Tag Archives: Stockholm Resilience Centre

Applying resilience thinking

The Stockholm Resilience Centre has just produced a beautiful new booklet that outlines seven principles for applying resilience thinking.

The 20 page free pdf booklet Applying resilience thinking – Seven principles for building resilience in social-ecological systemsPDF (pdf, 1.4 MB), presents  seven principles for building resilience in social-ecological systems:

  1. maintain diversity and redundancy
  2. manage connectivity
  3. manage slow variables and feedbacks
  4. foster complex adaptive systems thinking
  5. encourage learning
  6. broaden participation
  7. promote polycentric governance systems.

Each principle is presented along with an example of how it has been applied.

7 principles

The booklet builds on a in-depth, multi-year comprehensive review of the resilience literature conducted by the Resilience Alliance Young Scholars network.  The first product of this review was a 2012 paper by Oonise Biggs and others “Towards principles for enhancing the resilience of ecosystem services” in Annual Reviews of Environment and Resources (2012), and now  a book “Principles for Building Resilience: Sustaining Ecosystem Services in Social-Ecological Systems” that will be published by Cambridge University Press later this year.

Oonsie Biggs and company will be running a session on their book at the Resilience 2014 conference, on Tuesday 6 May, 11:30-12:30.

Two research positions at Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to work with SRC

Exciting job opportunities here in Stockholm at Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to work with Stockholm Resilience Centre:

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is pleased to announce two positions as Early Career Academy Researcher, one for a scholar with a documented background in economics and one for a scholar with a documented background in research on social-ecological interactions. The positions will be part of the Family Erling Persson’s Academy Program on The Ecological Economics of Global Change, lead by Prof. Carl Folke.

Human wellbeing and the Earth system on which it depends are in transition. In a globalised world the economy, society, technology and the environment interact in novel and even unexpected ways. A key challenge is to foster development that is favourable and sustainable for current and future generations, taking into account and respecting the capacity of the biosphere to support such development. Research will address the complex, multi-scale dynamics of social–ecological systems, economic development and critical ecosystem services in the new global context. The dynamics include nonlinear thresholds that can lead to large, persistent changes but also transformations of human actions toward stewardship of social–ecological systems for global sustainability. Part of the program will focus on marine issues in this context.

The Ecological Economics of Global Change program aims to address such challenges and is searching for key collaborators to achieve this. The positions are two plus three years, with potential for continuation. We envision a early career researchers at the level of post-doc or similar. Documented experience from interdisciplinary collaboration is a bonus. The two Early Career Academy Researcher positions will be part of a team with two Academy Researchers, a visiting professor and two other early career researchers, which will form the core of the program.

The program provides a forum for researchers in economics and social-ecological systems to interact and develop joint research, seeking a deeper understanding of the interplay of social-ecological systems and economic development from local to global levels. There will be opportunity for researchers of the program to closely collaborate with the Academy’s Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. A stimulating, trusting and friendly research environment in collaboration with diverse disciplines is provided, focusing on understanding the new global dynamics and the challenges towards sustainability.

The Academy is accepting applications from researchers with a PhD in economics and ecology or related disciplines. We are looking for open minded candidates with exceptional scholarly promise and a rigorous approach to problem solving. We value documented capacity to synthesize knowledge, analyze large data sets and build empirically grounded theory. The successful candidates must be team players who understand how their particular expertise fits within the greater global picture and can collaborate with other researchers in an open-minded and creative way. Salary will depend on the merits of the candidate. The program starts 1 January 2013 and the positions, which are full time, are to be filled as soon as possible for an initial period of two years.

Applicants should submit a single document containing a short letter of interest including a vision of research focus to further the understanding of social-ecological systems in the context of new global dynamics (1-2 page) and Curriculum Vitae including relevant publications (max 3 pages). In addition the applicants should ask a person of their choice to send a letter of recommendation.

Please submit the applications to Christina Leijonhufvud (chris@beijer.kva.se) by 20 February 2013.

Trade union representatives are Magnus Lundgren (SACO), 0046-8-673 95 25 and Peter Jacobsson (ST), 0046-8-673 97 92.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is an independent organisation whose overall objective is to promote the sciences and strengthen their influence in society.

Readings on ES in a Social-Ecological Context (with a resilience emphasis)

Recently I developed a short reading list for PhD students working on ecosystem services at the Stockholm Resilience Centre.  This list seeks to cover and introduce a broad area of ecosystem service research with a focus on understanding ecosystem services in a social-ecological context, with a special focus on resilience.

