Shannon H. Rogers attended the Living on Earth III (LOE III) workshop from October 23-26th in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. This workshop was hosted by the University of the Virgin Islands and sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Shannon was one of three New Hampshire scholars nominated to participate in this ongoing endeavor to address the need for effective integration of processes linking scientific knowledge and analytical approaches in social-ecological systems (SES) research. Several goals of the workshop were building science and research capacity in sustainability science and coupled human-natural/socio-ecological systems science across EPSCoR jurisdictions and facilitating the formalization and functionality of a LOE-SES scientific network that will promote cutting-edge and transformative science ideas.
LOE III ran for four days, during which the first day was devoted to strengthening participant understanding of SES science via participation in an Experiential Social Learning interactive field exercise. The second and third days of the workshop were devoted to collaborative and collective study and discourse of the four focal core themes of the workshop. The fourth day was devoted to participatory workshop synthesis, finalizing the scientific network formation, and evaluating near-term goals and next steps for the LOE group of scientists across all EPSCoR jurisdictions. During days 2 through 4, a series of facilitated collaborative exercises were conducted strengthening the participant integration and immersion in the themes of the workshop, as well as facilitating integrative synthesis and cross-pollination of ideas at the final workshop day. A resolution to formalize a Social-Ecological Network among EPSCoR jurisdictions was drafted.