• A personal note on IGBP and the social sciences

    Humans are an integral component of the Earth system as conceptualised by IGBP. João Morais recalls key milestones in IGBP’s engagement with the social sciences and offers some words of advice for Future Earth.
  • IGBP and Earth observation:
    a co-evolution

    The iconic images of Earth beamed back by the earliest spacecraft helped to galvanise interest in our planet’s environment. The subsequent evolution and development of satellites for Earth observation has been intricately linked with that of IGBP and other global-change research programmes, write Jack Kaye and Cat Downy .
Published: September 29, 2014

Nature interview: IGBP Chair James Syvitski discusses Future Earth

News |

In this month's Nature Climate Change James Syvitski discusses his time as Chair of IGBP during the transition to the new international research initiative Future Earth.

In 2012, Professor James Syvitski became chair of IGBP as the process was accelrating to redevelop the landscape of internationally-coordinated Earth-system research. James Syvitski has led the IGBP Scientific Committee through the transition process.

Future Earth has recently announed its secretariat will be based across five hubs in Tokyo, Montreal, Stockholm, Paris and Boulder. James Syvitski has acted as an advisor to the team in Boulder developing the initiative in the city.

In the interview for Nature Climate Change James Syvitski, Executive Director of the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System
(CSDMS) project based at the University of Boulder Colorado, said, "Future Earth is more than just the merging of three programmes...the plan...is that the synergies between the various disciplines will improve. I think that is beginning to happen."

"The structures and the focus of the new initiative are set out to bring all contributing scientists throughout the world to the same level, so that there will be little difference in the study of environmental change occurring in different regions," he said.

"The global environmental change programmes set out to even the playing field and I think they've accomplished that. For example, IGBP worked to foster interdisciplinary science, such as the role of biogeochemistry in Earth System Science. Future Earth must continue forging new science interactions, in what has become known as transdisciplinarity, moving beyond the natural sciences to forge new research interactions with the social sciences, economics, business and law."

Full interview: (paywall)

Looking forward Nature Climate Change (Published online 25 September 2014) 4, 856–857 (2014) doi:10.1038/nclimate2395

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