Transformational Agro-ecosystems Science Team
Population growth, climate variability, soil degradation, food waste, food distribution, consumption patterns, poverty and government policies combine to create challenges that must be addressed if food insecurity is to decrease in the future. To help address this insecurity it is likely that more food will need to be produced. However, if this increase in food supply is not done wisely, additional strain will be placed on the social and ecological systems where food is produced affecting the viability and resilience of these systems.
Based in the Department of Natural Resources and Society, the Transformational Agro-ecosystems Science Team (TAST) was formed in 2019 with the goal of helping understand and guide sustainable intensification of food systems that address the challenge of food insecurity. Human dimensions research is a broad area of research that combines different social science disciplines to better understand and manage ecosystems.
The research team works closely with the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Long-TermAgroecosystem Research Network and its Human Dimensions Working Group to integrate social science into research on the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Sustainable intensification has different meanings to different people. We define sustainable intensification as: “producing more food on the same (or less) amount of land, while reducing adverse social and ecological impacts.” To understand sustainable intensification TAST helps facilitate an interdisciplinary approach to research that accounts for social and ecological systems as well as their connections.