Translational ecology: A pedagogical framework to integrate natural and social sciences
Society expects that discoveries by environmental scientists will lead to improvements that can sustain natural systems and mitigate the negative impacts of human activities. For this to happen, scientific discoveries must translate to changes in human behavior, policies, and institutions. Yet, ecologists often are unable to convey knowledge effectively to the public or to policymakers. Recognizing this, some scientists now call for development of a "translational ecology" that can engage citizens, stakeholders, and policymakers in actionable ways. Drawing on the expertise of a team that includes ecologists, social scientists, education researchers, science policy specialists, and end users of environmental science, this project seeks to identify the learning processes necessary for graduate students in ecology to become translational scientists, as well as pedagogies suited for training students in this activity.