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24. Systemwissenschaftliches Kolloquium

Wintersemester 2017/18

Das Kolloquium findet nur im Wintersemester jeweils mittwochs von 16:15 bis 18:00 Uhr im Institut für Umweltsystemforschung, Barbarastr. 22c, Raum 93/E07 statt.

Programmübersicht

01.11.2017
Prof. Dr. Andreas Thiel, Universität Kassel, Ökologische Agrarwissenschaften:
Polycentricity and natural resource governance.

15.11.2017
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Florian Diekert, Alfred-Weber-Institut für Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Universität Heidelberg:
Tipping points and the communal use of natural resources.

22.11.2017
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Müller, Senckenberg Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum, Frankfurt/Main:
Animal movements: From individual behaviors to conservation applications.

29.11.2017
Prof. Dr. Jonathan Jeschke, Freie Universität Berlin, Fachbereich Biologie, Chemie, Pharmazie, Institut für Biologie:
Hierarchies of hypotheses and other new tools for ecological synthesis.

20.12.2017
Dr. Daniel Neumann, Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde:
Air quality modelling and the importance of sea salt emissions for air quality predictions.

10.01.2018
Prof. Dr. Benjamin Burkhard, Leibniz-Universität Hannover, Institut für Physische Geographie und Landschaftsökologie:
Mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services within the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020.

24.01.2018
Prof. Dr. Andrea Lenschow, Fachbereich Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften, Universität Osnabrück:
Governance for sustainability in telecoupled relations.

07.02.2018
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Annie Waldherr, Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster:
News waves and opinion spirals: Studying the public sphere as a complex system.

Kurzfassung der Vorträge

01.11.2017
Prof. Dr. Andreas Thiel, Universität Kassel, Ökologische Agrarwissenschaften

Polycentricity and natural resource governance
Polycentricity puts dynamics of self-organisation among citizens but also among public agents centre stage in the way governance and management of people’s affairs are organized. The presentation will explain a particular perspective of polycentricity, which uses the writings around it to analyze the dynamics and performance of governance. Particularly, it will focus on the role of variables underlying polycentric governance, i.e. social problem characteristics and constitutional rules and assumptions. The presentation will illustrate the application of this perspective for a variety of natural resource management problems. It will be applied to investigate the determinants of the organisation of water governance in Europe; it will be used to theorize cross-sectoral nexus governance, similarly in the water sector; and it will be used to illustrate how social problem characteristics and constitutional rules shape biodiversity governance and governance of global value chains and its performance. In essence, the presentation therefore wonders how putting self-organisation centre stage can enhance our understanding of (natural resource) governance. 

15.11.2017
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Florian Diekert, Alfred-Weber-Institut für Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Universität Heidelberg

Tipping points and the communal use of natural resources
Many natural resources are characterized by complex processes that exhibit tipping points. Crossing such a threshold can have desastrous, and potentially irreversible, consequences. For example, the cod stock off the coast of Eastern Canada has — to this day — not recovered after it has collapsed in the early 1990’s. Similarly, the cod stock off the coast of Norway was on the brink of collapse at the end of the 1980’s. Here, however, a combination of policy and beneficial climatic change has turned the tide. Today this cod stock is the largest in the world supports one of the most valuable whitefish on the globe. Tipping points are in fact not only a threat but also a chance. In my talk, I will present an overview of the research on this topic, including some of my own work. I ask under which condition a threatening threshold can serve as a catalyst to stand together and when it leads to a situation where each agent tries to grab what can be grabbed before it is too late.

