SYSC 334U: Modeling Social-Ecological Systems

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Course SummarySocial-Ecological Systems (SESs) is a relatively new term created by an international group of leading environmental and social scientists to reflect the interconnected nature of social and ecological systems. The underlying thread tying together this new body of research and used to conceptualize social-ecological interaction and behavior is Systems/Complexity Theory.

This course introduces students to this new and exciting field of study, to modeling and simulation in general, and specifically to four modeling approaches usefule for conducting research within this new field, including Causal Loop Diagramming, System Dynamics Modeling, Network Modeling, and Multi-Agent Modeling.

Through hands-on application, students will explore a number of concepts related to modeling and Systems/Complexity Theory, including: feedback, non-linear dynamics, regime shifts, self-organization, self-organized criticality, emergence, the adaptive cycle, and resilience.

Prerequisites: Basic computer skills; access to a computer and Internet.

Meets the following University Studies Cluster Course Requirements: Environmental Sustainability; Global Environmental Change.

Instructor: Garry Sotnik; Peter Casey

Type: Online