Addressing the complex and intertwined social and ecological challenges facing society requires a different level of thinking and synthesis. At NCEAS, we believe greater problem solving capacity emanates from collaborative knowledge and response, rather than simply individual research or action. NCEAS is dedicated to conducting ecological and conservation science that is collaborative, open, integrative, relevant, and technologically informed.
For each critical challenge we undertake, a Working Group is formed composed of 10 to 15 experts selected from a range of disciplines, sectors, and geographical regions. They come together to focus and collaborate intensively for a week at a time. Each participant brings his/her data, methods, and experiences for synthesis and analysis, to create new knowledge and understanding. NCEAS’ hospitality, technical infrastructure and support catalyze creative and innovative collaborations.
Everything we do—the knowledge we build and apply, the choices we make, and the actions we take to solve complex socio-ecological and conservation problems—starts with our collaborative approach to synthesis and interdisciplinary teamwork to tackle the challenges we face together.
What Makes NCEAS Working Groups Successful?
The success of the NCEAS approach is evident from the significant impact that synthetic work has had on the fields of ecology and conservation. A good resource for better understanding the correlation between successful collaborations and productivity in scientific syntheses at NCEAS is a paper published by Hampton and Parker, 2011 in BioScience. The heterogeneity of the participants in NCEAS Working Groups is an important factor in their success – mixing genders, disciplines, career stages, sectors, and institutions—Campbell et. al., 2013 evaluated the value and quality of science produced from gender heterogeneous working groups. Find out more about current NCEAS Working Groups.
Planning a Working Group at NCEAS
If you are planning your first Working Group at NCEAS you may find the following links most helpful: