Reduced diversity of populations can have far-reaching consequences for ecosystem functioning and resilience when it results in lost capacity for individuals to adapt or acclimate to changing environmental conditions. Such losses are of concern for species such as the submersed aquatic plant species Vallisneria americana that have experienced large declines due to anthropogenic factors.
Sustainability, social media, and women are a unique combination. How do people network around concepts of sustainability, and what is the role of social media and social networks in particular? The Global Women Scholars Research Network uses the platform of the Commission for Sustainable Development, Rio+20 to look at how women network around a science issue, particularly sustainability and climate change.
Redefining our Relationship to Nature: Alternative Environmental Metaphors and Socio-environmental Synthesis
Our approach to conservation—and to nature—is shaped in part by our metaphors. In this presentation, I examine alternative ways of conceptualizing invasive species (e.g., “invasional meltdown” versus “novel ecosystems”) and evaluate their implications for socio-environmental synthesis and, more broadly, for our relationship with nature.
Overfishing, the leading social-ecological problem in the marine realm, has modified ecosystem functioning and is jeopardizing the well-being of the billion people that depend on seafood as their primary source of protein. Over the past decade, fisher learning exchanges, in which representatives from different fisher communities are brought together to share knowledge, have become key tools in improving fisheries management.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS), the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the international program dedicated to biodiversity sciences, DIVERSITAS and the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) sponsored a work shop in Annapolis, Maryland, USA from 31 January to 2 February 2012 with the purpose of exploring the program of work of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity a
Citizen-scientists throughout North America perform thousands of surveys each year but, unlike their European counterparts, the data from these monitoring programs are little known and less used. A recent workshop at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) brought together all major butterfly data producers with representatives from the scientific and technology communities with the goal to develop systems to promote and support expanding public participation in and use of butterfly data and knowledge.
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.
Cold, very isolated, and ecologically desolate are the descriptors Margaret Palmer uses when talking about her March 7 – 13 trip to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). Palmer, SESYNC’s Executive Director, was one of fourteen international scholars that traveled as a team to North Korea to consider ecological restoration options for the barren lands of this impoverished country. Jessica Marx, an Environmental Science Research Assistant at SESYNC, recently interviewed Palmer about the trip: