Special Issue "Human-Environment Interactions, Natural and Technological Hazards, and the Impacts of Disasters on Social-Ecological Systems"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ashley D. Ross
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Marine Sciences, Texas A and M University at Galveston, Galveston, TX, USA
Interests: hazards and disaster policy; community resilience; emergency management; climate change attitudes
Dr. David Hala
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Marine Biology, Texas A&M University at Galveston, Galveston, TX 77553, USA
Interests: environment; toxicology; computational biology; pollution
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the past two decades, the costs of disasters worldwide have been high: 1.2 million lives have been lost, over 4 billion people have been affected, and nearly US$3 trillion in economic assets have been lost (UNDRR 2020). Recent disaster impacts are greater than those experienced in past decades, and much of this is associated with climate change-induced extreme weather events, ranging from flooding and hurricanes to heatwaves and wildfires (IPCC 2012). Yet, climate change is only one of the many factors involved in the complex human-environment interactions that drive disasters. Growing populations, uncontrolled development, increased competition for natural resources, and globalized economies have created pressures that erode ecosystem health (Berkes 2015). These human activities have resulted in biodiversity loss and have compromised critical regulating and provisioning ecosystem services (Sudmeier-Rieux et al. 2019). In turn, ecosystem loss and degradation have been linked to anthropogenic climate change, increased frequency of natural hazards, and conditions ripe for the outbreak of infectious diseases like COVID-19 (Sudmeier-Rieux et al. 2019). Within coupled social-ecological systems (Berkes & Folke 1998), such human-environment interactions may amplify risk to the point that, when faced with natural and technological hazards, communities cross thresholds that render existing patterns of social intercourse ineffective and disasters ensue (Perry 2018). To enhance resilience to disasters, it is critical to advance our understanding of the interlinkages between human-environment interactions, the hazards society faces, and disaster impacts on social-ecological systems.  

This special issue calls for papers that can address the complexities of human-environment interactions associated with disasters caused by natural, technological, or techna (i.e., natural hazard triggered by technology) hazards. Papers may address these complexities from one of multiple angles, including but not limited to: the drivers of disasters emerging from human-environment interactions (e.g., land use effects on natural environments; hazard mitigation presenting moral hazard), the amplification of disaster risk in social-ecological systems (e.g., vulnerability of natural resource-dependent communities; overlapping disasters, emergencies, and/or failures), and the impacts of disasters on social-ecological systems (e.g., water pollution from an oil spill; heightened food insecurity from flood event). Submissions are invited from researchers in the fields of social and natural sciences that fall under the broad umbrellas of hazards and disaster scholarship as well as environmental science. Papers featuring interdisciplinary research is particularly encouraged as it is well positioned to evaluate both the social and environmental aspects of disaster dilemmas. Papers are expected to use theoretical/conceptual frameworks, data, and methodological approaches that appropriately address the research question(s) posed and are accepted in their field of study.

Dr. Ashley D. Ross
Dr. David Hala
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • human-environment interaction
  • social-ecological systems
  • adaptive capacity
  • resilience
  • disasters
  • natural hazard
  • technological hazard
  • climate change
  • disaster risk reduction

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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