Rinku Roy Chowdhury completed her bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Environmental Science at Wellesley College, a master's degree in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development at the University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. in Geography at Clark University. Before returning to Clark in 2015, she taught geography at Indiana University at Bloomington and co-directed the Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change (ACT). Prior to that she was a faculty member in the University of Miami’s Department of Geography and International Studies and the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. Current Research Roy Chowdhury's research focuses on the institutional, ecological and spatial diversity of human-environment interactions in forest-agricultural mosaics (Mexico), urbanizing ecosystems (multiple sites in the U.S.), and coastal mangrove vulnerability to anthropogenic and climate change (the Americas and South Asia). She is particularly interested in linking theoretical, methodological and field-based approaches from the social and ecological sciences to understand smallholder land and agribiodiversity management, how institutional structures and local agency interact to shape landscapes, and the evolution of adaptive strategies in the face of climate and political-economic change. She is active in the U.S. Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network (primarily affiliated with the Florida-Coastal Everglades and Baltimore Ecosystem Study sites) and as a member of the Global Land Project's scientific steering committee.
A December article in the journal Science distills for the scientific community the most salient and novel findings, messages and policy options of the Global Assessment Report, which was approved by representatives of the 132 member Governments of IPBES in May last year. It emphasizes five priority interventions ("levers") and eight leverage points for action to address these indirect drivers of social and economic systems, where they can make the greatest difference. Several GLP Fellows, SSC Members and GLP members were authors of the paper, which is open access.
A new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the summary of which was approved at the 7th session of the IPBES Plenary, meeting last week (29 April – 4 May) in Paris, identifies changes in land and sea use as the most significant direct driver of changes in nature.
This recent article in Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (COSUST) was written by members of the GLP community for an upcoming GLP Special Issue in COSUST. The paper argues that normative positions are increasingly required of sustainability science and lays out principles that served to guide the themes and organization of the 4th GLP Open Science Meeting.
A grand, integrated theory of land system change remains elusive. Yet, this paper shows that middle-range theories – defined as contextual generalizations that describe chains of causal mechanisms explaining a well-bounded range of phenomena, as well as the conditions that trigger, enable, or prevent these causal chains –, provide a path towards generalized knowledge of land systems. This knowledge can support progress towards sustainable social-ecological systems.