DANTE is an open science platform designed to increase accessibility to and accelerate the interdisciplinary study of environmental stresses, demographics, economics, health, political instability, and humanitarian response by sharing data, tools, and demonstrations of methods (that we call "vignettes").
Enhancing our understanding of, and predictive capabilities for, these environmental threats to security is a grand challenge for the science enterprise and essential to anticipate and inform responses to increasing stress. Environment-security analysis is challenging and spans multiple disciplines with disparate conceptual frameworks, terminology, methods, and data. These attributes create significant barriers to entry and inhibit progress.
DANTE seeks to reduce these barriers to entry and to accelerate progress by providing a venue through which the growing community of environment-security students, scholars, and practitioners can share tools, data, methods, and literature. The platform is open and inclusive and welcomes contributions from environment-security students, scholars, and practitioners worldwide.
Global environmental changes are increasingly recognized as a critical driver of threats to human, national and international security as depicted in the conceptual framework below.
Conceptual Framework for Environment-Security Analysis (adapted from Turner II et al. 2003)
In this framework, vulnerability is defined as expected harms that are the result of cumulative changes and stresses in a coupled human-environment system. Stresses emerge from variability in both human and natural systems and interact with one another over multiple time-scales in manners that potentially impact the ability of a place to function as expected. Stresses can be: chronic (e.g., persistent poverty or over-use of key resources relative to renewable supply); episodic (e.g., droughts, recessions), or; long-term (e.g., climate change, population growth). The impact of stress is a function of the system's:sensitivity to the stresses; coping capacity (ability to manage within expected levels/variability of stress); resilience (ability to return to normal conditions after a perturbation), and; adaptive capacity (ability to transform to a new configuration in order to address changing conditions).
Places have differential sensitivity to different patterns of stresses and also have differential capacity for coping, recovering, and adapting to stresses. For instance, rainfed agricultural systems are sensitive to soil moisture deficits, whereas irrigated agricultural systems are sensitive to water deficits from point sources (e.g., surface water and shallow groundwater).
The system also has multiple feedbacks over time. Outcomes can alter the pattern of subsequent stresses, the sensitivity of a place to those stresses, and the capacity of a place to manage stresses. Places are connected to one another via trade, communications, and cultural connections. Coffee growers in Colombia and wheat buyers in Egypt, for example, are extremely sensitive to global commodity prices even if local conditions are near normal.
We can't do this all by ourselves. DANTE has been constructed using a workflow that makes it easy for people to contribute new content using the DANTE gitlab repository. Follow the instructions at "contribute" or contact us and we will guide you through the process.
 B. L. Turner II et al. 2003. "A framework for vulnerability analysis in sustainability science." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 100 (14) 8074-8079. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1231335100