Handbook of Research methods and Applications in Environmental Studies
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Handbook of Research methods and Applications in Environmental Studies

Edited by Matthias Ruth

This volume presents methods to advance the understanding of interdependencies between the well-being of human societies and the performance of their biophysical environment. It showcases applications to material and energy use; urbanization and technological transition; economic growth and social vulnerabilities; development and governance of social and industrial networks; the role of history, culture, and science itself in carrying out analysis and guiding policy; as well as the role of theory, data, and models in guiding decisions.
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Chapter 13: Linking environmental and economic frameworks to model technology transitions

Randall Jackson, Christa Court and Hodjat Ghadimi


As the world focus on relationships among physical, economic, and social systems sharpens, models that integrate two or more of these systems grow in importance. At the national level in the United States (US), recent decades have seen evidence of the increasing emphasis on linked problem domains within federal agency programs and initiatives. The National Research Council established the Committee on Human Dimensions of Global Change in 1989 with support from other agencies, and numerous related federal agency programs and initiatives have been developed since then by agencies, including: the US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) program, which aims to improve economic, environmental, and social conditions in the US and globally; National Science Foundation programs such as the Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (NSF-SEES) program intended ‘to advance science, engineering, and education to inform the societal actions needed for environmental and economic sustainability and human well-being’; and the Environment, Society, and the Economy initiative (NSF-ESE), which seeks to ‘encourage productive interdisciplinary collaborations between the geosciences and the social, behavioral, and economic sciences’.

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