The CHESS Lab
The Coupled Human-Environmental Sustainability Solutions (CHESS) Lab is an interdisciplinary collaboration of faculty and students from across the university. Our research investigates landscapes as coupled human-natural systems across scales with the objective of providing evidence-based solutions for decision-makers.
Work in the lab seeks to address complex conservation science and sustainability science problems, but with a uniquely liberal arts framing. We recognize that many disciplines are interested in the same broad outcomes and have similar framings. Yet they bring different tools to address these questions. Working individually, we are effective as scholars, but collaboratively we can have an outsized impact with emergent outcomes for students, the University, and the communities we work with.
Our space creates high epistemological agility amongst students, faculty, and collaborations resulting in rigorous science. We pair this with complementary methodological groundedness. Indeed, each faculty member currently participating brings a unique toolkit to the team (e.g, spatial modeling, participatory planning, survey techniques, interview). The epistemological agility allows the group to triangulate these tools to provide innovative sustainability solutions.