Theoretical Basis


The central hypothesis of this interdisciplinary research is that management of agroecosystems that integrate natural and social capital will be the most effective method of restoring ecological function in watersheds while maintaining productivity and economic viability of local communities. (USDA Water Quality & NSF Biocomplexity Planning Grant)

Characterize and link social and agricultural intensification at multiple scales (headwaters to entire watershed) of biocomplexity within the Sugar Creek Watershed; Compare the underlying causes of intensification of contrasting farming systems within and across sub-basins and at varying scales.(NSF Biocomplexity)

Associations between land use and bacterial contamination can be made based on bacterial indicator densities and host source diversity, and adaptive land management, based on "hot spots" of contamination, can be encouraged based on community knowledge and active participation in decision making.(NRI Pathogen Transport)

Place-based educational opportunities that incorporate inquiry and interactive learning strategies are effective at increasing student understanding and performance in traditional academic subjects (e.g., STEM) as well as fostering stewardship of natural resources. (NSF GK-12 grant)