News

Oct 10, 2019
SESYNC Expands Synthesis and Leadership Opportunities for Graduate Students with New Workshop

To address the need for expanded synthesis opportunities for graduate students, SESYNC is developing a set of graduate workshops that will further build students’ capacity for interdisciplinary and socio-environmental science and teach them the skills needed to lead an interdisciplinary team. 


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Oct 10, 2019
SESYNC in The New York Times: SESYNC researchers discuss soils and saltwater intrusion in “As Sea Levels Rise, So Do Ghost Forests”


A planning workshop at SESYNC helped inform Kate Tully’s and Keryn Gedan’s research on sea-level rise and ghost forests, recently featured in the
New York Times.

Up and down the mid-Atlantic coast, sea levels are rising rapidly, creating stands of dead trees — often bleached, sometimes blackened — known as ghost forests.

The water is gaining as much as 5 millimeters per year in some places, well above the global average of 3.1 millimeters, driven by profound environmental shifts that include climate change.

A ghost forest
Photo: The New York Times

Increasingly powerful storms, a consequence of a warming world, push seawater inland. More intense dry spells reduce freshwater flowing outward. Adding to the peril, in some places the land is naturally sinking.

All of this allows seawater to claim new territory, killing trees from the roots up.

Rising seas often conjure the threat to faraway, low-lying nations or island-states. But to understand the immediate consequences of some of the most rapid sea-level rise anywhere in the world, stand among the scraggly, dying pines of Dorchester County along the Maryland coast.

People living on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay, the country’s largest estuary system, have a front-row view of the sea’s rapid advance, said Keryn Gedan, a wetland ecologist at George Washington University.

Continue reading at The New York Times.

 

 


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Oct 01, 2019
An Immersive Experience: SESYNC postdocs prepare for an interdisciplinary future

The interdisciplinary nature of socio-environmental problems encourages SESYNC postdoctoral fellows to draw from multiple fields of inquiry and combine data, ideas, theories, and methods to approach environmental questions. Since 2012, the SESYNC postdoc program has supported the work of 53 early-career interdisciplinary researchers.


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Sep 26, 2019
SESYNC Announces 12 Newly Supported Projects

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) announces that 12 new inter-disciplinary research projects have been supported. The selected projects were submitted through SESYNC’s spring request for proposals (RFP) for collaborative team-based synthesis research pursuits around emerging socio-environmental synthesis topics.


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Sep 26, 2019
SESYNC Announces New Director of Research

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) is pleased to announce the naming of Dr. Carrie Hritz as the Center’s new Director of Researcher. 


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Sep 20, 2019
SESYNC Director Co-Authors a Review on Restoration of River Flow Regimes in Science

SESYNC Director Margaret Palmer recently co-authored a review published in Science, titled “Linkages between flow regime, biota, and ecosystem processes: Implications for river restoration.” Palmer wrote the review with former SESYNC postdoctoral fellow Albert Ruhi, who is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental, Science, Policy, and Management, at the University of California, Berkeley. 


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Sep 19, 2019
In The New York Times: Hurricanes May Kill Some Birds, but Humans Are the Real Threat

Study by SESYNC’s Chris Field reveals coastal bird populations are resilient to hurricanes

In a catastrophic hurricane like Dorian, the loss of lives and homes can be overwhelming. But even in the midst of devastating sadness and disbelief, a far less urgent but perennial question can tug at the back of the mind. What is the impact of these storms on wild creatures, like birds?

It is too soon to know the extent of Dorian’s impact, and really too soon to ask. Ecological post-mortems are nowhere near the first order of business. But interviews with scientists and the findings in a paper published Monday by Ecology Letters suggest that many birds are resilient, and that when a hurricane does push a species over the brink, it is almost always a species that we have put there in the first place. 

If what we’re worried about is extinction, “we’re the driving force,” said David Steadman, curator of ornithology at the Florida Museum of Science, who has done a vast amount of research on Caribbean birds.

Continue reading at The New York Times.

 

 


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Sep 18, 2019
Coastal Birds Can Weather the Storm, but Not the Sea

Study reveals that coastal bird populations are resilient to hurricanes


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Sep 12, 2019
Risk, Data, and Plant Inspections: How an Interdisciplinary Science Team at SESYNC Informed a Policy Shift

Research entomologist Dr. Andrew (Sandy) Liebhold, of the USDA Forest Service, and resource economist Dr. Rebecca Epanchin-Niell, of Resources for the Future, recently led an interdisciplinary science team in a research pursuit at SESYNC titled “Globalization of the Live Plant Trade: Informing Efficient Strategies for Reducing Non-Native Pest Invasion Risk.” This science team sought to develop efficient strategies that regulators could adopt to lower the risk of invasive species entering ecosystems via live plants. Liebhold, Epanchin-Niell, and agriculture quarantine inspection expert Robert Griffin (retired USDA APHIS) recently spoke with SESYNC about the impacts of their research in a new documentary video, titled Plants & Pests, part of SESYNC’s Research in Action series.


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Aug 29, 2019
SESYNC Announces Fall 2019 Seminar Series

Join us on Tuesday mornings in Annapolis at 11 am for the Fall 2019 Seminar Series, beginning September 10.


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