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Social-Ecological Future of the American West Workshop

3 images of Idaho landscapes: sheep in heard, aerial view of Boise, and river scene

Researchers from across the West who work on issues related to sustainability converged at Boise State May 7-10, 2018 for a workshop, “The Social-Ecological Future of the American West.”, hosted by Human-Environment Systems faculty group.

Finding ways to accommodate a growing human footprint while sustaining resilient ecosystems in the American West is a major challenge. Transdisciplinary efforts are urgently needed to understand the interplay between development, food production, climate change, natural resources, and wild flora and fauna. Bringing together researchers and managers across disciplines can generate new knowledge to help solve this problem.

The workshop explored environmental sustainability in the region with the aim of developing effective management strategies. Topics included: the causes and consequences of shifting ecological communities on multi-use landscapes; the sustainability of natural resources amid climate change, human development, and other land-use pressures; and the governance of public lands and goods when considering diverse expectations, values, and priorities.

The workshop also built new collaborative networks and offered an exchange of knowledge and expertise.

The workshop was sponsored by Research and Economic Development at Boise State, the College of Innovation and Design and Idaho EPSCoR.

Workshop participants explain...

Why is Human-Environment Systems science a critical approach to challenges in the West?