Immersion Program Case Studies

The case study exercise allows participants to apply the theories, methods, and lenses presented in the Socio-Environmental Immersion Program workshop lectures to a common case that they get to know over the course of the five workshops. The case studies provide a common starting point for small-group discussions about several dimensions of socio-environmental science and interdisciplinary research. The five cases were selected to be broad enough to encompass rich details from a variety of disciplines and narrow enough that expertise could be built around getting to know the details of that case. The layering of resources and perspectives generates insights within and across disciplines that could help further clarify issues and opportunities in interdisciplinary research and analysis, which is fundamental to research and teaching about socio-environmental systems.

Structure & components of the case study exercise

The materials for each case include a high-level popular press article that outlines the setting and the background of the case, as well as two discipline-specific academic articles per workshop/discipline that further elaborate on how the specific discipline has approached work on this case.

The case study exercise asks participants to:

  1. Apply the theories and methods learned from each discipline’s lectures to the case.
  2. Discuss theoretical and methodological approaches to the case across disciplines and compare framing, analysis, and conclusions based on disciplinary emphasis.
  3. Identify similarities, differences, and tensions in data sources, and scales and units of analysis, used by different disciplines to address the case.
  4. Reflect on analytical outcomes from each disciplinary perspective on the case and synthesize the results in process-oriented and/or solutions focused-papers.