Document Type


Publication Title

Ecology and Society


The Resilience Alliance

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Abstract/ Summary

Communication is essential to resilience, as interactions among humans influence how social-ecological systems (SES) respond to change. Our research focuses on how specific communication interactions on sustainability science teams, such as how people meet with each other; the ways in which they categorize themselves and others; the decision-making models they use; and their communication competencies affect outcomes. We describe research from a two-year study of communication in Maine's Sustainability Solutions Initiative, a statewide network of sustainability science teams. Our results demonstrate that decision making and communication competencies influenced mutual understanding, inclusion of diverse ideas, and progress toward sustainability-related goals. We discuss our results in light of key resilience themes and conclude with recommendations for communication design in sustainability teams for improved collaborative process and outcomes.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

"McGreavy, B., L. Lindenfeld, K. Hutchins, L. Silka, J. Leahy, and B. Zoellick. 2015. Communication and sustainability science teams as complex systems. Ecology and Society 20(1): 2."

Publisher Statement

© 2015 The Resilience Alliance


DOI: 10.5751/ES-06644-200102


publisher's version of the published document