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Kassam, Karim-Aly. 2010. “Coupled Socio-Cultural and Ecological Systems at the Margins: Arctic and Alpine Cases” Frontiers of Earth Science in China, 4(1): 89-98.


Abstract: There is agreement that the most effective response to the unprecedented confluence of issues that face humanity at the dawn of the third millennium, namely, climate change, economic crisis, and growing energy demand is 1) applied interdisciplinary research involving coupled socio-cultural and ecological systems and 2) practical application of knowledge generated by the sciences. Meaningful examination and understanding of coupled-systems emerges from direct engagement with communities that have faced and adapted to dramatic changes. Drawing from a high latitude (Arctic) case and a high altitude (Alpine case), this paper illustrates that the interplay of cultural values, social structures, and ecosystems services facilitate adaptation.