If sustainability is understood to mean the non-destructive co-existence of human society with the natural environment, then we need to understand and work on both parts of the equation, i.e. the reduction in destructive behaviors and the preservation of functioning ecosystems. We propose to use the Scripps Coastal Reserve as a venue to exploit the many disciplines within UCSD that include sustainable environments as an underlying theme in a comprehensive and effective training and outreach program that will lead to a reversal in the ongoing decline of the Reserve through campus and community engagement. For years the Scripps Coastal Reserve (SCR) has been a site for research and teaching in many disciplines, including marine biology and ecology, coastal geology, wave energetics, terrestrial restoration ecology, pollination biology, etc. It is an ideal venue to study the effectiveness of various approaches to environmental sustainability, including those which merge various disciplines that are the strengths of this campus, including: marine and terrestrial ecology; environmental biology and planning; science communication and policy studies. Here we have an opportunity and a need for testing ideas at the research level, using the best results in training students, and applying these two to public outreach in the cause of an urgent need for action, all with measurable outcomes.
Group page: RESEARCH TEAM: Nature Reserves and the city: Socio-technical challenges in the stewardship of urban-ecological systems (Mentor: Isabelle Kay; Research Team Supporter: Paul Dayton)