Background

  1. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. MA Conceptual framework.  Chapter 1 in Ecosystems and Human WellBeing: Status and Trends. Island Press (Washington, DC). [available online at: http://www.csrc.sr.unh.edu/~lammers/MacroscaleHydrology/Papers/MilleniumAssessment-ResponsesAssessment-01-MA%20Conceptual%20Framework.aspx.pdf]
  2. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005.  Analytical Approaches for Assessing  Ecosystem Condition and Human Well-being.  Chapter 2 in Ecosystems and Human WellBeing: Status and Trends. Island Press (Washington, DC). [available online at: http://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/public-events/archiv/alter-net/former-ss/2009/06.09.2009/cramer/literature/de_fries_et_al_mea.pdf

Ecology and ES

  1. Kremen, C. (2005). Managing ecosystem services: what do we need to know about their ecology?. Ecology Letters, 8(5), 468-479.
  2. Lavorel, S., Grigulis, K., Fourier, J. & Cedex, G. (2012) How fundamental plant functional trait relationships scale-up to trade-offs and synergies in ecosystem services. Journal of Ecology, 100, 128–140.

Institutions & ES

  1. Jack, B.K., Kousky, C. & Sims, K.R.E. (2008) Designing payments for ecosystem services: Lessons from previous experience with incentive-based mechanisms. PNAS, 105, 9465–70.
  2. Muradian, R., Corbera, E., Pascual, U., Kosoy, N. & May, P.H. (2010) Reconciling theory and practice: An alternative conceptual framework for understanding payments for environmental services. Ecological Economics, 69, 1202–1208.
  3. Rathwell, K. J., and G. D. Peterson. 2012. Connecting social networks with ecosystem services for watershed governance: a social-ecological network perspective highlights the critical role of bridging organizationsEcology and Society 17(2): 24.
  4. van Noordwijk, M., & Leimona, B. (2010). Principles for Fairness and Efficiency in Enhancing Environmental Services in Asia: Payments, Compensation, or Co-Investment? Ecology and Society15(4), 17.

Proposed Framework Extensions

  1. Chan, Kai MA, et al. 2012 Where are cultural and social in ecosystem services? A framework for constructive engagement. BioScience 62(8): 744-756.
  2. Daw, T., Brown, K., Rosendo, S. & Pomeroy, R. 2011 Applying the ecosystem services concept to poverty alleviation: the need to disaggregate human well-being. Environmental Conservation, 38, 370–379.
  3. Daniel, T. C., Muhar, A., Arnberger, A., Aznar, O., Boyd, J. W., Chan, K., … & von der Dunk, A. 2012. Contributions of cultural services to the ecosystem services agenda. PNAS109(23), 8812-8819.
  4. Fisher, B., Turner, R. & Morling, P. (2009) Defining and classifying ecosystem services for decision making. Ecological Economics, 68, 643–653.

ES & Resilience

  1. Biggs, R., Schlüter, M., Biggs, D., Bohensky, E. L., BurnSilver, S., Cundill, G., … & West, P. C. (2012). Toward Principles for Enhancing the Resilience of Ecosystem Services. Annual Review of Environment and Resources37(1).
  2. Enfors et al., 2008 Making investments in dryland development work: participatory scenario planning in the Makanya catchment, Tanzania.  Ecology and Society, 13 (2)42
  3. Raudsepp-Hearne, C., Peterson, G.D., Tengö, M., Bennett, E.M., Holland, T., Benessaiah, K., MacDonald, G.K. & Pfeifer, L. (2010) Untangling the Environmentalist’s Paradox: Why Is Human Well-being Increasing as Ecosystem Services Degrade? BioScience, 60, 576–589.

Tradeoffs & Bundles of ES

  1. Bennett, E.M., Peterson, G.D. & Gordon, L.J. (2009) Understanding relationships among multiple ecosystem services. Ecology Letters, 12, 1394–404.
  2. Raudsepp-Hearne, C., Peterson, G.D. & Bennett, E.M. (2010) Ecosystem service bundles for analyzing tradeoffs in diverse landscapes. PNAS, 107, 5242–7.
  3. Nelson, E., Mendoza, G., Regetz, J., Polasky, S., Tallis, H., Cameron, Dr., Chan, K.M., Daily, G.C., Goldstein, J., Kareiva, P.M., Lonsdorf, E., Naidoo, R., Ricketts, T.H. & Shaw, Mr. (2009) Modeling multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, commodity production, and tradeoffs at landscape scales. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 7, 4–11.

