Navigating the perfect storm: research strategies for socialecological systems in a rapidly evolving world

Dearing, John A., Bullock, Seth, Contanza, Robert, Dawson, Terry P., Edwards, Mary E., Poppy, Guy M. and Smith, Graham (2012) Navigating the perfect storm: research strategies for socialecological systems in a rapidly evolving world. Environmental Management, 49, (4), 767-775. (doi:10.1007/s00267-012-9833-6).


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The ‘Perfect Storm’ metaphor describes a combination of events that causes a surprising or dramatic impact. It lends an evolutionary perspective to how socialecological
interactions change. Thus, we argue that an improved understanding of how social-ecological systems have evolved up to the present is necessary for the modelling,
understanding and anticipation of current and future
social-ecological systems. Here we consider the implications
of an evolutionary perspective for designing research
approaches. One desirable approach is the creation of multi-decadal records produced by integrating palaeoenvironmental,
instrument and documentary sources at multiple spatial scales. We also consider the potential for improved analytical and modelling approaches by developing system dynamical, cellular and agent-based models, observing complex behaviour in social-ecological systems against which to test systems dynamical theory, and drawing better lessons from history. Alongside these is the need to find more appropriate ways to communicate complex systems, risk and uncertainty to the public and to

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1007/s00267-012-9833-6
ISSNs: 0364-152X (print)
1432-1009 (electronic)
Related URLs:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Divisions : Faculty of Social and Human Sciences > Geography and Environment > Palaeoenvironment Laboratory
ePrint ID: 337087
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
15 March 2012Published
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2012 16:28
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:26

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