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K-State Today

July 24, 2015



Several Kansas State University faculty featured in recent international scientific journal

By Taylor Manges

A team of Kansas State University faculty and colleagues in the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Engineering and the College of Agriculture, along with colleagues from other universities, wrote an opinion article that was published in the July 7 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The article, "Opinion: Endogenizing culture in sustainability science research and policy," explains the challenges of developing culture in the complex sustainability equation. The authors suggest adding culture to the equation by using a values-beliefs-norms, or VBN, framework instead of the traditional approach to sustainability, where culture is treated as an outside influence.

The team of co-authors included:

• Lead author Marcellus Caldas, Department of Geography
• Matthew R. Sanderson, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work
• Martha Mather, U.S. Geological Survey, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Division of Biology
• Melinda D. Daniels, Stroud Water Research Center, Avondale, Pennsylvania
• Jason S. Bergtold, Department of Agricultural Economics
• Joseph Aistrup, Department of Political Science, Auburn University
• Jessica L. Heier Stamm, Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering
• David Haukos, U.S. Geological Survey, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Division of Biology
• Kyle Douglas-Mankin, Everglades Program Team, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Boynton Beach, Florida
• Aleksey Y. Sheshukov, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
• David Lopez-Carr, Department of Geography, University of California

Collaborative research at K-State, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, integrates multiple disciplines with the goal of understanding how water systems in the Great Plains are affected by human land and water use, as well as how humans value the components of an aquatic ecosystem, Martha Mather said.

"Our recent article, 'Opinion: Endogenizing culture in sustainability science research and policy,' addresses one aspect of this essential human-natural system integration, the role of human culture in derailing or achieving sustainability," Mather said.

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