CHANS flows through scientists' effort to save a lake

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The study of coupled of human and natural systems, and the strength it can lend to understanding of some of the world’s most pressing problems, was featured this week in the New York Times.

Jianguo “Jack” Liu was quoted in a story about the threats to a vital fishing lake in Cambodia and scientists’ efforts through modeling to save it.

Below is an excerpt:

The Coupling of People and Nature

Traditionally, ecologists have viewed humans in an ecosystem as something of a nuisance — contaminating samples, skewing data and clouding scientific analyses. “But the human aspect of an ecosystem is crucial,” said Jianguo Liu, who leads the International Network of Research on Coupled Human and Natural Systems, or Chans-net, a network of 1,300 ecologists, economists, and sociologists [as well as other researchers from many disciplines worldwide].

“The central message of Chans is that humans and nature are coupled, just like husband and wife,” says Dr. Liu, director of the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability at Michigan State University. “They interact, work together, and the impacts are not just one way. There are feedbacks.”

You can find the article here.

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