. "4 Mechanisms for Developing Initiatives and Sustaining Growth in Earth Surface Processes." Landscapes on the Edge: New Horizons for Research on Earth's Surface. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2010.
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Landscapes on the Edge: New Horizons for Research on Earth’s Surface
Workshops to bring together Earth surface scientists and social scientists to build integrated community approaches, research questions, methodologies, scales of inquiry, and theories for human-landscape systems. Successful, sustained collaborations will allow study of complex mutual interactions between societies and Earth surface systems and will allow response to the challenge of incorporating human behavior in mechanistic models.
Workshops that engage geospatial scientists with Earth surface scientists to examine the integration of existing and emerging geospatial technologies at specific experimental field sites and to process and synthesize remote-sensing data. These data serve as inputs to model development that could eventually extend from local, controlled experimental sites to global models.
Development of community field and modeling centers to acquire the data necessary for new integrative and predictive models that involve multiple stressors within human-dominated landscapes, including social processes that influence those interactions.
Focused field studies in sensitive environments that are determined to be most vulnerable to anthropogenic change, including coastal and urban areas where human populations are concentrated, mountain and polar environments where melting glaciers translate into water resource issues and hazards, and arid and semiarid areas that are increasingly affected by drought and variability in streamflow associated with climate change and expanding urban populations. These studies could take advantage of existing environmental observatories, such as CZOs and LTERs, and develop mechanisms for broad synthesis, as exemplified by the NCEAS.
Collaborative research using engineered landscapes and restoration and redesign projects could provide relatively controlled conditions, including those of time and rate. Such research could improve the fundamental knowledge of processes relevant to a range of environments and problems, such as testing hypotheses about building self-maintaining ecogeomorphic systems. This collaboration could involve engineers and applied practitioners working with Earth surface scientists, which also could serve as a means to transfer scientific knowledge toward societal application.