The Public Political Ecology Lab (PPEL) aims to communicate political ecology research to a broader public as a vehicle for social and environmental change. It does this by providing students and scholars of political ecology with training in a diverse set of research methods (inducing community-based and participatory action research methods) and media skills, as well as a forum to present their work. The PPEL also serves as a portal that connects organizations and community groups seeking political ecological research with graduate students interested in conducting research as part of their theses or dissertations that will have a more direct social and environmental impact.
About Public Political Ecology
Political ecology is a theoretical and analytical framework for understanding the complex relationships between society and nature that pays attention to political economy, politics, ecology, and equity. In the 2010 annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers, one of the founders of the field, Piers Blaikie, gave the inaugural lecture for the Cultural and Political Ecology specialty group titled “Should Political Ecology be Useful.” He argued that while the field should generate research relevant and useful to society, there are few examples of exactly how to do such work. The Public Political Ecology Lab (PPEL) attempts to fill this very important gap. The goal of the PPEL is to share information on how political ecologists can better communicate our work to the public, and inform policy and practice, as a vehicle for social and environmental change. Communicating the results of political ecology research can produce deeper understandings of environmental issues from which the public can then advocate for change both locally and globally. The work of the PPEL (pronounced people) aligns with the mission of the University of Arizona’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (the People College) in that we are dedicated to produce and share research on nature-society relationships as a means to improve environmental conditions for people and the non-human world.
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