Two articles by Dr. Sean Gillon, on social change and interdisciplinarity in research methodologies, were published in the journals Conservation Letters and Ecology and Society in spring 2016.

Dr. Gillon co-authored Local Perspectives and Global Archetypes in Scenario Development, published in Ecology and Society, a journal focused on integrative, interdisciplinary science for sustainability. This article focused on how scenarios of future social-ecological change used in research and policy development engage relevant social groups in envisioning the futures described. This research, funded by the National Science Foundation, also includes the development of scenarios describing possible pathways forward for sustainable social-ecological change and emphasizes the inclusion of local perspectives on policy and social change. The authors recommend “transparency in the process by which themes of change are decided upon in a scenarios project so that stakeholders and other researchers are clear about the overlap and divergence between local perspectives, global archetypes, and other influences on scenario development.”

Dr. Gillon also co-authored Where are Ecology and Biodiversity in Social–Ecological Systems Research? A Review of Research Methods and Applied Recommendations, published in Conservation Letters. The authors performed an analysis of research on social-ecological systems (SES) to better understand how emerging interdisciplinary research draws on multiple disciplines and methodologies to address pressing social-ecological problems. This article is part of a broader research effort and a forthcoming article will focus on the integration of policy, politics and social change in SES research. This article’s findings included that policy recommendations were more likely in research including both ecological and social variables, suggesting the importance of interdisciplinary methodologies for research’s application in policy and practice.

» Find the full articles on and

Sean Gillon is a faculty member at Marylhurst University, teaching in the master’s degree program with a focus on food justice and social change. He has conducted a wide range of interdisciplinary research related to social and environmental politics and policy in the U.S. food system.