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CNH - Dynamics of Coupled Natural & Human Systems

Through this study the research team will develop a better understanding of the processes that link global-scale climate and socioeconomic drivers to regional-scale responses in land use decisionmaking, water quality, and water quantity. We test the hypothesis (among others) that a limitation in any one of the three system-level characteristics (adaptability-sustainability-resilience) will increase system fragility, uncertainty, and risk. The study will be placed in the context of sustainability science with a particular focus on how humans can best adapt in a sustainable manner to climate, socioeconomic, and policy conditions that are changing at multiple spatiotemporal scales. The overarching question of interest concerns the tradeoffs and relations that exist among traditional measures of optimality (e.g., maximizing environmental quality and economic returns) and measures of resilience, adaptability, and sustainability.

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