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Series
  • ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY
Date Range
2013 2016

By integrating the research and resources of hundreds of scientists from dozens of institutions, network-level science is fast becoming one scientific model of choice to address complex problems. In the pursuit to confront pressing environmental issues such as climate change, many scientists, practitioners, policy makers, and institutions are promoting network-level research that integrates the social and ecological sciences. To understand how this scientific trend is unfolding among rising scientists, we examined how graduate students experienced one such emergent social-ecological research initiative, Integrated Science for Society and Environment, within the large-scale, geographically distributed Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network. Through workshops, ...

Contributors
Romolini, Michele, Record, Sydne, Garvoille, Rebecca, et al.
Created Date
2013

Adaptive comanagement endeavors to increase knowledge and responsiveness in the face of uncertainty and complexity. However, when collaboration between agency and nonagency stakeholders is mandated, rigid institutions may hinder participation and ecological outcomes. In this case study we analyzed qualitative data to understand how participants perceive strengths and challenges within an emerging adaptive comanagement in the Agua Fria Watershed in Arizona, USA that utilizes insight and personnel from a long-enduring comanagement project, Las Cienegas. Our work demonstrates that general lessons and approaches from one project may be transferable, but particular institutions, management structures, or projects must be place-specific. As public ...

Contributors
Childs, Cameron, York, Abigail, White, Dave, et al.
Created Date
2013

There is an increasing demand in higher education institutions for training in complex environmental problems. Such training requires a careful mix of conventional methods and innovative solutions, a task not always easy to accomplish. In this paper we review literature on this theme, highlight relevant advances in the pedagogical literature, and report on some examples resulting from our recent efforts to teach complex environmental issues. The examples range from full credit courses in sustainable development and research methods to project-based and in-class activity units. A consensus from the literature is that lectures are not sufficient to fully engage students in ...

Contributors
Ban, Natalie C., Boyd, Emily, Cox, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2015

Research on collective action and common-pool resources is extensive. However, little work has concentrated on the effect of variability in resource availability and collective action, especially in the context of asymmetric access to resources. Earlier works have demonstrated that environmental variability often leads to a reduction of collective action in the governance of shared resources. Here we assess how environmental variability may impact collective action. We performed a behavioral experiment involving an irrigation dilemma. In this dilemma participants invested first into a public fund that generated water resources for the group, which were subsequently appropriated by one participant at a ...

Contributors
Baggio, Jacopo, Rollins, Nathan, Perez, Irene, et al.
Created Date
2015

Protected areas are a cornerstone of biodiversity conservation, and increasingly, conservation science is integrating ecological and social considerations in park management. Indeed, both social and ecological factors need to be considered to understand processes that lead to changes in environmental conditions. Here, we use a social-ecological systems lens to examine changes in governance through time in an extensive regional protected area network, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. We studied the peer-reviewed and nonpeer-reviewed literature to develop an understanding of governance of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and its management changes through time. In particular, we examined how interacting ...

Contributors
Ban, Natalie C., Evans, Louisa S., Nenadovic, Mateja, et al.
Created Date
2015

Groundwater is a common-pool resource that is subject to depletion in many places around the world as a result of increased use of irrigation and water-demanding cash crops. Where state capacity to control groundwater use is limited, collective action is important to increase recharge and restrict highly water-consumptive crops. We present results of field experiments in hard rock areas of Andhra Pradesh, India, to examine factors affecting groundwater use. Two nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) ran the games in communities where they were working to improve watershed and water management. Results indicate that, when the links between crop choice and groundwater depletion ...

Contributors
Meinzen-Dick, Ruth, Chaturvedi, Rahul, Domenech, Laia, et al.
Created Date
2016

Recent studies provide compelling evidence for the idea that creative thinking draws upon two kinds of processes linked to distinct physiological features, and stimulated under different conditions. In short, the fast system-I produces intuition whereas the slow and deliberate system-II produces reasoning. System-I can help see novel solutions and associations instantaneously, but is prone to error. System-II has other biases, but can help checking and modifying the system-I results. Although thinking is the core business of science, the accepted ways of doing our work focus almost entirely on facilitating system-II. We discuss the role of system-I thinking in past scientific ...

Contributors
Scheffer, Marten, Bascompte, Jordi, Bjordam, Tone K., et al.
Created Date
2015

Social-ecological organization is a multidimensional phenomenon that combines material and symbolic processes. However, the coupling between social and ecological subsystem is often conceptualized as purely material, thus reducing the symbolic dimension to its behavioral and actionable expressions. In this paper I conceptualize social-ecological systems as doubly coupled. On the one hand, material expressions of socio-cultural processes affect and are affected by ecological dynamics. On the other hand, coupled social-ecological material dynamics are concurrently coupled with subjective dynamics via coding, decoding, personal experience, and human agency. This second coupling operates across two organizationally heterogeneous dimensions: material and symbolic. Although resilience thinking ...

Contributors
Manuel-Navarrete, David, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, School of Sustainability
Created Date
2015

Norwegian protected areas have historically been managed by central, expertise bureaucracy; however, a governance change in 2010 decentralized and delegated the right to manage protected areas to locally elected politicians and elected Sámi representatives in newly established National Park Boards. We explore how this new governance change affects adaptive capacity within the reindeer industry, as the reindeer herders are now participating with other users in decision-making processes related to large tracts of protected areas in which they have pasture access. Aspects within adaptive capacity and resilience thinking are useful as complementary dimensions to a social-ecological system framework (Ostrom 2007) in ...

Contributors
Risvoll, Camilla, Fedreheim, Gunn Elin, Sandberg, Audun, et al.
Created Date
2014

The International Long-Term Ecological Research (ILTER) network comprises > 600 scientific groups conducting site-based research within 40 countries. Its mission includes improving the understanding of global ecosystems and informs solutions to current and future environmental problems at the global scales. The ILTER network covers a wide range of social-ecological conditions and is aligned with the Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) goals and approach. Our aim is to examine and develop the conceptual basis for proposed collaboration between ILTER and PECS. We describe how a coordinated effort of several contrasting LTER site-based research groups contributes to the understanding of ...

Contributors
Maass, Manuel, Balvanera, Patricia, Bourgeron, Patrick, et al.
Created Date
2016