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May 17, 2017

So you think you can couple systems? Reviewing our research proposals

Killian Farrell Last week’s class marked the final meeting for our course MEES620: Coupled Human and Natural Systems. Our class has gone through many different topics related to coupled systems, from resource assessment to cultural views of nature. This was reflected in the many topics and research approaches in the proposals reviewed on this last […]

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May 10, 2017

Forests, floods, and fisheries… Houston, do we have a problem here?

Veronika Leitold Last week, in our Coupled Human and Natural Systems course, we continued the presentations of our final class projects: individual research proposals to study a coupled human and natural system of our choice. The overarching theme of the presentations was natural resource use and management approached from the various angles of sustainability, stewardship […]

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May 3, 2017

Wanted – Single natural system seeks industrious human system from which to couple

David Miles It’s hard for a natural system to find a good partner in today’s world; there are so many options. Even when a natural and human system do manage to couple, their relationship is often troubled and murky at best with so many questions left unanswered. Our class found this to be true as […]

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April 26, 2017

Dogfish, farmland and toast – what’s culture got to do with them?

Alec Armstrong, David Miles Nature is part or product of culture, as our class discussed last week. When we say “nature” we invoke some mixture of values, knowledge, experiences, and stories to order our relationships with things in our universe. But how can culture be described and measured? This week we discussed two anthropological approaches […]

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April 19, 2017

Entangled with the natural world: Nature seen through culture’s eyes

Krystal Yhap, Rebecca Wenker In Ecuador, a young girl is studying marine life with artisanal fishermen. While on the beach, she found herself mesmerized by the rippling waves of the sea. Amidst the waves she notices a large red fish flapping to shore. A crowd surrounded this mysterious fish, intrigued about its possible identity. The […]

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April 12, 2017

To get the grade: Collaborate! Stakeholder engagement and the missing link between research and action

Veronika Leitold, Alec Armstrong An international activist, a fly fisherman, an NGO manager, a food & beverage consultant, a water quality researcher and an indigenous elder are all gathered around a table… Why? They have come together to make a decision: either approve or veto the construction of a new hydroelectric dam upstream in the […]

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April 5, 2017

Countdown to elevator pitch 3…2…1 “GO”

Wilmelie Cruz Marrero Imagine you are running to an elevator when you suddenly realize the top expert in your field is there. How can you catch her/his attention? How can you compress all of your knowledge and effectively communicate your research? What about a 3 minute elevator pitch? How can we reduce our 320 some […]

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March 29, 2017

Mediated realities and fish eyebrows: how we can effectively communicate science

Killian Farrell, Kelly Hondula So you’ve just finished some amazing research that will bring great advancements in your field and opens many new avenues of study. This research could have big implications for how the people in your research area live their lives, but no one really knows about it (or wants to give you […]

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March 15, 2017

Fresh fruit, virtual land, and conference ribbons: what can we learn from a network perspective?

Kelly Hondula, Natalie Yee After learning about how to construct and interpret social network data sets the previous week, the MEES Coupled Human and Natural Systems class spent a week delving into understanding the types of questions that social and natural scientists investigate using network analysis. We explored social networks of communication, global trade networks, […]

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March 8, 2017

Social Networking: Beyond the Likes and Shares

Natalie Yee and Rachel Eberius Social networks are not just places where we post photos or share updates on our lives. They can be described more broadly to include a series of social interactions and personal relationships. We explored this other definition in class as it related to our work and personal interactions within the […]

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