Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies

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Mar 28, 2014

Preparing students to tackle urgent and complex environmental problems is a critical challenge. Problems such as global climate change, water resource management, and sustainable development are dynamic, complex problems that require interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to solve. Socio-environmental synthesis (S-E synthesis) is a problem-solving approach that considers the integrated nature of the environment and human society, and combines insights, methods, and data from the natural and social sciences to produce knowledge and inform solutions. The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) is dedicated to educating about this approach and its broad relevance, and to teaching the core concepts and competencies necessary to understand, research, and address socio-environmental problems.

SESYNC invites participants for a four-day short course on Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies. The course will be held July 15–18, 2014, at SESYNC in Annapolis, MD. The goals of the short course are to:

  1. Introduce participants to S-E synthesis as a problem-solving approach.
  2. Engage participants in advancing the teaching of S-E synthesis and related concepts and competencies.
  3. Enable participants to use case-based teaching approaches such as the case study method, a powerful and effective teaching approach, to teach S-E synthesis.
  4. Support participants in developing their own case study classroom activity that can be used in their classrooms and shared on the SESYNC website.

We seek a diverse group of participants, including faculty, postdocs, and graduate students from both the social and natural sciences. Participants should have a strong interest in learning about and teaching S-E synthesis and be willing to commit to writing a case study related to S-E synthesis. We welcome applications from individuals or small teams (2–4 people) that will collaborate on writing a case study. Teams are strongly encouraged, but not required. Please note that completion of the case study will require additional time beyond the duration of the course.


Registration fees are $250 for faculty and $100 for graduate students and postdocs. Flights and hotel costs for non-local participants will be pre-paid by SESYNC in accordance with our travel policies. All eligible travel expenses (e.g. meals and ground transportation) will be reimbursed by SESYNC upon receipt of a completed S-E synthesis case study that can be shared online. All participants are expected to create a case study focused on S-E synthesis.

To Apply

Applications are closed

Additional Information

Click here for additional information on case studies, course considerations, and tentative course agenda.


Please contact Dr. Cynthia Wei, Assistant Director of Education and Outreach, at cwei@sesync.org

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The University of Maryland is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Minorities and Women Are Encouraged to Apply

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