Linking Social and Natural Sciences Methods Using Mind Maps: A Case Study of Human-Nature Interactions in Mexico´s Lowland Maya Area

By Ana Minerva Arce-Ibarra and Alberto Isaac Gastelú-Martínez.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

There is still a lot of confusion whenever researchers from different disciplines tackle a research problem which implies the relationships between the social and natural sciences. The fact that scholars from different disciplines gather to solve a problem doesn't assure that interdisciplinarity would result from it. The latter becomes evident when resulting papers from those research efforts do not explicitly show a definition for interdisciplinary, neither mention specific methods on how they have approached it. This paper sticks to interdisciplinary as a body of knowledge which has emerged from a productive synthesis of the interaction of two or more disciplines. It explicitly uses the qualitative approach called as Mind Maps to address research - as a case study - in Mexico's Lowland Maya area. This area has the characteristics of both being scarcely studied and having fragmented data. Nevertheless, the methodology of Mind Maps, besides allowing us to make connections between concepts of the social and natural sciences, give us the
opportunity to generate both new scientific knowledge and data.

Keywords: Qualitative Approach, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Mind Maps, Livelihood, Data-Sparse System, Interdisciplinary Concepts, Maya Area

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.39-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.319MB).

Dr. Ana Minerva Arce-Ibarra

Associate Researcher, Alternative Production Systems, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Mexico

Dr. Arce-Ibarra was originally trained in the natural sciences but took courses in the social sciences to be able to address natural resources and socio-economic assessments and interdisciplinary studies.

Alberto Isaac Gastelú-Martínez

Academic Coordinator, Graduate Studies, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Mexico

BSc. in Oceanography, Master in Education, and International Certificate in Didactic Techniques.

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