Immersion Distinguished Scholar Workshop: Interdisciplinary Team Science

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Dr. Marisa Rinkus, Michigan State University
Dr. Deana Pennington, Univ Texas El Paso
Dr. Peter Groffman, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Dr. Gabriele Bammer, Australian National University
Time of Event: 
Monday, November 6, 2017 - 09:00 to Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 13:30

National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)
1 Park Place, Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401

Immersion Distinguished Scholar Workshop on Interdisciplinary Team Science.

The Immersion Program centers around a series of collaborative workshops led by Immersion Distinguished Scholars. These workshops are designed to immerse participants in theories and methods foundational to understanding current environmental challenges and their underlying socio-environmental systems. 

This is a closed workshop designed for SESYNC Postdoctoral Fellows.

Dr. Marisa Rinkus, Postdoctoral Fellow, Toolbox Project, Michigan State University

Marisa Rinkus, Postdoctural Fellow, Department of Philosophy, earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife, Human Dimensions focus, with specializations in International Development and Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change from Michigan State University. She joined the Toolbox Dialogue Initiative (TDI), an MSU Department of Philosophy-based initiative that uses philosophical concepts and methods to facilitate communication and collaboration in cross-disciplinary projects. Her interest in this initiative lies in the acknowledgement of scientific research as a human endeavor and the importance of communication and collaboration in pushing knowledge production forward. Rinkus hopes to apply insights from the TDI process to improve communication and collaboration among diverse stakeholders in conversation research and natural resources management.

Dr. Deana Pennington, Associate Professor in Geological Sciences, Univ Texas El Paso

Dr. Deana Pennington, Associate Professor in Geological Sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso, is a physical geographer with cross training in learning sciences. Her research focuses on how changes in climate and land structure impact natural processes such as water, wildfire, atmospheric aerosols, and biodiversity, especially focused on geospatial approaches to analyzing land change and socio-environmental systems. These studies have dictated that she also gain expertise in knowledge integration and synthesis in interdisciplinary teamwork, and emerging technologies for science, including cyberinfrastructure and informatics approaches. Hence, most of her work is at the boundaries between socio-environmental science, interdisciplinary teamwork, and emerging technologies.

Co-Creating Shared Vision in Interdisciplinary Research Teams

Dr. Peter Groffman, Professor, CUNY Advanced Science Research Center, Environmental Sciences Initiative and Senior Research Fellow, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Dr. Groffman's research focuses on microbial processes in an ecosystem context. His objectives are to gain insight into 1) the role that microorganisms play in ecosystem functions related to nutrient cycling, water and air quality and soil carbon storage and 2) environmental regulation of microbes. Developing conceptual and practical ecosystem contexts for this work has required a large number of study sites and strong collaborations with other scientists.

Dr. Gabriele Bammer, Professor, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University

Gabriele Bammer is developing the new discipline of Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S) to improve research strengths for tackling complex real-world problems through synthesis of disciplinary and stakeholder knowledge, understanding and managing diverse unknowns and providing integrated research support for policy and practice change (see This is described in Disciplining Interdisciplinarity: Integration and Implementation Sciences for Researching Complex Real-World Problems. She runs the Integration and Implementation Inisghts (i2Inisghts) blog and convenes the Global Network for Research Integration and Implementation.

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, funded through an award to the University of Maryland from the National Science Foundation, is a research center dedicated to accelerating data-driven scientific discovery at the interface of human and ecological systems. Visit us online at and follow us on Twitter @SESYNC.

Event type: 
Immersion Workshop
Event Attendance: 
Private Working Group
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