Issues in Brief, No. 39, August 2020

New Perspectives on the Dynamics of Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CHANS)

By Emily S. Klein and Les Kaufman
August 2020 (8 Pages)
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Research on coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) seeks to holistically understand how social, cultural, economic, and political systems are intricately connected to natural systems. Through an interdisciplinary approach blending natural and social sciences, this research can play a key role in decision-making about current and future challenges at the intersection of people and nature, like food and water security, climate change mitigation, and biodiversity preservation. In this Issues in Brief, Emily S. Klein and Les Kaufman lay out the vision and work of the CHANS program at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, which has combined observation, experiment, modeling, and theory to advance CHANS science around the world over the past decade.

Emily S. Klein is a marine ecologist and a Senior Postdoctoral Associate at the Pardee Center. Les Kaufman is an evolutionary ecologist, a Pardee Center Faculty Associate, and a Professor in the Department of Biology and the Boston University Marine Program (BUMP). Together, they lead the Pardee Center’s CHANS program.