CBFS is also dedicated to the idea that students can benefit greatly from project based learning by applying themselves to solving contemporary real world problems. For decades field stations have nurtured the formation of transdisciplinary research groups to address cross-discipline scientific questions and urgent societal concerns. This approach has been recently codified as “convergence”.
The National Research Council defines convergence as “an approach to problem solving that cuts across disciplinary boundaries. It integrates knowledge, tools, and ways of thinking form life and health sciences, physical, mathematical, and computational sciences, engineering disciplines, and beyond to form a comprehensive synthetic framework for tackling scientific and societal challenges that exist at the interfaces of multiple fields. By merging these diverse areas of expertise in a network of partnerships, convergence stimulates innovation from basic science discovery to translational application. It provides fertile ground for new collaborations that engage stakeholders and partners not only from academia, but also from national laboratories, industry, clinical settings, and funding bodies.”
Examples of convergence projects might be; engineering and biology students working on the development of a new zero footprint residential housing paradigm, interpretation to the masses of the impacts and adaptations due to climate through a language arts or theatre collaboration, developing a functional eco-agriculture model at CBFS, investigations of the psychotherapeutic benefits of outdoor activities for urban children or victims of PTSD, etc. We are looking for faculty in all disciplines who are interested and willing to involve their students in the creation and implementation of such programs.