Training in Open Science Enables Synthetic Science within the Gulf Research Program
Eric Ward epitomizes a synthesis scientist. By combining ecology, statistics, mathematical modeling, and even economics, he brings together multiple disciplines to study how ecosystems in the Northwestern U.S. respond to environmental change.
A quantitative ecologist and fisheries expert, Ward co-leads our Gulf of Alaska Portfolio Effects working group. His team is using novel methods to improve understanding of the effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and other environmental changes on aquatic species and fisheries.
Recording-setting abundance of some salmon species in the North Pacific may be having negative impacts on other salmon species, namely the prized Chinook. This is the first study to emerge from our partnership project The State of Alaska Salmon and People (SASAP).
Food demand in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to triple by 2050. This puts Sustainable Development Goals 2 (ending hunger) and 15 (protect terrestrial ecosystems) at odds as conversion to agriculture is the primary driver of deforestation. Working in Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania and building on previous efforts by the International Institute for Environment and Development, this group combines spatial and political economy analysis to better reconcile these competing goals.
Despite improvements over the last 50 years, the Central Appalachian Coalfields region of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, remain among the most impoverished areas in the United States. Once strongly focused on mining, forestry, agriculture and heavy/chemical industry, the region is well-positioned to embrace a vibrant, diverse economy including manufacturing, service industries, renewable energy development, tourism, and a revived forest products industry. This project will investigate how regional economic development in the Central Appalachian Coalfields can jointly benefit human well-being and environmental sustainability.
Infectious diseases at the livestock/wildlife interface threaten the health and well-being of wildlife, livestock, and human livelihoods. Using data from the recent Mongolian outbreak of peste des petits ruminants (PPR) that killed tens of thousands of livestock and more than half of the endangered saiga antelope population, the project will look at the potential for participatory epidemiology, or bottom-up surveillance by the pastoralists themselves, as the most effective way to prevent future outbreaks.
While source water protection programs are often implemented in response to hydrological shifts caused by climate change and land degradation, there is little empirical evidence about how these activities affect the quantity of water downstream. This project will investigate to what extent, and under what circumstances, source water protection activities can produce meaningful baseflow, groundwater recharge, and flood impacts.