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Session 10 – 11.15.2010 Worked examples of concepts in human-environment systems

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This session examines empirical examples of several characteristics or potential "emergent properties" of coupled human environment systems. These include 1) Networks and connectedness in CHESs and 2) Transformations of CHESs that involve multiple stressors and responses. In the case of system connectivity, understanding breaks in networks can inform where the system may be vulnerable. Displacement is an important type of breakage in social connectivity that merits particular attention and highlights the idea that connectivity in social systems can be considered a form of social capital. In the case of multiple stressors (including examples of "double exposure") that transform CHESs, a system may have so many components in a state of change that the path forward is noncomputable. Recognizing the unpredictably under such conditions leads to emphasis on developing adaptive capacity in the system. Both of these properties of coupled human environment systems bring focus to environmental justice and the question of "sustaining what for whom?". In this session, worked examples from pastoralists in Africa and displaced populations from the Three Gorges Dam in China provide opportunities to evaluate theoretical concepts with real systems and to form links between theory and practice.
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General discussion
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by KBenessaiah
November 28. 2010
Topic 2: Drivers of displacement and scale
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by mtorres
November 26. 2010
Topic 1: Unequal impacts of large-scale sustainability efforts
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by tschenk
November 17. 2010
Topic 3: Barriers to incorporation of human costs into sustainability
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by Amar
November 15. 2010
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