The Abess Center faculty is a truly diverse and interdisciplinary group. Collectively, they offer a rich set of backgrounds from a wide range of programs. Students stand to benefit enormously from their wide-reaching experiences.
The Abess Center draws faculty from across the University to mentor graduate students, to collaborate on research initiatives, and to teach co-listed or Ecosystems Science Policy courses for undergraduates. Whether students have an interest in the scientific, cultural, and economic underpinnings of human-environment interactions, or the psychological, artistic, geographical, or architectural aspects of how people relate to nature, the Abess Center strives to engage them in interdisciplinary explorations with a solid grounding in scientific knowledge production and elements of human decision making, both at the individual and societal levels. Our faculty afford students with a broad perspective on social-ecological systems and pursue diverse research projects--terrestrial, marine, atmospheric, and subterranean. How do people perceive risks of natural hazards like hurricanes? Which strategies for preventing mosquito-borne disease are best from an ecological and public health point of view? How can our built environment be retrofit or designed to adapt to sea level rise? Who will deal with the legal repurcussions should there be a major leak from underground storage sites meant to lock CO2 away and lower greenhouse gas emissions? Is offshore aquaculture a major source of ocean pollution? What are the best strategies for slowing the depredations of global fishing on shark species? How can South Florida best manage its water supplies in the face of climate change? How adaptable are fishers in California to shifts in stocks due to middle and longer scale temperature and current fluctuations in the Pacific Ocean? Abess-affiliated faculty hail from every discipline, seeking answers to some of the most "wicked" questions that face us in the 21st century.
Planetary boundaries according to Rockström et al. 2009 (doi:10.1038/461472a) and Steffen et al. 2015 (doi:10.1126/science.1259855). The green areas represent human activities that are within safe margins, the yellow areas represent human activities that may or may not have exceeded safe margins, the red areas represent human activities that have exceeded safe margins, and the gray areas with red question marks represent human activities for which safe margins have not yet been determined.
Source: Ninjatacoshell, Wikimedia Commons.