Political Ecology Lab Students Present their work

Torchalski 2015

On April 2nd 2015, the students in the Political Ecology Lab presented their work at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research (SURE). Topics ranged across environmental issues: aquaculture in Nicaragua, Indigenous politics in Columbia,  framing of environmental restoration in the Everglades, content analysis of school lunch menus, analysis of major frames in urban planning in Orange County, Florida, and analysis of values in San Diego over the use of ‘hinterlands’ of the Salton Sea. Each student has a picture of their work below:





Michelle Suarez

Michelle Hughes


World Fisheries should be thought of a Planetary Complex, Living System

File:Fishing trawlers Seattle waterfront 2010.JPG


Dr. Jacques has recently published a paper in Marine Policy which shows it is theoretically plausible that fisheries are a interconnected system.The paper has been made open access so anyone may read it.here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X1400325X

If they are a single complex system, it follows that this system could collapse following systemic disturbance.  See the audio explanation here.


Lab Alumni Publishes Paper with the UCF URJ

This post should have been put up months ago, but better late than never.

One of the original lab members, Chelsea Piner, had her research published in June of this year on the conservation planning of UCF, using a very well-executed grounded theory approach (mentored also by Racine Jacques who knows grounded theory).


You can find the paper at this link: 

Piner, Chelsea. 2014. Intensive Land Use and Conservation  Planning at the University of Central Florida. The University of Central Florida Undergraduate Research Journal. 7:1, 53-65.

New Sustainability Title

Director of the lab, Peter Jacques, has published a new book, Sustainability: The Basics, for the Basics Series by Routledge.  The book is a primer which explains in plain language the problems of global sustainability, including the problem structure (the consistent problem that sustainability must address) from a systems perspective.  The book also addresses the the question– “how optimistic or pessimistic should we be” along with questions of measuring sustainability, ethics that are involved with sustainability problems, political problems, and a history of civilization collapses. Dr. Jacques welcomes questions about the book at Peter.Jacques@ucf.edu .

Director of the Bard MBA in Sustainability to Speak at UCF: The World Needs You, and You Need a Job

 Careers in Green Business and Environmental Policy

Director, Bard MBA in Sustainability & Director, Bard Center for Environmental Policy

Bard College


Dr. Goodstein will discuss how to make a living saving the planet, with a focus on jobs “changing the rules” (in environmental policy) and jobs “playing the game” (building financially viable businesses that solve social and environmental problems).



PDF flier: Goodstein talk

Sponsored by the Political Ecology Lab@ UCF, the Department of Political Science, and the Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Senior Lab Associate, Charlene Kormondy, Earns top UCF Award

Today, Senior Research Associate Charlene Kormondy, was notified that she had earned UCF’s most prestigious award, the Order of the Pegasus.

This is a very competitive award that requires exceptional scholarship and engagement, and is granted only to those who– after extensive vetting, demonstrate “exemplary performance by UCF bachelor’s degree students in the areas of academic achievement, outstanding university involvement, leadership, and community service.”



Congratulations Charlene!

Dr. Jacques to Speak at the Wilson Center for International Scholars

Talking Science: Environmental and Health Communications in a Skeptical Era

On November 22, 2013, Dr. Jacques will join several other scholars to discuss science in a skeptical world.  Interested individuals can watch the streamed recording here:


Here is the program:

How can communications professionals, policymakers, and academic experts effectively communicate environmental and health issues in a skeptical era? In the first of two panels, communications directors from US and UN agencies and environmental and health NGOs will discuss the relationships and negotiations that underlie action (or inaction) in a major policy-making capital like Washington, D.C. In the second panel, five speakers will explore the cultural and social causes and consequences of climate change skepticism (especially American climate change skepticism) and consider the implications for national and international efforts to address global climate change. This two-part discussion is sponsored by the Environmental Communication Division of the National Communication Association. A detailed agenda of the afternoon is available in the “Event Documents” section.


Media guests, including TV crews, are welcome and should RSVP directly tokatharine.diamond@wilsoncenter.orgMedia bringing heavy electronics MUST indicate this in their response so they may be cleared through our building security and allowed entrance. Please err toward responding if you would like to attend.

6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Event Speakers List:
  • Director of Health Communications, The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Senior Technical Advisor for External Affairs, Office of Population and Reproductive Health, USAID
  • Director of Communications, Population Action International
  • Associate Director of Communications, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Meaghan Parker // Writer/Editor, Environmental Change and Security Program

Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media essay

Image of books by year

Professor Riley E. Dunlap and PE Lab Director, Peter J. Jacques, were commissioned to convey the findings of their research on climate denial books originally published in American Behavioral Scientist in the Spring of 2013 now available for open access here: http://abs.sagepub.com/content/57/6/699

Currently this article is listed by ABS as the most read article of the journal. The Yale Forum essay highlighted the trends in climate denial books and the fact that they usually are not peer reviewed, allowing for “zombie arguments” that, no matter how many times are shown to be untrue, continue to rise from the dead.

Image of books


You can read the blog here: http://bit.ly/ZLT5vh


Political Ecology Lab Student Addresses UNESCO on Climate Adaptation and Sustainability


Charlene Kormondy, a member of the Political Ecology Lab at UCF, traveled to Nevis in the West Indies this summer as a delegate at the UNESCO Conference on Environmental Policy Formulation and Planning in the Caribbean Region to present her work on sustainable agriculture. She participated in the President’s Scholars study abroad program last summer through the international partnership between the University of Central Florida and Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) in St. Kitts. At the conference, she presented on her experiences building a shadehouse on the CFBC campus last summer, explaining how sustainable farming inside of a shadehouse can improve gender equity and help solve problems that result from the negative impacts of climate change. She participated in a panel discussion at the conference with other representatives from CFBC and UCF to show international leaders an example of an adaptation strategy that can be implemented to help small island nations in the face of climate change impacts.



Charlene  is pictured here left to right Dr. Leighton Naraine (Conference Chair), Jessica Gottsleben (UCF Student), Charlene Kormondy, Dr. Kevin Meehan (UCF Professor of English).

Her work was covered by the news media here: