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You are here: Home 2010 Weekly Sessions Session 8– 11.01.2010 Emergent properties of coupled human-environment systems (Speaker: B.L. Turner II) Required reading from the Sustainability Science book (Speaker: B.L. Turner II)
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Required reading from the Sustainability Science book (Speaker: B.L. Turner II)

B. L. (Bill) Turner II took his B.A. and M.A. degrees in geography from the University of Texas at Austin in 1968 and 1969 respectively, and his Ph.D. in geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1974. At ASU he is the Gilbert F. White Professor of Environment and Society. Turner came to ASU after 28 years in the Graduate School of Geography, Clark University, where he was Higgins Professor of Environment and Society, served as Director of that School for more than decade, and helped to create and administer the George Perkins Marsh Institute, which engages a range of human-environment problems. He previously held appointments at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Professor Turner is currently engaged in land change science focused especially on deforestation and sustainability in the southern Yucatán. Turner is a recipient of Distinguished Research Honors from the Association of American Geographers (1995) and the Centenary Medal, Royal Scottish Geographical Society (1996), among other honors. He is former Guggenheim Fellow (1981) and Fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (1994). He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1995, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998, and the inaugural class of the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences in 2008. Professor Turner continues to engage in large range of research activities focused on the theme of human-environment relationships. See

3.1 Emergent properties (vulnerability and resilience focus)
'Emergent properties' of a system are attributes of the system that arise from its interactions, and are more than the sum of properties of the individual parts. This chapter addresses a cluster of emergent properties of coupled human-environment systems that are particularly relevant to sustainability: vulnerability and resilience. Also touched on are the place of adaptiveness, threshold effects, and irreversibilities in the vulnerability / resilience perspective. Lacking in this draft, but probably needed in the final version, is a treatment of the emergent properties that are highlighted by viewing coupled human environment systems as complex adaptive systems (CAS). I hope that some of those CAS extensions will emerge in the discussions of this chapter. (Bill Clark)