• 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 .

A conceptual template for integrative human-environment research

Global Environmental Change (2005)
Newell B, Crumley C, Hassan N, Lambin E, Pahl-Wostl C, Underdal A and Wasson R (eds)
Doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2005.06.003
Vol 15; Issue 4; pp. 299-307
This paper resulted from the TOG effort

Knowledge integration, the blending of concepts from two or more disciplines to create innovative new worldviews, is a key process in attempts to increase the sustainability of human activities on Earth. In this paper, we describe a ‘conceptual template’ that can be used to catalyse this process. The template comprises (a) a list of high-level concepts that capture the essential aspects of any significant human–environment problem, plus (b) broad lists of low-level basic concepts drawn from a range of disciplines. Our high-level concepts, which we call ‘conceptual clusters’, are labelled Dynamics & System, Organisation & Scale, Controlling Models, Management & Policy, Adaptation & Learning, and History. Many of the clustered, lower-level concepts are synonyms and thus provide possible connections between disciplines—for this reason we call them ‘nexus concepts’. We suggest that a conceptual template like that presented here can provide strong support to the initial phases of integrative research programs.

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