Transdisciplinary Environmental Science for Society (TESS) Program

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, University of Arizona faculty members Dan Ferguson, Gregg Garfin, Mónica Ramirez-Andreotta and Connie Woodhouse designed the Transdisciplinary Environmental Science for Society (TESS) Program. The following parts have been prepared:

Part 1: Fundamentals of Transdisciplinary Research (October 5 - November 1, 2020)
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: Practicing Collaborative Research (January 25 - February 21, 2021)

This second course focuses on the practical aspects of collaborative research. The course starts with an overview of the process involved in collaborative research. It then turns to the importance of the formation and characteristics of the collaborative research team. Research objectives, and how these are translated to a research plan are covered next. The course ends with tuning a plan to address desired project outcomes. Through this course, students will also develop their own research plan based on an environmental problem that is interesting to them.

Participants have convenient 24/7 access to course materials.

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