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Individual Highlight

Environmental Futures Research: Experiences, Approaches, and Opportunities

Photo of Environmental Futures Word Cloud. David Bengston, USDA Forest ServiceEnvironmental Futures Word Cloud. David Bengston, USDA Forest ServiceSnapshot : A Forest Service scientist organized a conference session that explored the trans-disciplinary field of futures research and its application to long-range environmental analysis, planning, and policy. He discussed how futures research can offer perspectives and methods that help researchers, decision-makers, and other stakeholders explore alternative futures and gain environmental foresight. Futures research holds great potential for developing the forward thinking needed to meet environmental challenges of the 21st century.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Bengston, David N. 
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2013
Highlight ID : 501

Summary

A Forest Service scientist organized a session at the 2011 International Symposium on Society and Resource Management that explored the applications of futures research to long-range environmental analysis, planning, and policy. Futures research began in the post-World War II era and has emerged as a mature research field. But most futures research is invisible to the scholarly community and the public because it takes place in corporations, the military, and the intelligence community and is therefore proprietary or confidential. Futures research uses a range of distinct methods to study the expected future, a range of plausible alternative futures, and the preferred future, with the goal of developing strategic foresight for decision making and policy. Taken together, the papers presented in this session suggest that the perspectives and methods of futures research hold great potential for developing the foresight needed to meet environmental challenges of the 21st century.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • George Kubik, Anticipatory Futures Group LLC
  • Kay Strong, Baldwin Wallace University
  • Peter Bishop, University of Houston
  • Robert Olson, Institute for Alternative Futures
  • Stephen Carpenter & Adena Rissman, University of Wisconsin, Madison

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