SESYNC Funds Twelve New Pursuits and Workshops

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) welcomes twelve new projects starting in 2018. The projects include 1 Workshop, 1 Foundation, and 10 Pursuits. Learn more about each project below.


More information about the newly awarded projects can be found below:

  1. Team Synthesis Project (Graduate-student-led): Revitalizing Mariculture
    Full Title: A socio-environmental approach to improve offshore aquaculture and policy: gulf of Mexico case study
    PIs: Nicole Barbour, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; Ashley Bae, University of California, Santa Cruz; Amanda Guthrie, Virginia Institute of Marine Science & College of William and Mary

  2. Team Synthesis Project (Graduate-student-led): Environmental Justice in Stream Restoration
    Full Title: Is your project just water or just water: environmental justice in stream restoration
    PIs: Lucy Andrews, University of California, Berkeley; Jessica Balerna, University of South Florida
  3. Team Synthesis Project (Graduate-student-led): Climate Gentrification
    Full Title: Pushed to the edge: A socio-environmental analysis of climate gentrification along the East Coast of the United States
    PIs: Kelsea Best, Vanderbilt University; Md Sariful Islam, Virignia Tech; Zeynab Jouzi, North Carolina State University 
  4. Team Synthesis Project (Graduate-student-led): Decision Making for Ecological and Economic Benefits
    Full Title: Using decision making models to design effective policy for natural climate solutions: A case study of agroforestry in West Africa
    PIs: Millie Chapman, University of California, Berkeley; Zoe Hastings, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  5. Team Synthesis Project (Graduate-student-led): Financial Opacity and Forest Governance
    Financial opacity and challenges to forest governance in Indonesia and Malaysia
    PIs: Jonathan Sullivan, University of Michigan; Alice Lépissier, University of California, Santa Barbara


  1. Workshop: Wicked Problems in Food System Solutions
    Full Title: Wicked Problems in Food System Solutions
    PIs: Verena Seufert, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Graham MacDonald, McGill University
  2. Team Synthesis Project: IHOPE
    Full Title: If the past teaches, what does the future learn?
    PIs: Carole Crumley, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Carrie Hritz, SESYNC; and Christian Isendahl, University of Gothenburg
  3. Team Synthesis Project: Agrobiodiversity, Food Security, and Nutrition
    Full Title: Diverse pathways to nourishment: Understanding how agricultural biodiversity enhances food security and nutrition
    PIs: Alder Keleman Saxena, Aarhus University and Garrett Graddy-Lovelace, American University
  4. Team Synthesis Project: Urban-Rural Food Biodiversity
    Full Title: Linkages of agrobiodiversity in urban systems and food-producing landscapes


  • Karl Zimmerer, Pennsylvania State University
  • Karen C. Seto, Yale University

Planning for sustainable water futures in sub-Saharan Africa in the context of the SDGs


  • Charles Vorosmarty, The City College of New York
  • David Hole, Conservation International

Understanding dynamic environmental and socio-economic interactions in food systems to support decision-making towards a sustainable and resilient agriculture


  • Xin Zhang, UMCES
  • Kimberly Pfeifer, Oxfam America
  • Eric Davidson, UMCES

Soil as a social ecological feedback: Mapping the social and ecological processes for agroecosystem resilience in the era of climate change


  • Gabrielle Roesch-McNally, USDA
  • Andrea Basche, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Social-ecological drivers of change over time in urban woodlands


  • Lea Johnson, University of Maryland
  • Michelle Johnson, US Forest Service

Global socioeconomic drivers of insect invasions


  • Andrew Liebhold, US Forest Service
  • Michael Springborn, University of California-Davis

Synergistic interactions of environmental degradation, socio-economic development and infectious disease dynamics in the Amazon region


  • Andres Baeza, Arizona State University
  • Mercedes Pascual, University of Chicago

Modeling risk perception, vector-borne diseases, and environmental integrity: Understanding environmental impacts of policy decisions for vector control


  • Nina Fefferman, University of Tennessee

Microbial disease dynamics, ecosystem processes, and human eutrophication of the environment


  • Elizabeth Borer, University of Minnesota