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Social Science Working Group

The SCB Social Science Working Group (SSWG) is a global community of conservation scientists and practitioners. Established in 2003, the SSWG is dedicated to strengthening conservation social science and its application to conservation practice around the globe. SSWG is administered by a Board of Directors and Board Committees. SSWG catalyzes forums and mechanisms for information exchange, promotes dialogue and debate, shares career opportunities and builds social science capacity among conservation practitioners.

You can review the current SSWG Strategic Plan, the revised 2016 Bylaws and Annual Report.

The Resources page of the SSWG website is currently being updated. It will reappear soon!

Be a leader! Join the SSWG Board

SCB’s Social Science Working Group (SSWG) seeks nominations for four at large representatives to the SSWG Board to serve a three-year term, beginning in July 2020.

We seek nominations of dedicated, creative, and enthusiastic individuals to provide leadership for four SSWG Board seats. We welcome self-nominations and ask that you don’t nominate someone without his/her permission. The nominations committee will take into account geographic, disciplinary and professional diversity in constructing a final slate of up to eight candidates to run in the election. All nominees must be SCB and SSWG members in good standing (to check your status, log on to your membership page at SCB). All candidates should possess: (1) a demonstrated commitment to SCB and SSWG (both the missions and the organizations); (2) sufficient time/capacity to provide leadership; (3) relevant social science research and/or practitioner experience.

Time commitments vary (approximately 4-10 hours per month). We ask potential candidates to think carefully about their ability to make sufficient time for SSWG Board activities before becoming a nominee. Board members are encouraged to attend one in-person meeting annually, and are expected to attend monthly virtual meetings, serve as the Chair or active member of one or more standing SSWG Committees, serve as an SSWG liaison to SCB committees or conference planning efforts, develop and implement SSWG strategic plan and Committee work plans, and support the SSWG's goals in the following five areas:

1. Science: Advance scientific understanding of conservation as a social process.
2. Policy: Inform conservation decision-making through scientific dialogue and stakeholder engagement.
3. Capacity-building: Enhance the ability of scholars and practitioners to understand and address the social dimensions of biodiversity conservation.
4. Membership: Expand, diversify, and engage the SSWG membership.
5. Organizational development: Increase the capacity of the SSWG to achieve its mission.

Nominees should send a CV and a statement of interest detailing past involvement with SCB and future vision for SSWG (250 words maximum) to Georgina Gurney (SSWG Membership and Nominations Committee Chair, by Friday, April 10.  Please also indicate when you last attended an SCB meeting or whether you intend to attend one in the near future, the time commitment you are willing to make to board-related tasks, and committees you may be interested in participating in or leading. Elections will begin at the end of March 2020.  

Invitation to three virtual community gatherings via Zoom

With the spread of Covid-19, the past few weeks have been uncertain and difficult times. We hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy. 

We acknowledge this is a hard time for social science researchers, graduate students, and conservation professionals across the world, and we want to do our part to support you. The SSWG community is over 2000 strong, and we would like to leverage that community at a time when we all could benefit from connections to each other.  

SSWG has scheduled a series of virtual community gatherings via Zoom to informally discuss shared challenges and creative solutions in the conservation social sciences. These discussions may lead to resource lists, follow-up discussions or webinars, or new working relationships and collaborators.  

Below is a list of the topics, times, and dates for the first three web-meetings.  To participate, please register by 24 hours in advance.  We will send you a Zoom link to participate within 6 hours before the event.

  1. Changing to Remote Research: If you cannot conduct in-person human subjects research, how do you pivot to another mode? What are good resources to quickly learn how to use online panels? What sort of response rates will we get, and should we even be troubling respondents with our research? Where can you find existing datasets to use instead? If you have similar questions or solutions, please join us on Monday, April 6 at 1-2pm Eastern Time (GMT-5).
  2. Conservation Social Scientists Taking Action: Feeling like you need to “do something” with your science skills at this time of crisis? Are you wanting to employ your behavior change skills to improve the messaging about social distancing or staying at home?  Are you wanting to share how the outdoors can help people struggling with isolation? Are there other things we can be doing as scientists and conservationists to help? Please join us to discuss on Wednesday, April 8 at 9-10pm Eastern Time (GMT-5).
  3. Graduate Student Support: Graduate students are experiencing unique challenges during this time, shifting grad program timelines due to delayed research, defending online or feeling isolated working from home. Did you know that nearly half of the SSWG members are graduate students?  Join them to commiserate and share concerns and creative solutions on Tuesday, April 14 at 10-11am Eastern Time (GMT-5).

Again, to participate, please register 24 hours in advance of the web-meeting.  We will send you a Zoom link to participate within 6 hours of the event.

If you have any questions or ideas regarding these web-meetings, please send an email to Ashley Dayer.

Connect with SSWG on Social Media

Twitter:              @SCB_SSWG, #consocsci