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SFS Research


Every five years, SFS Centers develop research plans to help identify and investigate critical environmental problems in the regions in which we operate.

The Five-Year Research Plan (5YRP) is the backbone of our operations in the field, providing the overarching research directive that examines local environmental challenges and explores local solutions. The plan is generated through a collaborative process by SFS faculty, local stakeholders and clients, and external research advisors. The research agenda is designed to answer key questions related to critical and related social and environmental problems and to provide our hosts with detailed and accurate information for decision making and action. The research outputs include scholarly and popular articles, public service announcements, and oral presentations to community members and other stakeholders.

The Five-Year Research Plan is the backbone of our operations in the field        

The research plan not only defines the research agenda at each of our field centers, but also provides a conceptual framework for the program curriculum at each field center. The threats to human and natural systems identified in the Plan, and the opportunities for addressing those threats, are explored by students in the classroom, during field exercises, and in the directed research projects led by SFS resident faculty. Participation in SFS field programs provide undergraduate students with an interdisciplinary, authentic and situational educational experience based in local communities. Through educational and research activities in the areas of natural and social science research, students engage in data collection and analysis, and dissemination of results to diverse audiences. Students develop critical thinking and analytical skills transferable to other contexts.

One component of the SFS mission is to contribute to the scientific community through the dissemination of research results through peer-reviewed publications and presentations at professional meetings. Our research is designed to be rigorous, accurate, relevant, and able to hold up to peer review. We invite you to read and reference the publications emerging from the research activities at our five field stations in recent years. Click here to download the list of SFS Publications