Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Integrating Social Science into the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network: Social Dimensions of Ecological Change and Ecological Dimensions of Social Change

Author(s):

Charles L. Redman
Lauren H. Kuby
Lauren H. Kuby

Year:

2004

Publication type:

Miscellaneous Publication

Primary Station(s):

Northern Research Station

Source:

Ecosystems. 7: 161-171.

Description

The integration of the social sciences into long-term ecological research is an urgent priority. To address this need, a group of social, earth, and life scientists associated with the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network have articulated a conceptual framework for understanding the human dimensions of ecological change for the LTER Network. This framework explicitly advocates that what is often divided into "natural" and human systems be considered a single, complex social-ecological system (SES). In this paper, we propose a list of core social science research areas, concepts, and questions; identify the need for multiscale investigatory frameworks crucial for implementing integrated research; and suggest practical approaches for integration. In sum, this paper is a general outline for empirical and cross-site research projects where investigators agree that bringing together social, biological, and earth scientists can lead to synthetic approaches and a unified understanding of the mechanisms regulating SES. Although the motivation for this goal is specific to the LTER Network and similar projects, we believe that the issues and ideas presented here are widely applicable to other interdisciplinary SES studies.

Citation

Redman, Charles L.; Grove, J. Morgan; Kuby, Lauren H. 2004. Integrating Social Science into the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network: Social Dimensions of Ecological Change and Ecological Dimensions of Social Change. Ecosystems. 7: 161-171.

Publication Notes

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/21288