About

Hi!!  My name is Michael Schoon, and I’m an assistant professor of environmental policy for the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University.  Previously I worked as the Assistant Director of the Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative, coordinating the research and education on complex adaptive systems at ASU.  Given the nature of my work on sustainability, institutional analysis, and resilience, I am affiliated with ASU’s Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, the Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity, Indiana University’s Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IUCN’s Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group, the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, and the Resilience Alliance.  Links to these can be found on the following tabs – research, education, teaching, and so on – which delineate my current work.  The  “Rumblings” tab is a more traditional blog that is updated regularly.  Hopefully, I can expand this site to include more non-work related interests as well.

Ultimately, all of my work looks at sustainability.  In particularly, I often refer to the sustainability of social-ecological systems.  With apologies to those that don’t typically take systems perspectives to study these phenomena, what I’m trying to do is understand the governance systems and institutional design for how people interact with their surrounding environment (both the natural resources that they use and the broader ecosystem).  In this way, sustainability is not an “environmental” issue but rather is a societal issue.  My own area of expertise looks at how groups of people come together to resolve collective action dilemmas concerning environmental issues, especially across some kind of political boundary – whether the boundary is an international frontier, the border between federal agencies, or the jurisdiction between public and private land owners and managers.

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