Edited by Kathleen E. Halvorsen, Chelsea Schelly, Robert M. Handler, Erin C. Pischke and Jessie L. Knowlton
Chapter 13: Understanding household conservation, climate change and the food–energy–water nexus from a transdisciplinary perspective
David Watkins, Rachael Shwom, Chelsea Schelly, Datu B. Agusdinata, Kristin Floress and Kathleen E. Halvorsen
The climate change impact of household food, energy and water consumption is significant and complex, requiring an integrated approach to gain insights to the underlying drivers of behavior and design effective interventions. This chapter describes how a transdisciplinary team – including community-based organizations, government scientists and academic researchers – formed to address this challenge, along with the mixed methodology study they developed to test feedback, messaging and social norms approaches to reducing resource use at the household level. The chapter also conveys some lessons learned in the process. Based on the authors’ experience, successful transdisciplinary research depends on building a team with both the necessary disciplinary expertise and strong interdisciplinary research experience, investing time up front to discuss research challenges and opportunities from multiple perspectives, and developing close partnerships with groups outside of academia who have shared goals and can help provide access to valuable community resources.
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