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domingo, 29 de septiembre de 2013

nsf.gov National Science Foundation - National Science Foundation awards $19.4 million for research on coupled natural and human systems

Studies will lead to new understanding of how humans and the environment interact.-
Photo of northern forests in New England.
NSF CNH scientists will look at the ecosystem resilience of northern forests in New England.
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September 25, 2013
How and why is tea quality vulnerable to changing climate conditions, and how do these changes affect farming communities and land-use strategies?
Researchers funded by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH) program will use tea production and consumption systems as a case study to explore the complex interactions among human and natural systems.
They will look at how links among tea agroecosystems, markets and farmers are affected by increased climate variability and resulting socioecological feedbacks.
The project is one of 21 funded this year by NSF's CNH program, which addresses how humans and the environment interact. Total funding for the 2013 awards is $19.4 million.
NSF's Directorates for Biological Sciences; Geosciences; and Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences support research conducted through the CNH program. CNH is part of NSF's Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability investment.
"An important application of advancing the understanding of natural and human systems is improving our ability to predict the environmental and social consequences of alternative policies for resource use, and our chances of choosing wisely for the future," says Peter Alpert, CNH program director in the Directorate for Biological Sciences.
"This year's CNH awards look into the past, across the present and into some of our most productive agricultural systems to make these scientific advances."
Research funded by CNH awards will provide a better understanding of natural processes and cycles and of human behavior and decisions--and how and where they intersect.
New CNH awardees will conduct research on such subjects as an ecological trap for parasites and the parasites' effects on human disease risk, balancing water needs and water uses for humans and nature, and building a socioecological understanding of tropical reforestation.
Also being studied are pastoralism in transition: linking localized interactions and system behavior to evaluate socio-ecological vulnerability, water availability and arid land management, and coupling burning practices, vegetation cover change and fire regimes to determine fire-emission dynamics.
Grantees will look at subjects as diverse as disturbance interactions and ecosystem resilience in the northern forests of New England, the effects of China's Grain-for-Green Program in rural China and a socio-ecological analysis of nitrogen in agricultural systems of the Upper Midwest.
"This year's CNH awards examine the way in which people deal with natural environmental processes in a broad range of settings, including cities, agricultural regions, arid lands and forests," says Tom Baerwald, CNH program director in NSF's Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences.
"Findings from these projects will enhance our understanding of, and increase our capabilities to improve, environmental quality and the well-being of people."
CNH scientists are asking questions such as: how are land-use policies, agricultural intensification, habitat fragmentation and socio-ecological resilience linked in a tropical biological corridor?
And how can the United States better plan for more sustainable agriculture and development of towns and cities by learning from the ancient land-use histories of Neolithic sites in Spain and Italy?
"In CNH, we consider humans and our environment as one interconnected system," says Sarah Ruth, program director in NSF's Directorate for Geosciences.
"Each of these new projects brings together teams of researchers from across the social and natural sciences to help us better understand how this complex system functions, and ultimately, how we may best manage our finite environmental resources."
2013 Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH) Awards
Brian Allan, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign,
Heidi Asbjornsen, University of New Hampshire,
Ana Barros, Duke University,
C. Michael Barton, Arizona State University,
Michael Blum, Tulane University,
Aram Calhoun, University of Maine,
Arianne Cease, Arizona State University,
Robin Chazdon, University of Connecticut;
Jiquan Chen, University of Toledo,
Melinda Daniels, Kansas State University,
Jennifer Dunne, Santa Fe Institute,
Paul Evangelista, Colorado State University,
Elizabeth King, University of Georgia,
Kimberly Kirner, California State University-Northridge,
Paul Laris, California State University-Long Beach,
Colin Orians, Tufts University,
Judith Perlinger, Michigan Technological University,
Erin Simons-Legaard, University of Maine,
Conghe Song, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill,
Diana Stuart, Michigan State University,
Lisette Waits, University of Idaho,
Media Contacts Cheryl Dybas, NSF (703) 292-7734 cdybas@nsf.gov
Related WebsitesNSF Discovery Article: Cooking Up Clean Air in Africa:
NSF Discovery Article: Studying Nature's Rhythms: Soundscape Ecologists Spawn New Field:
NSF News Release: New Understanding of How Humans and the Environment Interact:
NSF News: National Science Foundation Awards Grants for Research on Coupled Natural and Human Systems:
NSF Publication: Discoveries in Sustainability Science:
NSF News: Human Disease Leptospirosis Identified in New Species, the Banded Mongoose, in Africa: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=127914
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2012, its budget was $7.0 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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 The National Science Foundation (NSF)
Photo of a tea plantation
CNH grantees will study climate effects on tea plantations.
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The U.S. Upper Midwest is the subject of a CNH grant to research nitrogen in agricultural systems.
The U.S. Upper Midwest is the subject of a CNH grant to research nitrogen in agricultural systems.
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Photo of highlands of Ethiopia
Assessing the vulnerability of provisioning services in the highlands of Ethiopia is a CNH project.
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Photo of plain field in Kansas
CNH researchers will study water supply and water quality on the often-dry U.S. Great Plains.
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Photo of tropical forest
Building a socioecological understanding of tropical reforestation is the focus of a CNH award.
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The National Science Foundation (NSF)
Guillermo Gonzalo Sánchez Achutegui

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