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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #240829

Title: Accelerate synthesis in ecology and environmental sciences

item CARPENTER, STEVE - University Of Wisconsin
item ARMBRUST, VIRGINIA - University Of Washington
item ARZBERGER, PETER - University Of California
item CHAPIN III, F. STUART - University Of Alaska
item ELSER, JAMES - Arizona State University
item HACKETT, EDWARD - Arizona State University
item IVES, ANTHONY - University Of Wisconsin
item KAREIVA, PETER - Nature Conservancy
item LEIBOLD, MATHEW - University Of Austin
item Peters, Debra

Submitted to: Bioscience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2009
Publication Date: 9/1/2009
Citation: Carpenter, S., Armbrust, V., Arzberger, P., Chapin III, F., Elser, J., Hackett, E., Ives, A., Kareiva, P., Leibold, M., Peters, D.C. 2009. Accelerate synthesis in ecology and environmental sciences. Bioscience. 59:699-701.

Interpretive Summary: Synthetic activities that integrate data, concepts or theories in ways that yield new knowledge are needed to advance ecological sciences. Ecology is a sufficiently advanced field that synthesis can now bring new information to bear on pressing ecological problems. This paper describes a suite of synthetic activities that can be used to develop new knowledge and insights, including increased interactions among individuals with different expertise, accessibility to existing datasets, use of new analytical and visualization tools, and improved integration between science and education.

Technical Abstract: Synthesis of diverse knowledge is a central part of all sciences, but especially those such as ecology and environmental sciences which draw information from many disciplines. Research and education in ecology are intrinsically synthetic, and synthesis is increasingly needed to find solutions for environmental challenges. Expansion of the already vast body of relevant knowledge makes synthesis ever more important. To accelerate pure and applied advances in ecology and environmental sciences, this paper discusses existing and new approaches to energize synthesis.