Preparing students to tackle urgent and complex environmental problems is a critical challenge. Problems such as global climate change, water resource management, and sustainable development are dynamic, complex problems that require interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to solve. Socio-environmental synthesis (S-E synthesis) is a problem-solving approach that considers the integrated nature of the environment and human society, and combines insights, methods, and data from the natural and social sciences to produce knowledge and inform solutions. The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) is dedicated to educating about this approach and its broad relevance, and to teaching the core concepts and competencies necessary to understand, research, and address socio-environmental problems.
SESYNC hosted a three-day short course on Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies January 14–16, 2015, at SESYNC in Annapolis, MD and UMD in College Park, MD. The goals of the short course are to:
- Introduce participants to S-E synthesis as a problem-solving approach.
- Engage participants in advancing the teaching of S-E synthesis and related concepts and competencies.
- Enable participants to use case-based teaching approaches such as the case study method, a powerful and effective teaching approach, to teach S-E synthesis.
- Support participants in developing their own case study classroom activity that can be used in their classrooms and shared on the SESYNC website.
Names followed by an * are part of the SESYNC instructional team.