Incorporating people directly into the system under study from multiple perspectives may offer the best potential to produce meaningful conservation solutions. This approach has been characterized as coupled natural and human systems (CNH) research. It uses a multidisciplinary approach to identify important feedbacks between different components of a study system and models system complexity across organizational scales. Steven illustrated how CNH thinking and integrative modeling can be applied to understand factors affecting metapopulation dynamics of a secretive, threatened bird, the Black Rail (BLRA), which inhabits small wetlands on private lands in an agricultural landscape in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California. Over 2/3rds of the wetland sites receive irrigation water in this arid landscape. Working with a multidisciplinary team, we quantify linkages between the main components of this CNH: metapopulation dynamics, landowner decisions, climatic variation, and disease ecology. Over the past 15 years, colonization rates of BLRA were strongly affected by wetland area and secondarily by irrigation, while extinction rates were driven by isolation and area. BLRA occupancy strongly declined after the arrival of West Nile Virus in 2007 and due to drought from 2013-15. Using agent-based models, Stevens group has begun to explore how actions within the human system impact the natural system, probing whether feedbacks in the natural system can produce changes in the human system.