Description: Social-Ecological Systems (SESs) is a relatively new field of study focused on the interconnected and co-evolutionary nature of social and ecological systems. The underlying thread tying together this field of interdisciplinary study is complexity/systems theory. The ten seminars will introduce participants to this new and exciting field of study, to complexity/systems theory, to computer-based modeling and simulation, and to four computer-based modeling approaches useful for conducting SES research, including causal loop diagramming, stock and flow modeling, network modeling, and multi-agent modeling. Through hands-on application, participants will be introduced to cutting-edge SES concepts, research, and theory, and have an opportunity to explore and build SES models.
Format: The seminars will be conducted in English and in the form of workshops. Participants will be asked to prepare for each seminar by reading assigned (graduate-level) material (in English) beforehand and to participate in each seminar by actively engaging in discussion and on occasion presenting. Length and time of each seminar, as well as location, are not yet determined.
Prerequisites: Basic computer skills and access to a laptop with Internet. No prior modeling experience or advanced quantitative skills are necessary.
Instructor: The seminars will be facilitated by Garry Sotnik who is a Ph.D. candidate in the Complexity/Systems Science Program and a member of the Dynamic Ecosystems and Landscapes Lab at Portland State University (USA). Garry is visiting L’viv on a nine-month Fulbright research scholarship, sponsored by the Institute for Ecological Economics and Management at the Ukrainian National Forestry University. He will be conducting research on forest use and management practices in the Carpathian Mountains.
Garry has a Master's in Economics from Boston University (USA) and international experience as a development economist, although at this point he sees himself more generally as a social scientist and employs theory and methods from a number of disciplines, including: artificial intelligence, biology, economics, psychology, sociology, and systems science. Garry's dissertation work involves developing a multi-agent Social Human Extension (SHE) for a prominent spatiotemporal forest-climate change model, called LANDIS-II, and using it to study the sustainability of forest use and management practices, as well as institutions, early warning signals, regime shifts, and social-ecological traps.