Hongbo YangHongbo Yang is an doctoral candidate in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. His intended area of specialization is Systems Modeling and Integration, with a focus on the study of Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CHANS). His interest in the CHANS derived from his long-term concern for endangered wildlife.

" Although more than 159,000 protected areas have been established around the world, covering an area larger than the United States or China, the problems of ecological degradation caused by human activities are continuing to threaten the existence of endangered species living there," he wrote.

Understanding the complexity of human-nature interactions in these areas is in urgent need to meet the quest for both human well-being and wildlife conservation. While still at its infancy, inquiry into CHANS is developing into a new research area with a promising prospect to achieve that goal.

Hongbo is very interested in this field and wants to contribute to its development by developing integrated socio-economic and geospatial techniques for better understanding the relationship between human and nature subsystems in protected areas (e.g., Wolong Nature Reserve for giant pandas in China), and then translating such understanding into working models and policy.