The Mountain Sentinels Collaborative Network is composed of scholars, non-governmental and governmental organizations, and stakeholders working towards sustainability of mountain environments and communities worldwide. Our guiding questions include: How will mountains respond to gradual and abrupt changes impacting land, water, peoples, and livelihoods? Will they be resilient and continue to deliver vital ecosystem services? What transformations are needed and which adaptation pathways lead to healthy and desired futures across mountain regions worldwide?
We are using coupled models to explore current and future conditions and as tools for communication, learning, and decision-making. We are identifying best practices for successful transdisciplinary approaches effectively linking science with policy and practice to better address critical challenges and problems. This international, collaborative process serves as an example for other knowledge-action networks and social-ecological systems seeking to address the “wicked problems” of our time.
Our network goals include:
1. Expand an international network of linked mountain biophysical & social science researchers and diverse stakeholders.
Objective 1. Expand and build new transdisciplinary linkages across the global mountain community.
Objective 2. Increase the diversity of scientists trained in transdisciplinary approaches in mountains.
Objective 3. Augment mountain scientist and stakeholder use of social-ecological models and output globally.
2. Explore & evaluate transdisciplinary modeling frameworks for mountains globally.
Objective 4. Create a digital library of models and scenarios based on global mountain typologies.
Objective 5. Develop a toy model for mountain typologies and standardize datasets for modeling.
Objective 6. Create visualization and decision-support tools for international, mountain stakeholders.
Objective 7. Propose research and synthesis modeling to address gaps in mountain social-ecological models.
3. Promote international, transdisciplinary approaches linking science with policy & practice.
Objective 8. Identify best practices for transdisciplinary approaches linking knowledge with action within global mountain contexts.
Objective 9. Explore how coupled social-ecological models can be a vehicle for achieving collaboration.
Objective 10. Propose cross-regional, transdisciplinary projects on mountain sustainability.
Our network activities include organizing workshops, holding monthly webinar discussions (we call these “Virtual Coffee”), conducting synthesis activities across mountains, inspiring action-oriented science, catalyzing new partnerships, developing educational materials, being a resource for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches, talks and multi-media presentations at academic meetings and to the general public.