Implementation

  1. Cowling, R.M., Egoh, B., Knight, A.T., O’Farrell, P.J., Reyers, B., Rouget’ll, M., Roux, D.J., Welz, A. & Wilhelm-Rechman, A. (2008) An operational model for mainstreaming ecosystem services for implementation. PNAS, 105, 9483–9488.
  2. Daily, G.C., Polasky, S., Goldstein, J., Kareiva, P.M., Mooney, H. a, Pejchar, L., Ricketts, T.H., Salzman, J. & Shallenberger, R. (2009b) Ecosystem services in decision making: time to deliver. Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment, 7, 21–28.
  3. O’Farrell, P. J., Anderson, P. M., Le Maitre, D. C., & Holmes, P. M. (2012). Insights and opportunities offered by a rapid ecosystem service assessment in promoting a conservation agenda in an urban biodiversity hotspotEcology and Society17(3), 27.

Questions + Futures

  1. Carpenter, S.R., Mooney, H. a, Agard, J., Capistrano, D., Defries, R.S., Díaz, S., Dietz, T., Duraiappah, A.K., Oteng-Yeboah, A., Pereira, H.M., Perrings, C., Reid, W. V, Sarukhan, J., Scholes, R.J. & Whyte, A.  2009. Science for managing ecosystem services: Beyond the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. PNAS, 106, 1305–12.
  2. Kinzig, A., Perrings, C., Chapin III, F., Polasky, S., Smith, V., Tilman, D. & Turner II, B. 2011. Paying for Ecosystem Services — Promise and Peril. Science, 334, 603–604.
  3. Kremen, C. and R.S. Ostfeld. 2005. A call to ecologists: measuring, analyzing, and managing ecosystem services. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment 3:10:540-548.
  4. Norgaard, R.B. 2010. Ecosystem services: From eye-opening metaphor to complexity blinder. Ecological Economics, 69, 1219–1227.

This list over emphasizes the research from Stockholm Resilience Centre, which is useful for us, but probably not for those with other interests.  For those who are interested – I have a broader open Mendeley of papers of ecosystem services – here.

Please suggest papers that our students should be reading in the comments.

 

PhD studentship in Political Science at Stockholm University

Are you looking for a PhD studentship in political science, linked to the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and focusing on participation and learning in ecosystem management? Then have a look at the ad below. The student will be based at the Department of Political Science (Stockholm university), supervised by Andreas Duit, and will be embedded in a research team that consists of Lisen Schultz (systems ecologist at the SRC), Örjan Bodin (systems ecologist at the SRC), Cecilia Lundholm (educational scientist), Matthew Plowey (GIS student) and Simon West (PhD student in Natural Resource Management).

Applications are due on December 1st.

The Department of Political Science, Stockholm university, announces an externally funded PhD studentship in comparative ecosystem governance.

Project title
GLEAN — A Global Survey of Learning, Participation and Ecosystem Management (http://www.statsvet.su.se/English/Research/glean.htm)

Project description
The PhD-position is funded by the research programe GLEAN — A Global Survey of Learning, Participation and Ecosystem Management, which is financed by the National Science Council and directed by Associate Professor Andreas Duit.

The programme is hosted by the Department of Political Science in collaboration with Stockholm Resilience Centre and is carried out by a cross-disciplinary research team during the period 2012—2016.

The GLEAN project, in which the PhD project will be embedded, aims to analyse the effect of stakeholder participation in natural resource management programmes on outcomes in ecosystems and learning processes.

By combining a cross-national panel survey of BR-areas in 55 countries, longitudinal biodiversity mapping using satellite imagery, and context-sensitive field work in strategically selected cases studies, the contested role of stakeholder participation in natural resource management will be examined in with a much higher degree of precision and generalizability than previously possible.

Criteria for selection
Applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:
- analytical ability (scientific reports, papers, or degree project thesis)

- practical experience and knowledge related to the project

- knowledge of scientific theory and method

- personal references and gender equality aspects

Eligibility requirements
- completed academic degree at advanced level

- completed courses equivalent to 240 Swedish university credits (of which at least 60 credits at advanced level), or have acquired the equivalent knowledge in another way in Sweden or elsewhere. There are some regulations regarding transition.

