Science and socio-ecological resilience: examples from the Arizona-Sonora Border

Publicado en Environmental Science & Policy, v. 11(3):272-284

Morehouse, B. J., Ferguson, D., Owen, G., Browning-Aiken, A., Wong-Gonzales, P., Pineda, N., and Varady, R. G.

Año de publicación 2007

Institute for the Study of Planet Earth, University of Arizona, 715 N. Park Ave., 2nd Floor, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, University of Arizona, Haury Bldg., Room 316, Tucson, AZ 85721-0030, USA
Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, University of Arizona, 803 East First Street, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A.C. (CIAD), Carretera a la Victoria km. 0.6, C.P. 83000, Apdo. Postal #1735, Hermosillo, Sonora, México, Mexico
El Colegio de Sonora, Calle Obregón 54 Col Centro, Hermosillo, Sonora, México, Mexico



The ideas for this paper were generated during two workshops funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation under its Sustainability Under Uncertainty Program, NSF Grant #SES0345944. T

Proyecto CRN3056


The Greater Sonoran Ecoregion (GSE), spanning the U.S.-Mexico border between Arizona and Sonora, faces myriad biophysical and social challenges to maintaining long-term socio-ecological resilience. Concepts of socio-ecological resilience and transformability provide a foundation for examining interactions between society and nature, and between society and science. An analysis of three case studies reveals that the GSE is becoming ever more vulnerable to systemic changes that will have serious consequences for the environment and society alike. While much more knowledge needs to be developed in both the biophysical and social sciences, there is an equally pressing need to bring social values and practices more closely into alignment with the resources and limitations of the coupled system itself. Improvements in science&ndashsociety interactions are also needed. Threats to the GSE can only be addressed through long-term programs having the ultimate goal of preserving the system's human and ecological integrity.