Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies 2014

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Award Year: 
2014
Principal Investigator: 
Cynthia Wei, SESYNC
Associated Program: 

2014 case study short course group picturePreparing 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 hosted a four-day short course on Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies 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.
Participants: 
Elizabeth Albright, Duke University
Andres Baeza Castro, SESYNC
Mark Brunson, Utah State University
William Burnside, SESYNC
Neil Carter, SESYNC
Judy Che-Castaldo, SESYNC
Avery Cohn, Tufts University
Shannon Conley, James Madison University
Michael Deaton, James Madison University
Kathryn de Ridder-Vignone, James Madison University
Amity Doolittle, Yale University
Emily Eisenhauer, Florida International University
Kathleen Guillozet, Virginia Tech
Mary Handley, James Madison University
David Hawthorne, SESYNC
Melissa Kenney, University of Maryland
Kevin Krasnow, Teton Science Schools
Heather Lukacs, Stanford University
Rebecca Martone, Center for Ocean Solutions
Lindley Mease, Center for Ocean Solutions
Zola Moon, University of Arkansas
Dustin Mulvaney, San Jose State University
Kate Mulvaney, US Environmental Protection Agency
Tuyeni Mwampamba, University of Mexico
Peter Newton, University of Michigan
Chantelise Pells, UC Davis
Simone Pulver, UC Santa Barbara
Kathleen Pusecker, University of Delaware
Matt Robbins, UC Davis
Clare Ryan, University of Washington
Nikhil Sawe, Stanford University
Emilie Stander, Raritan Valley Community College
Ariana Sutton-Grier, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Nicola Ulibarri, Stanford University
Doug Wachob, Teton Science Schools
Yen-Chu Weng, University of Washington

Resources:

Resource Title Brief Summary
Tell Them We Don't Want to Leave: The Marshallese and Sea-Level Rise (2014-10) Jan 02, 2015

This resource was developed as part of the Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies short course, held at SESYNC in July 2014. This case has been classroom tested and selected by SESYNC as an exemplary S-E synthesis case study.

Green Civil War in the California Desert: The Ocotillo Express Wind Energy Project (2014-11) Jan 02, 2015

This resource was developed as part of the Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies short course, held at SESYNC in July 2014. This case has been classroom tested.

His Lips Drink Water But His Heart Drinks Wine: Groundwater Availability, Access, and Governance in the Guadalupe Valley, Mexico (2014-12) Dec 21, 2014

This resource was developed as part of the Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies short course, held at SESYNC in July 2014. This case has been classroom tested.

Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: North American Beavers in Tierra del Fuego (2014-13) Jan 10, 2015

This resource was developed as part of the Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies short course, held at SESYNC in July 2014.

Ways of Knowing: The Integration of Indigenous Knowledge and Scientific Knowledge for Natural Resource Management (2014-14) Jan 10, 2015

This resource was developed as part of the Teaching Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies short course, held at SESYNC in July 2014. This case has been classroom tested.

Risk, Uncertainty, and Institutional Failure in the 2014 West Virginia Chemical Spill Sep 07, 2017

Article published in Case Studies in the Environment.

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