9726861 Benoit This research will examine how ecological and social systems influence each other through either positive or negative feedbacks. The central hypothesis is that relative health and integrity of ecosystems causes and in turn is caused by enhanced human performance and productivity. The current research will use observational techniques integrated by standard statistical methods to measure the quantifiable linkages between biophysical and social systems. This investigation will also lay the groundwork for a field experiment to test whether restoring a degraded watershed can significantly enhance social interactions in associated human communities. State-of-the-art analytical methods will be used to characterize approximately 30 subwatersheds in terms of key hydrological, chemical, biological, economic, and social parameters. This large number of biophysical and social measures will be integrated within a quantitative context that allows testing of predictions and generation of an overall index of watershed quality.