Dynamics and Trade-offs Among Social, Economic, and Ecological Components of Resilience in Working Agricultural Landscapes

A grand challenge for humanity is to supply increasing food and energy demands imposed by a growing human population while preserving systems’ critical services. To trace the paths of sustainable development to ultimately reach sustainability of food-energy-water systems (FEWS) nexus requires an understanding of within- and across-scale relationships among social, ecological, and economic subcomponents of social–ecological systems (SES) amidst rapidly unfolding global change.


This project applies resilience thinking and panarchy theory to questions of sustainable development at FEWS nexuses in landscapes worldwide. Expected products include frameworks for adaptively governing and managing for resilience and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes, as well as frameworks for avoiding social–ecological traps, such as poverty and rigidity traps. Ideally, the development and implementation of these frameworks will increase sustainability and contribute to the achievement of desirable futures in diverse SES.
Principal Investigator(s)
-Craig R. Allen, NECFWRU
-Francisco Munoz-Arriola, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
-Nancy C. Shank, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Post-Doctoral Associate
Michale Ou, Dan Uden (2017)

Project Duration
January 2017 - January 2018

-University of Nebraska Office of Research and Development

Project Location