Welcome to the webpage of the Technion Socio-Ecological Systems Research Group. The group is led by Dr. Daniel Orenstein. Here you can find basic information about our research program, people, publications, and some other information important to us.978-0-8229-6222-9-frontcover

Our research focuses on five inter-related themes:

  • Ecosystem service assessment
  • Stakeholder mapping and integration into land use policy making
  • Perceptions of landscapes and nature
  • Population-environment policy discourse 
  • Socio-ecological research in theory and practice




NEW ! presentation (June 2018) by Jen Holzer. Stakeholder views on value of Long Term Socio-Ecological Research in the Cairngorms National Park. At Scotland’s Annual Ecosystem Services Community conference (ESCom) in Edinburgh.





NEW ! poster (June 2018) Dr. Yael Teff-Seker presented the poster in the Annual Conference for Science and the Environment, Weizmann Institute, June 20-21, 2018.​




NEW ! presentation (June 2018) by Jen Holzer. Negotiating local vs. global needs in ILTER’s socio-ecological research agenda: A lightning talk.







Congratulations to PhD candidate Liat Hadar for winning best lecture (third place) at the annual young researchers conference of the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning.  Liat presented part of her PhD research, entitled “Visual models as predictive, science-based tools for assessing future ecological landscapes and supporting management decisions”.  [Her slideshow can be downloaded here].




NEW ! article (April, 2018). McPhillips, L.E., Chang, H., Chester, M.V., Depietri, Y., Friedman, E., Grimm, N.B., Kominoski, J.S., McPhearson, T., Méndez-Lázaro, P., Rosi, E.J., Shiva, J.S. (2018). Defining Extreme Events: A Cross-Disciplinary Review. Earths Future. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017EF000686



NEW ! article (April, 2018). Depietri, Y., McPhearson, T. (2018). Changing urban risk: 140 years of climatic hazards in New York City. Clim. Change 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-018-2194-2


NEW ! Slideshow  (12 Feb, 2018) Holzer, J., N. Carmon and D.E. Orenstein. Evaluating socio-ecological research: A  proposed methodologyEcological Indicators85:808-819. 2018. Here is a brief, narrated slideshow that summarizes the main points of the article.



NEW ! article (15 January, 2018).  Ph.D. student Lihi Golan analyzes characteristics of the planning process for Biosphere Reserves which can contribute to their long-term successful implementation.  The (Hebrew) article, published in the journal of the Keren Kayemeth L’Israel “Ya’ar” can be accessed here (link to PDF), or on the KKL site here.



NEW ! Blog Post (6 January, 2018): “Humans, Wild Asses and Ecological Disasters”.  In response to a cover story in Ha’aretz Magazine, Daniel discusses the challenges of humans living in close proximity to wildlife, within the context of the global decline in wild animal populations.  The post is here.



New article (1 Jan, 2018) Dick, J., D.E. Orenstein, J. Holzer, C. Wohner, A. Achard, C. Andrews, N. Avriel-Avni, P. Beja, N. Blond, J. Cabello, C. Chen, R. Díaz-Delgado, G.V. Giannakis, S. Gingrich, Z. Izakovicova, K. Krauze, N. Lamouroux, S. Leca, V. Melecis, K. Miklós, M. Mimikou, G. Niedrist, C. Piscart, C. Postolache, A. Psomas, M. Santos-Reis, U. Tappeiner, K. Vanderbilt, G. Van Ryckegem. 2018. What is socio-ecological research delivering? A literature survey across 25 international LTSER platforms. Science of the Total Environment. 622-623(2018):1225-1240.



The Israel National Ecosystem Assessment Interim Report published (13 June, 2017). The National Assessment was authored by a broad representation of researchers in Israel and provides assessments of Israel’s ecosystem services across ecosystem types and across service classifications. Three members of the Technion Socio-Ecological Research Group participated in the report: Shira Grossbard (internal aquatic ecosystems), Hila Sagie (agricultural ecosystems), and Daniel Orenstein (conceptual framework).  The [Hebrew] report can be accessed here.

