sustainability

Dec. 6, 2016

Global sustainability is a demanding taskmaster in the research world because achieving sustainability requires everything to be understood simultaneously. Blind spots can mean missing critical opportunities to affect positive change.

shadow

June 16, 2016

China’s massive investment to mitigate the ecosystem bust that has come in the wake of the nation’s economic boom is paying off. An international group of scientists finds both humans and nature can thrive – with careful attention.

shadow

 In the media

March 18, 2016

China’s sweeping program to restore forests across the country is working. 

The vast destruction of China’s forests, leveled after decades of logging, floods and conversion to farmland, has become a story of recovery, according to the first independent verification published in today’s Science Advances by Michigan State University (MSU) researchers.

shadow

Feb. 9, 2016

No longer satisfied to be washed out by epic seas and vast oceans, the world’s lakes, rivers, streams, canals, reservoirs and other land-locked waters continue a push to be recognized – and properly managed – as a global food security powerhouse.

In an article today by Environmental Reviews, authors, which include six who are either currently affiliated with Michigan State University (MSU) and/or are alumni, offers the first global review of the value of inland fish and fisheries.

shadow

Perhaps the most revelatory lesson from pandas and people is that the lessons hold even without pandas.

The truths learned from 20 years in Wolong resonate in other parts of the world, even if the particulars are different. Consider Nepal: Benign pandas inspire adoration, while Nepal’s tigers have their own fans, but with an element of fear.  Pandas, after all, eat only bamboo. Tigers, on occasion, attack people.

shadow

Words that describe the Wolong Nature Reserve:  Remote. Rural. Rustic.

Global.

Yep. Global works. Understanding how the flora and fauna in Wolong coexists with the people who live there offers a model with how that web of connection spans the globe.

In today’s world of hyper connectivity, “remote” isn’t so much anymore. Let’s talk about the pandas themselves: Between 2004 and 2010 alone, 63 Wolong pandas have been loaned to zoos in China and throughout the globe (you can see them in Washington, DC, and San Diego, CA). 

shadow

Elegant policy carefully informed by good interdisciplinary science sounds like a dream ending, right?

Think again.

Wolong has taught us even successful policy really is just a lovely introduction to a new chapter of a coupled human and natural system. The real test comes in sticking with that situation to carefully monitor and continuing the research. It needs to be just the beginning of holistic relationship. 

shadow

Understanding coupled human and natural systems is key to sustainability – and holds the promise of recovery – from natural disasters like earthquakes to the ecological affronts of mismanagement and exploitation.

shadow
shadow