available. Second, much of human welfare and health is inextricably linked to the functioning of the world’s ecosystems. However, these two platitudes are not unrelated.
Actionable science is a key component of SESYNC’s mission, as our Center supports scholarship that has the potential to inform environmental decisions at a government, business, nonprofit, and individual level. We are always interested in learning more about other groups that practice this type of scholarship, and last week we welcomed another proponent of actionable science, Dr. Michael Douglas of Charles Darwin University, as our seminar speaker.
Dr. Douglas leads an interdisciplinary team at the TRaCK (Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge) research consortium in the tropical north of Australia. Over 80 scientists from social, cultural, environmental, and economic fields work together to provide the scholarship that governments, communities, and industries can use to evaluate the sustainable use of northern Australia’s tropical rivers and estuaries. TRaCK’s research spans 27 projects that examine the biophysical and cultural values of tropical rivers and inform debates about trade-offs among them. These efforts provide information important for government agencies focused on water planning. The applications of this research are also relevant to other environmental issues such as irrigated agriculture, mining, coastal development, and sea-level rise. In his talk, Dr. Douglas emphasized the importance of transdisciplinary collaboration that involves resource managers in the process of identifying research questions related to environmental problems.
To learn more about TRaCK, visit: http://www.track.org.au/.
To learn more our upcoming seminars, visit: http://www.sesync.org/upcoming-events.