The principal approach of PECS research is comparisons of place-based, long-term social-ecological case studies. PECS will also develop and facilitate a set of dynamic, interdisciplinary working groups that focus on different cross-cutting topics. PECS will provide the mechanisms for a deep intellectual exchange among these diverse projects, case-studies and working groups on social–ecological systems. You can read more about these under “Projects” and “Working groups“.

Differences in the methods used is sometimes a barrier to comparative analyses of social–ecological research, yet diverse social–ecological systems often require different methods. A key part of the capacity-building strategy for PECS will be training workshops on core methods for place-based, long- term social-ecological research. Examples of such methods include qualitative analysis of narratives, various kinds of models, and scenario planning and resilience thinking. These workshops will address the variability in methods and standardize methods when this is appropriate.

PECS will also sponsor broader workshops to develop cross-cutting themes that contribute to a wide range of research on social–ecological systems. Because PECS is envisioned as a bottom-up, researcher-driven platform, diverse input and leadership will be encouraged as PECS develops.