Transdisciplinary Environmental Science for Society (TESS)
There is a gap between scientific information generated by researchers and the needs of society to address today’s increasingly complex environmental problems. And there has been frustration on both sides: researchers want to see the result of their efforts being used, and decision makers need relevant information to assist in planning and practice.
To help close that gap, UA faculty members Dan Ferguson, Gregg Garfin, Mónica Ramirez-Andreotta and Connie Woodhouse designed the Transdisciplinary Environmental Science for Society (TESS) Program.
TESS equips future generations of researchers, practitioners, political leaders, and educators to actively confront society's most complex environmental challenges.
Science for All Our Sakes
Transdisciplinary environmental research is a problem-solving approach that includes
- A set of research ethics that ensure all stakeholders have equal access to environmental health, knowledge, and resources.
- A systems view of a complex problem and a holistic perspective on potential ways to address challenges.
- Understanding based on reflexive thought and continued questioning of assumptions.
- Moving beyond communicating to raising awareness and empowerment to bring about change.
- Recognition of the value that comes from multiple forms of knowledge.
- Translation of information across disciplinary and stakeholder groups and between science and practice.
- Working cooperatively and effectively within disparate knowledge communities.
TESS is a three-course online program for people interested in the intersection between science and environmental decision making of any sort, from resource management to community and citizen decisions.
Participants who successfully complete each course will receive a digital badge and will be eligible to receive 2 continuing education units (CEUs) per course.
Fee: $500 per course (10% discount available for military and UA faculty, staff and students)
Part 1: Fundamentals of Transdisciplinary Research, July 29-August 25, 2019
This introductory course covers the basic history, core principles and challenges of current U.S. science policy; the role of transdisciplinary environmental research; the range of approaches used to create knowledge and the different sets of values involved in knowledge production; and the value and necessity of collaborative, engaged, inclusive science for solving complex environmental and social problems.
Part 2: Strategies for Practicing Collaborative Research
More information coming soon
Part 3: Communication Skills and Strategies
More information coming soon
UA Faculty Course Designers
TESS is designed and taught by:
- Dan Ferguson, Associate Research Scientist in The University of Arizona's Institute of the Environment, Associate Research Professor in the UA School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and Director of Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) program.
- Gregg Garfin, Associate Professor in climate, natural resources and policy in the University of Arizona’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and deputy director for science translation and outreach in the University’s Institute of the Environment.
- Mónica Ramirez-Andreotta, Assistant Professor of Soil, Water and Environmental Science with a joint appointment in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health’s Division of Community, Environment and Policy at the University of Arizona.
- Connie Woodhouse, Professor in the School of Geography and Development, with joint appointments in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and Geosciences, and faculty affiliations with Institute of the Environment, the Global Change Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, and the Arid Lands Resource Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program.