Finally, we're featuring resilient social-ecological systems as our Emerging Ethical Dilemma and Policy Issues in Science and Technology which earned around 5% of the total votes. Below we've provided more information about this topic to serve as a resource to students, educators, journalists, policy makers, and concerned citizens.

Resilient social-ecological systems

The relationships between humans and their environment are becoming increasingly interconnected. With a global population well over 7 billion and the desire for space in industrialized, sprawling areas on the rise, previously undisturbed ecosystems are now adapting to different social factors. While ecological resilience, or the ability of an ecosystem to respond to a natural disturbance such as earthquake or flood, has been better understood, the resiliency of a social-ecological system presents new problems for scientists and policymakers.

resiliant social-ecological systems

These complex and adaptive social-ecological systems are marked by regularly interacting biophysical and social factors, and have largely been excluded from studies that examine resiliency. Mainstream ecology often ignored humans in their studies, and social scientists rarely considered the environment, instead limiting their scope to humans. While fields like environmental ethics, political ecology, and ecological economics have tried to remedy this, the lack of research has made it difficult to explore issues of government accountability in building infrastructure that will facilitate better resiliency. As the scholarship increases at academic institutions, more news stories will discuss the contemporary impacts Read on for some background information on the science and emerging policy issues as these ecological systems become more prominent.

Scales and Models in Social-Ecological Systems

Background on the “BioEconomy,” the “Biosphere,” and Ecosystem Resilience

The Ethics of Social-Ecological Systems


Network and Political Responses to Social-Ecological Systems