Speed symposium at #SCBO2016

The Society for Conservation Biology – Oceania section will have its next conference in Brisbane, July 2016. I’m very happy to say that a speed symposium that I have proposed with my incredible colleagues Claudia Benham and Nadine Marshall has been accepted!

It was really encouraging to see quite a large social science presence at the recent international SCB congress, and a growing recognition that both the natural and social sciences are needed to help solve conservation problems. Claudia, Nadine and I wanted to build on this momentum, and to highlight some of the fantastic work currently being done across the Oceania region. Our symposium abstract is below, and you can check out the remainder of the conference program on the website: http://brisbane2016.scboceania.org 

Understanding the human dimensions of environmental problems: connecting the dots through interdisciplinary research

Megan Evans, Australian National University, Claudia Benham, Australian National University and Nadine Marshall, CSIRO

An understanding of both the environmental and human dimensions of complex conservation problems is increasingly seen as necessary for their resolution. For decades now, calls for greater integration of the social sciences into conservation research have been commonplace. Given the urgency of the environmental challenges that we currently face and the role of humans in both driving and mitigating environmental degradation, it is critical to understand and respond to the human dimensions of conservation problems. A broad range of social research methods are available which can provide insights into these complex problems, yet there is often limited understanding of which methods can used, what kind of information can be elicited, and how this can be used to make recommendations for improved conservation management and governance. In this session we explore how the social sciences can be integrated into conservation research agendas, and, and inform on-ground management. The session will showcase a range of social research in the conservation space using a number of disciplinary and methodological approaches, and drawing upon examples from the terrestrial, coastal and marine environments. A key outcome of the symposium will be to enhance understanding of the range of social research and methods that are being applied to complex environmental problems, with the aim of strengthening linkages across disciplines to improve conservation outcomes.

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