For further information on eligibility criteria, application process etc please see http://www.stockholmresilience.org/21/about-us/vacancies/phd-studentship-in-political-science.html

Arctic Resilience Assessment research position at SRC

Stockholm Resilience Centre is looking for a researcher in Resilience in Arctic Social-Ecological Systems.  Applications are due Jan 23. The job ad states:

In a joint venture with the Stockholm Environmental Institute,  Stockholm Resilience Centre seeks a researcher to be scientific leader in an Arctic Resilience Report (ARR). The ARR has been approved as an Arctic Council project and is a priority for the Swedish chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The goal of the project is to better understand impacts and risks related to integrated processes of change in the Arctic with focus on the risk for rapid shifts in ecosystems services that affect human well-being. The ARR will furthermore explore strategies to build social-ecological resilience among Arctic communities.

The ARR includes activities until 2015. It is based on active engagement with stakeholders both in identifying valuable aspects of social-ecological systems in the Arctic and identifying drivers that affect them. This will be followed by an analysis of potential tipping points that can affect important ecosystems services and human well-being. An integral part of the assessment is also to identify policy and management options that may be needed for strengthening resilience, for adaptation, and for transformational change when this is necessary. The method for the project will build on and extend the approach developed in the Resilience Assessment workbook.

Work Tasks
You will be the scientific leader of the ARR and work closely with the project leader and other staff at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Stockholm Environment Institute and also with international networks, including the “Resilience Alliance”. Roles and responsibilities of the ARR Scientific Leader include:

  • Provide the scientific leadership in developing and carrying out the resilience assessment in the ARR.
  • Initiate and support different project activities under the ARR, and lead the method development for the resilience assessment.
  • Be the lead person in synthesizing insights and in structuring the interim and final reports of the ARR, and function as one of the lead authors.
  • Together with the ARR Project Leader, establish knowledge partnerships (international research networks, interactions with Arctic Council working groups and core programs, and engagement with key stakeholder groups) required in the assessment work.
  • Work closely with the Project Leader and the rest of the project team on all matters, including raising additional funds.
  • Start establishing an Arctic research group at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, together with the centre leadership.

Qualifications

  • Mid-level to senior academic experience in resilience research and integrated assessments.
  • Experience from research on social-ecological systems and resilience.
  • Research experience from the Arctic region.
  • Experience from policy oriented assessments/studies and participatory research processes.
  • Experience or familiarity with the Arctic Council.

Conditions of Employment
Employment is part-time to full-time (50-100 %), depending on the applicant and to be negotiated individually. Fixed-term contract of one year, subject to renewal up to four years in total. Access immediately. Stockholm University administers individual wages, therefore, please indicate salary requirement.

For more details see the full position announcement.

Stockholm University looking for Professor of Environmental Social Science

For all our great social science colleagues, if you are interested in coming to Stockholm, the Faculty of Social Science at Stockholm University is looking for  a Professor in Environmental Social Science.   You can’t be appointed in Stockholm Resilience Centre, as we aren’t in the Faculty of Social Science but the social and natural scientists at the Stockholm Resilience Centre would be interested in collaborating with whoever gets the position.

The application deadline is 15 February 2012.

The job ad states:

The possible contribution of social science to the understanding of current processes of environmental change covers a wide range of issues. Which aspects of human action and of the human-built environment affect the climate? How do climate and environmental change influence the conditions for a well-functioning society? How are such changes reflected in, for example, the areas of health and economy? How do individuals and societies adapt, at various levels of organization and action, to climatic and environmental change? Which notions of continuity and change in the climate and environment are prevalent in different social contexts? Which are the processes of knowledge and value formation that create such notions? Can one identify tensions between different interpretations?

Job Description
The position entails conducting research and teaching, primarily at the graduate and postgraduate levels. It also entails working with the development and implementation of faculty wide research initiatives and educational partnerships within the area of environmental social science. Furthermore, the position includes networking within the faculty as well as nationally and internationally, in order to strengthen research on climate and environmental issues at the Faculty of Social Science.

The development of environmental social science requires open and non-normative research on all of these questions and presupposes that local as well as global aspects are covered.

The purpose of the announced position as professor is to stimulate the growth of the research area as a whole. Processes that can be related to the core issues of social science as well as to actual human impact on the environment and climate (or vice versa) should be in focus. The starting point should be a solid basis of theoretical and methodological traditions from social science.

New Masters in Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development at Stockholm Resilience Centre

The new resilience science oriented masters programme at the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University is accepting applications for the second cohort of students starting in the fall of 2012.

The new two year Master’s programme will enhance students’ ability to understand and analyze of the complex interactions between ecological and social dynamics across scales; particularly ecosystem management in the context of change and uncertainty.  Students are introduced to multiple research approaches and methods for studying coupled social and ecological systems.