Congratulations to three new graduates! (6 June, 2017). Congratulations to landscape architects Zohar Zafon and Adi Noy-Ivanir, and to urban planner Leyron Shachaf, on the completion of their graduate degrees!386

New article (28 May, 2017): Orenstein, D.E. and D. Shach-Pinsley. “A Comparative Framework for Assessing Sustainability Initiatives at the Regional Scale”. World Development. 2017. The article can be downloaded here: Orenstein_2017_Sustainable_Development.

New article (24 May, 2017): Zimroni, H., E. Eizenberg and D.E. Orenstein “בין תרבויות של טבע לקהילות של ידע: ידע מקצועי וידע מקומי בתפיסת נופי יערות הכרמל”. Israeli Sociology (special issue on Society and Environment). 2017.  The article (and the entire issue) can be accessed here. (In Hebrew).

New article (28 March, 2017): Eizenberg E., D.E. Orenstein and H. Zimroni. “Back to the (visualization) laboratory: using focus groups to generate qualitative and quantitative results.”  Journal of Planning Education and Research. 2017. The article can be downloaded here: Eizenberg_2017_Visualization_Focus_GroupsIJAS_Cover1

New article (13 March, 2017): Teschner, N., D.E. Orenstein, I. Shapira and T.Keasar. 2017. Commentary: The contribution of socio-ecological research to a transition toward sustainable practices in agriculture. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. 14(2):99-101.  The article can be downloaded here: Teschner_2017_SE_Vineyards.

Best poster award (2nd place) for PhD candidate Lihi Golan (7 March, 2017): Congratulations to Lihi Golan for winning second place best poster at the 2017 Israel Presentation1Planners Association Conference. Lihi’s poster summarizes her progress in her research on Evaluation of the planning process for Biosphere reserves in Israel. Click on the icon to see her poster (in Hebrew).

Best graduate thesis award to alumnus Leyron Shachaf (15 February, 2017): Congratulations to Leyron Shachaf (MSc, 2016) for winning the best graduate thesis award from the Israel Planners Association for 2016!  Leyron’s thesis is titled “The Contribution of Environmental Impact Statements to Incorporation of Environmental Protection Measures in Statutory Plans: A Comparative Study of Two Planning Tracks in Israel.” The major contribution of the paper is the realization that it is not the EIS tool, per se, that affects environmental outcome, but rather the way in which it is applied within the planning system.503347

New article (8 February, 2017): Orenstein, D.E., T. Katz-Gerro and J. Dick. 2015. Environmental tastes as predictors of environmental opinions and behaviors. Landscape and Urban Planning. 169:59-71. The article can be downloaded here.

Environmental Policy Analysis of Haifa’s Oil Storage Facilities (2 February, 2017): Final report of the students of the course Environmental Policy regarding what to do abPresentation1out the environmental hazards posed by fossil fuel storage in Haifa’s Kiryat Haim neighborhood. The work was conducted in collaboration with local environmental advocates and with Technion’s Community Hub (the report is available in Hebrew here: הערכת מדיניות סביבתית לטרמינל הדלקים בקריית חייים).

Blog post: (26 January, 2017): “Donald J. Trump, Shooting the Ecological Messenger” or why I think that the new US administration is doing terrible damage to our ability to address present and emerging environmental challenges.  Go to the article here.

Ph.D. student Jen Holzer continues to update her blog (18 January, 2017) on her research on Transdisciplinarity and Socio-Ecological Research in European LTER.  To read the blog on Romania’s Danube Basin and Braila Island LTSER platforms, click here and here.  To read the blog on Scotland’s Cairngorms LTSER, click here.

New book chapter (27 November, 2016):  “Fire on the Hills: An Environmental History of Fires and Fire Policy in Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems.” Four vignettes about fires and fire policy from the Western Mediterranean Basin, Shangdon, China, Southern California and Israel. Download the chapter here.