National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)
1 Park Place, Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401
Disintegrating Assessments? A Research Agenda for Socio-Environmental Science and (Human) Security
Seminar presented by Dr. Geoff Dabelko, Ohio University & The Honorable Sharon Burke, New America Foundation.
Researchers and practitioners have investigated environment and natural resources connections to security outcomes in earnest for the past thirty years. Climate change impacts entered these research and policy agendas within the last dozen years. Those security outcomes have historically been defined in narrow terms of war and peace. While these potential links remain top priorities, security practitioners increasingly recognize the critical importance of a more expansive set of research questions connected to increasingly dynamic environmental changes and more diverse human security outcomes. This extensive set of social-ecological dynamics does not typically connect directly to violent conflict yet holds enormous import for the prosperity and security of individuals, communities, states, and the international community. Drawing on three decades of both scholarly and practitioner perspectives and a recent NSF workshop on Environmental Science and the U.S. National Security Community, Burke and Dabelko will share insights on 1) the current state of environment and security research, 2) the significant gaps and opportunities in that research and practice, and 3) provide select examples of needed applied research topics that illustrate needed changes in current science-policy interface around socio-environmental research and security practice.
Bios: The Honorable Sharon E. Burke directs New America’s Resource Security program, which examines the intersection of security, prosperity, natural resources, and public policy. Before joining New America, Burke served in the Obama Administration as the assistant secretary of defense for operational energy, a new office that worked to improve the energy security of U.S. military operations. Prior to her service at DoD, Burke held a number of senior U.S. government positions, including at the Department of State in the George W. Bush Administration, and was a vice president and senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. She attended Williams College and Columbia University, where she was a Zuckerman and International fellow at the School of International and Public Affairs.
Geoffrey D. Dabelko is Professor and Associate Dean at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Ohio University. He directed the School’s Environmental Studies Program from 2012-2018. Geoff is senior advisor to the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Center where he served as program director from 1997-2012. He was a Lead Author of the "Human Security" chapter in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 5th Assessment and has been PI for grants from the National Science Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, U.S. Agency for International Development, and UN Foundation. Geoff is a member of the UN Environment Programme's Expert Advisory Group on Environment, Conflict, and Peacebuilding. He is co-editor of Environmental Peacemaking and Green Planet Blues: Critical Perspectives on Global Environmental Politics. He holds a PhD in government and politics from the University of Maryland, College Park and AB in political science from Duke University.