Photo: Antonio Castro


This is an interdisciplinary group working to understand and compare the social-ecological dynamics causing and caused by water scarcity in three very different watersheds.

WaterSES incorporates three place-based pilot study areas – arid southern Spain, the south-central Great Plains of Oklahoma (US), and the Portneuf Valley of Idaho (US), that have different climates, water needs and socio-ecological dynamics, but are all experiencing new regional, societal demands for limited water resources.

The goal of this working group is to understand the socio-ecological systems dynamics in these watersheds, and how such dynamics can be influenced by water scarcity and conflicting local and regional water needs. We will use an ecosystem services framework to a) characterize the coupled human-nature interactions and derived societal impacts of each social-ecological system, b) quantify the biophysical capacity to supply water-related ecosystem services, c) characterize the societal demand for water-related ecosystem services, d) explore trade-offs and synergies between supply of and demand for ecosystem services, and f) engage the general public and institutional and political dimensions to propose solutions for sustainable water use.

Members of our trans-disciplinary team have backgrounds in ecology, hydrology, political science, sociology, physical and human geography, history, public policy, urban planning, computer sciences, communication and visualization.

Led by:

Antonio J. Castro (Social-Ecological Research Labexternal link, Idaho State University, US), Caryn C. Vaughn (Stream Ecology Labexternal link, University of Oklahoma, US) and Colden V. Baxter (Stream Ecology Centerexternal link, Idaho State University, US)

Printable version

2016-09-29 Capito admin

PECS - Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society

Stockholm Resilience Centre

Stockholm University
SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Visiting address: Kräftriket 2


The Program on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS), is a new initiative jointly sponsored by ICSU and UNESCO. It aims to integrate research on the stewardship of social–ecological system and the relationships among natural capital, human wellbeing, livelihoods, inequality and poverty.