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Understanding of the links between coral reef ecosystems, the goods and services they provide to people, and the wellbeing of human societies.


Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

Examining the multi-scale dynamics of reefs, from population dynamics to macroevolution


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Coral Reef Studies

From 2005 to 2022, the main node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies was headquartered at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland (Australia)

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On the application of theories of judgement and decision making to the human dimensions of environmental change


Wednesday 11th of March 2015 – 16:00 to 17:00 hrs

Building 19 (Kevin Stark Research Building) Room #106 (upstairs), JCU, Townsville
Prof Terre Satterfield, University of British Columbia
Prof Terre Satterfield, University of British Columbia

Abstract: Most researchers addressing ecosystem services or the human dimensions of conservation more broadly are interested in how people make decisions about and respond to environmental change. Perhaps the biggest gains have been made with regard to our understanding of collective decisions (governing the commons), particularly in reference to governance, and the resilience and vulnerability of human communities. Less clear is how we might anticipate behavioural response to environmental change, what changes we value or reject as they are linked to specific marine- or sea-scape features, and how we might address tradeoffs across changes and policy decisions. This exploratory paper considers four insights from theories of judgment and decision making pertaining to intuitive judgment, constructed preferences and valuation, taboo tradeoffs, and structured decision-making. Each will be considered as a means for better addressing questions of what environmental changes we value, valuation methods for characterizing these, and how we might better link decisions and choices to spatially specific environmental qualities. Empirical work will be drawn from cases in British Columbia, and some survey work.

Bio: Terre Satterfield is an interdisciplinary social scientist; professor of culture, risk and the environment; and director (on leave 2014-2015) of the University of British Columbia’s Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. Her research concerns human behaviour in the context of risk assessment, environmental policy and decision-making. She studies natural resource controversies; the perceived risk of new technologies and their demographic and socio-political antecedents; vulnerability and risk; and environmental values as they pertain to cultural ecosystem services and the human dimensions of conservation. Her work has been published in journals such as: Nature; Environmental Science and Technology; Risk Analysis, PLOS One; Global Environmental Change; Ecological Applications, Conservation Biology; Ecology and Society; Journal of Environmental Management; Biosciences; Society and Natural Resources; Land Economics; Science and Public Policy; and Ecological Economics. Her books include: The Anatomy of a Conflict: Emotion, Knowledge and Identity in Old Growth Forests; What’s Nature Worth? (with Scott Slovic); and The Earthscan Reader in Environmental Values (with Linda Kalof). She has received awards for three of her published papers and her book Anatomy of a Conflict. Her research has been been supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. National Institute of Health, the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada, the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Study, Environment Canada, and the World Health Organization, among other funding agencies. She has chaired or co-chaired 16 PhD students and eight Masters students, currently supervises 11 graduate students, and 3 post-doctoral fellows.


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