SESYNC’s Newest Videos Series Builds the Basics of Socio-Environmental Systems and How to Model Them

To solve environmental problems, it is necessary to bring together an understanding of human social systems with knowledge of the natural world. Modeling provides one way to grow this integrated understanding as it can help explore socio-environmental interactions, potential future scenarios, and options for intervening to enhance sustainability.

In SESYNC’s newest video series, SESYNC Director Dr. Margaret Palmer provides viewers with the building blocks for understanding socio-environmental systems (SES) and modeling, so they can apply it to their own research. 

The first video of this series introduces the fundamental characteristics of SES as complex adaptive systems. This video lays the groundwork for understanding the essential features of SES that researchers must capture in the modeling process. It provides information fundamental to anyone who is interested in or is teaching about coupled human-natural systems, or anyone who is thinking about modeling.  

Building the Basics Part 1: Socio-Environmental Systems as Complex Adaptive Systems  

The second video of this series discusses the vexing problems associated with SES and explains why defining the problem and the nature of the SES being studied is a significant step in the process. It offers some solutions for overcoming those problems to reach the team’s goals.

It also touches upon some of the challenges that teams face when they first begin to study SES and of course is relevant to those wanting to model SES. 

Building The Basics Part 2: Defining the Problem and Spanning Boundaries

In the third part of the series, Palmer explains when and why researchers use different modeling approaches for different SES.

Building The Basics Part 3: Choosing a Modeling Approach 

This video series is part of a larger effort by SESYNC, The Integrated Assessment Society, and the journal Socio-Environmental Systems Modelling to provide resources and opportunities for discussion on SES modeling and its challenges. Stay tuned for additional resources coming soon.