IAB Research Project Description

IGERT Global-Local Interactions: Resilience and Adaption of Social-Ecological Systems in a Rapidly Changing North

Credit: Marie Gilbert/IAB information officer

Any and all uses of these images must include photographer credit.

The unprecedented rate and extent of change in the functioning of the Earth System challenge the capacity of society to sustain the desirable features of our planet. To understand these changes, formal graduate training is needed that both integrates social and natural sciences and considers the dynamics of change across temporal and spatial scales. Alaska and the Circumpolar North are particularly appropriate places to train scholars to research the dynamics of complex social-ecological change because of their pronounced rates of climatic, cultural and socio-economic change. The curriculum and research opportunities available through the proposed IGERT will prepare students in the theoretical and applied underpinnings of resilience theory, vulnerability analysis, the emergent field of sustainability science, and institutional and biophysical linkages among local, regional, and global processes. This integrative perspective is poorly developed in graduate education in the U.S. Our proposed IGERT builds on the success of the Resilience and Adaptation Program (RAP) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, IGERT Grant # 114423, which addressed resilience at the regional scale. Our new IGERT will add the following novel features: (1) a focus on global-local linkages that shape sustainability at all scales, (2) a bridging program with the College of Rural and Community Development and its rural campuses that will make this Ph.D. program more accessible to Alaska Native students, and (3) opportunities for graduate students to participate in education and research activities of the up-coming International Polar Year and other international efforts addressing social-ecological resilience.

Project Funding

National Science Foundation
1 Jul 2007 – 1 Jun 2012
IAB Proposal #07-014
UAF Grant #G4193
IAB Project #125

Media Contact

Marie Thoms
Communications/Web Manager
Institute of Arctic Biology
302A Irving I
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000
email: methoms@alaska.edu
phone: 907.474.7412