The Long View of Sustainability Science: Scholars, Society, and Action

Authors: Corrine N. Knapp, Western Colorado University, Robin S. Reid*, Colorado State University, Julia Klein, Colorado State University, Maria E. Fernandez-Gimenez, Colorado State University, Kathleen Galvin, Colorado State University
Topics: Sustainability Science, Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Environmental Science
Keywords: Mountains, transdisciplinary, science, stakeholders
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Stones Throw 1 - Granite, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Transdisciplinary approaches are an increasingly popular response for understanding and responding to complex sustainability problems (e.g., biodiversity loss and climate change). In our definition, transdisciplinary work brings together scholars with other members of society to discover, learn about and solve complex problems. Current transdisciplinary work has a long history of efforts to co-produce knowledge and action through collaborative adaptive management, knowledge integration, participatory action research, and indigenous/local knowledge. Other parallel approaches include citizen science, translational science, evidence-based practice, and linking knowledge to action. There is often a lack of interaction between these parallel but distinct approaches, and the researchers who practice them, due in part to different disciplinary roots, problem arenas, and time periods in which these approaches emerged. In this presentation, we consider the connections, complementarities and contradictions among these distinct but related approaches to co-producing knowledge and action through scholar-stakeholder partnerships, with a particular focus on work done in mountain and dryland systems around the world. We end our review by describing the strengths and weaknesses of each parallel approach, and strategies that we can all use to combine approaches to build more integrative and effective transdisciplinary work.

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