One of the most prominent forms of environmental change in the modern era is the rapid loss in the diversity of genes, species, and biological traits in ecosystems. A consequence of this loss of biodiversity is that natural and managed ecosystems are less efficient in capturing biologically essential resources, which leads to a decline in ecosystem productivity and stability.
We will address two urgent problems: (1) designing and delivering undergraduate STEM courses that better engage students and increase their learning; and (2) preparing citizens to address global challenges (e.g., energy, environment, health, food) that are coupled with strong economic development. Research indicates that both problems can be addressed by connecting STEM education with real-world problems in sustainability.
Dr. Dan Sarewitz, Co-Director of the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes at Arizona State University, discusses the need for a shift in thinking on conducting useful science in the latest weekly seminar series.
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 and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), with a particular focus on the generation of knowledge function.
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.