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Socio-Environmental Synthesis Education: Goals, Resources and Tools

June 4 - 5, 2012, Annapolis, MD

Who should attend:  Social scientists, natural scientists, computational scientists, and humanities scholars interested in socio-environmental synthesis education.

Keynote speakers include:
•    Dr. John Erikson, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, the Environmental Program, and the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics,University of Vermont
•    Dr. Chris Boone, School of Human Evolution & Social Change and the School of Sustainability, Arizona State University
•    Dr. Clyde “Kipp” Herreid, Department of Biology, SUNY Buffalo
•    Dr. Nicole Ardoin, School of Education and the Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University
•    Dr. Kate Thompson, CoCo Research Centre, University of Sydney
•    Dr. Stephanie Hampton, National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis, University of California, Santa Barbara
•    Dr. Gerry Learmonth, Department of Systems and Information Engineering, University of Virginia
•    Dr. Tom Langen, Departments of Biology and Psychology, Clarkson University
•    Dr. Paul Torrens, Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland
•    Dr. Walter Boynton, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, UMCES

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis (SESYNC) is the newest of the NSF synthesis centers.  Our mission is to foster the creation of actionable science based on the integration of existing data, models and ideas from the social and natural sciences to inform decisions on the most pressing environmental challenges.  

SESYNC is hosting this workshop to foster the development of educational strategies and tools for improving the ability of students to perform scientific synthesis and for developing socio-environmental synthesis (SES) into learning environments organized around classrooms, degree programs, museums, and the media. We invite you to participate in the founding education workshop for SESYNC.  

During this workshop of approximately 40 attendees, we will discuss the conceptual framework for SES vision and learning goals, and describe tools and strategies that show promise for SES learning. We will also consider future efforts towards development of a SES pedagogy and learning agenda.  Specifically, we will

•    Address the nature of socio-environmental synthesis, describing successful cases of  SES driving innovation in environmental policy
•    Identify key skills and knowledge needed to do SES
•    Identify strategies and tools for developing SES learning units (from short modules to multi-course progressions) and integration of SES units into curricula
•    Identify the attributes of SES that facilitate integrated interdisciplinary teaching and learning in the humanities, and the environmental and social sciences
•    Identify strengths of SES in facilitating learning of diverse student populations
•    Identify challenges for effective SES learning

SESYNC invites interested social and natural scientists and educators to submit a description of their interests in this workshop and / or abstracts for posters (at most one page) related to the main goals of this workshop.  Applications and abstracts will be reviewed by a SESYNC Committee and a subset will be invited to participate in the workshop, subject to meeting capacity.

A small subset of the accepted abstracts may be invited for oral presentations while the rest will have poster presentations during the afternoon of the first day of the workshop.

Travel expenses of invited participants will be covered by SESYNC.

This workshop is intended to be highly interactive and participant driven. The proceedings will be published in a peer-reviewed journal, or as an independent workshop proceeding.

Please submit your description of interests in this workshop and / or poster abstracts in PDF format by April 27, 2012 to: