934318 Systems science for participatory management of dynamic socio-ecosystems (in Eng.)
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- Sommersemester 2023
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This course is for students interested in understanding and managing socio-ecosystems (SES), e.g. systems whose development path is influenced by interactions within and between Nature and Society. This involves building on an understanding of the structure and dynamics of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and then expanding inquiry to address how ecosystems interact with anthropogenic processes (social, political, economic). The course examines theory (Systems, Hierarchy, Resilience, Cultural) that deals with the structure and dynamics of socio-ecosystems, estabishing the need for flexible and adaptive management to address surprising and irreversible dynamics. It also examines practice (modeling, serious gaming) that supports the development and application of science and policy in the adaptive management of SES. It specifically explores how to manage SES in a participatory partnership between public and private actors by describing barriers and bridges to establishing a recursive, iterative, learning process. It enhances learning of the skills needed to design and lead participatory process by replacing lectures with a 'learning-by-doing' laboratory in the classroomLiterature search & review concerning systems science theory and participatory science applications; experience in learning the skills and concepts needed to design and carry out participatory science in support of ecosystem management.
Management of ecosystems requires addressing the interactions and impacts from society. The various combined interactions of biophysical and socio-political factors makes the future trajectory of socio-ecological systems highly unpredictable. This course examines theory (Systems, Hierarchy, Resilience, Cultural) and practice (modeling, serious gaming) that supports the development and application of science and policy in the adaptive management of SES. It specifically explores how to manage SES in a participatory partnership between public and private actors by describing barriers and bridges to establishing a recursive, iterative, learning process that can give meaningful support to policy formulation and implementation. It enhances learning of the skills needed to design and lead participatory process by replacing lectures with a 'learning-by-doing' laboratory in the classroom. Lectures and reading will be done outside the classroom in preparation for group sessions in class. Assessment of student performance will be done based on the quality of presentations and group discussion contributions in class, not on examinations (a skill never needed by adult scientists in the field).
• Overview: introduce the theory and practice of participatory science in support of decision-making about environmental issues.
• Concepts and Theory: Students introduced to Resilience Theory, Hierarchy Theory, Cultural Theory, Systems Thinking.
• Tools and Skills: Students introduced to Conceptual modeling, Speed Talks, Group decision-making (Adaptive Management).
• Practical applications of Theory and Methods for Adaptive Management of Socio-Ecosystems such as rivers, lakes, forests and others.
- Inhaltliche Voraussetzungen (erwartete Kenntnisse)
• Students of hydrology, limnology, forestry, ecology and other domains who are interested in science and policy applied to management of socio-ecosystems.
• Participants are expected to have potential action research topics of their own interest in mind.
After successful completion of this course, participants are able to:
• Engage critically with theory and literature in a the fields of systems science, ecosystem management and participatory research;
• Develop research questions in the context of current knowledge and policy priorities (especially with respect to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which can be answered by a transdisciplinary action research project;
• Justify methods of research integrated with decision-making that are valid, feasible and efficient in the contexts of specific socio-ecosystems
• Formulate and present a participatory action research proposal to recruit team members or to garner support of funders
• Independently develop action research projects by building teams that develop ideas and garner support for their implementation
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