Hurricanes and the social-ecological system: how ecosystem changes, managing institutions, and public perception are interrelated in the Gulf Coast and Southern Atlantic Region

Award Year: 
Principal Investigator: 
Dana Baker, Duke University
Allison Koch, University of Texas, San Antonio


Our Pursuit explores the relationships between social and ecological systems in the face of sudden onset perturbations due to hurricanes. As hurricanes and extreme weather events increase in both frequency and intensity, it is imperative to understand how human systems perceive and respond to sudden and gradual ecological changes. Our SESYNC Pursuit uses a case-study approach to examine four locations in the Gulf Coast and Southern Atlantic to understand the extent to which pre-disaster planning and public perceptions of hurricane damage coincide with short-term and long-term ecological impacts. We are exploring how social systems, delineated here by institutional language, public perception, and management action, reflect and attempt to transform the qualitative state of the ecosystem, the habitat, and species, before and after hurricane events. 


Paul Carvalho, University of Rhode Island
Emma Cutler, Dartmouth College
Stephen Jane, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Kayla Smith, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
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