The programme admits 15 students each year and includes one year of courses and a traineeship, and one year spent doing a Master’s thesis.

The four mandatory courses are taken the first year are designed to define the challenges we face today and reflect on how resilience thinking can be applied to social-ecological systems to solve real-life problems.  Students gain experience in trans-disciplinary research methods by working in groups on real world problems, and during this time develop and refine their thesis research topic and plan.

After finishing courses, students spend the following year researching and writing their theses under the supervision of a centre researcher.  We encourage students to work with the ongoing research projects at the centre, and develop their research one or more papers for peer reviewed journals.

Application deadline for Autumn 2012 programme start is 15 January 2012 for non EU students and 15 April 2012 for EU students.

For more information see the SRC website.

Information and communication technologies in the Anthropocene

UPDATED: Slides from the talks at the end of this blogpost

The use of social media for political mobilization during the political uprisings in Northern Africa and the Middle East during 2010 and 2011; digital coordination of climate skeptic networks during “Climategate” in 2010; and the repercussions of hackers in carbon markets the last years. These are all examples of intriguing phenomena that take place at the interface between rapid information technological change, and the emergence of globally spanning virtual networks.

Exactly how information and communication technologies affect the behavior of actors at multiple scales, is of course widely debated. The question is: how do we make sense of these changes, from a wider resilience perspective?

Some of these discussions took place at the 2011 Resilience conference in Arizona in a panel convened by us at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and with generous support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada). Ola Tjornbo from Social Innovation Generation (SIG) at the University of Waterloo, explored some of the opportunites, but also profound challenges, related in trying to design effective virtual deliberation processes. Ola noted that while several success stories related to crowd-sourcing (Wikipedia) and collective intelligence (e.g. Polymath) do exist, we have surprisingly little systematic knowledge of how to design digital decision-making processes that help overcome conflicts of interest related to issues of sustainability. Some if these issues are elaborated by SiG, and you can find videos from an interesting panel on “Open Source Democracy” here.

Richard Taylor from SEI-Oxford presented a rapidly evolving platform for integration and dissemination of knowledge on climate adaptation – weADAPT. This platform combines the strengths of a growing community of climate adaptation experts, a database of ongoing local climate adaptation projects, semantic web technologies, and a Google Earth interface. The visualizations are stunning, and provide and interesting example of how ICTs can be used for scientific communication.

Angelica Ospina from the Centre of Development Informatics at the University of Manchester, showcased some ongoing work on mobile technologies and climate adaptation resilience. As Ospina noted, ICTs can provide some very tangible support for various features of resilience, ranging from self-organization, to learning and flexibility. You can find a working paper  by Angelica here.

To summarize: three very different yet complementary perspectives on how ICTs could be harnessed in the Anthropocene: by building new types of virtually supported decision making and collective intelligence processes; linking expert communities and local natural resource management experimentation together; and by exploring the resilience building strengths of decentralized mobile technologies.

Slides from the talks

Victor Galaz (intro)

Ola Tjornbo

Richard Taylor

Postdoc on Planetary Boundaries at Stockholm Resilience Centre

The Stockholm Resilience Centre seeking a research coordinator to coordinate and initiate interdisciplinary research on Planetary Boundaries.

The job ad is here:

The successful candidate will benefit from a dynamic research environment at the SRC as well as the wider network of Planetary Boundary research partners. He/she will be based in the Global and cross-scale dynamics theme at SRC. To the extent that it is compatible with the tasks and responsibilities of this position, the research coordinator is encouraged to pursue his/her personal research interests within the broader Planetary Boundaries research programme.

The position is a one-year full-time employment, with possibilities for extension. Starting date: May 2011 or by agreement.

Two Asst. Professor Jobs at Stockholm Resilience Centre

Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University is looking for two tenure track assistant professors. The deadline is soon, 1 March 2001.

Associate Senior lecturer in environmental sciences, in particular ecosystem-based management of the Baltic Sea
The subject includes analysis of social-ecological systems that integrates ecology and management-related societal functions, including economy.

Main tasks are research and coordination of research on ecosystem based management within the research programme Baltic Ecosystem Adaptive Management (BEAM), and to some extent teaching and supervision.

Read more and apply here

Associate Senior Lecturer in Environmental Sciences with emphasis on modeling of social-ecological systems
The subject area involves modeling, analysis and simulation of social-ecological systems, thus integrating several different ecological and/or socioeconomic factors and issues, including resilience.

Main tasks are research, to some extent teaching and supervision, and manager of a modelling and visualisation lab.

Read more and apply here