22.11.2017
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Müller, Senckenberg Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum, Frankfurt/Main

Animal movements: From individual behaviors to conservation applications
Animal movement receives widespread attention within ecology and behavior. However, much research is restricted within isolated sub-disciplines focusing on single phenomena such as navigation, search strategies  or theoretical considerations of optimal population dispersion. My research focuses on integrating individual-level behavior and population-level spatial distributions with respect to spatio-temporal resource dynamics. For example, how do landscape dynamics effect animal movement and lead to population patterns such as range residency or migration? How can individual- or social learning effect long distance animal movements?
Of particular interest when studying animal movements is an increasing human footprint that poses exceptional challenges for moving animals. How can long distance animal movements persist under increasing landscape fragmentation?  One study system are Mongolia’s eastern steppes, the largest intact temperate grassland ecosystem in the world. Mongolian gazelles roam these steppe in vast number and their nomadic long-distance movements lead to huge area requirements. At the same time Mongolia faces a major economical transition phase that leads to dramatic changes of the steppe landscapes. How to shape human development to allow landscape permeability for moving animals is one of the key questions for applied movement research.

29.11.2017
Prof. Dr. Jonathan Jeschke, Freie Universität Berlin, Fachbereich Biologie, Chemie, Pharmazie, Institut für Biologie

Hierarchies of hypotheses and other new tools for ecological synthesis
Massive amounts of ecological and other data are accumulating each year. In the current era of Big Data, the statement by Naisbitt that “we are drowning in information but starved for knowledge” from the 1980s seems to be more applicable than ever before. We arguably lack effective tools for research synthesis at a macro level, tools that help “connect the dots.” I will present new synthesis tools – Hierarchies of Hypotheses (HoH's), networks of major hypotheses and research questions, among others – and give examples for applications of these tools in invasion ecology and biogeography.

20.12.2017
Dr. Daniel Neumann, Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

Air quality modelling and the importance of sea salt emissions for air quality predictions
The Northwestern European coastal areas are subject to considerable anthropogenic activities yielding emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere. In particular, air pollution by fine sulfate particles and formation of acid deposition by nitric and sulfuric acid are major threats to human health and the environment. In addition, atmospheric nitrogen input into water bodies causing eutrophication pose a risk to ecosystem functioning. Anthropogenic emissions of sulfur compounds and nitrogen oxides have been considerably reduced in the European Union in the last 25 years. However, their magnitude is still of great concern.
Coastal areas are also characterized by natural marine emissions, particularly of particulate sea salt. Sea salt particles interact with air pollutants and influence their deposition patterns – and, thus, affect where air pollutants and nutrients enter the ocean. The emissions and impacts of sea salt particles are highly variable in space and time.
Measurement campaigns provide information on local air pollution, but lack detailed spatial resolution. Atmospheric chemistry transport models (CTMs) are tools to model the spatio-temporal variability of air pollutants by calculating advection, diffusion, chemical reaction, and coagulation of atmospheric compounds. The Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) Modeling System is such a CTM. It was used to model the air quality in Northwestern Europe and to evaluate the impact of oceanic sea salt emissions on air quality and nutrient deposition.
The results presented at the Systemwissenschaftliches Kolloquium were produced at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Institute of Coastal Research, Department on Chemistry Transport Modelling.

10.01.2018
Prof. Dr. Benjamin Burkhard, Leibniz-Universität Hannover, Institut für Physische Geographie und Landschaftsökologie

Mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services within the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020
Mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services are central to the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020. The Strategy foresees in its Action 5 that all EU member states shall map and assess the state of ecosystems and their services in their national territories, assess the economic value of such services and promote the integration of these values into accounting and reporting systems at EU and national level by 2020. Thus, an appropriate framework, methods from ecological and socio-economic sciences as well as respective data to answer relevant question from society, policy, business or science are needed. Information and data on Ecosystem Service (ES) supply, demands, beneficiaries and potential mismatches with their supply location as well as ES quality and quantity, are mandatory for appropriate policy and decision making. Action 5 sets the requirements for an EU-wide knowledge-base, designed to be a primary resource for developing Europe’s green infrastructure, to identify areas for ecosystem restoration and a baseline against which the goal of ‘no net loss of BD and ES’ can be evaluated. The presentation will give an overview of ongoing related initiatives in Europe with special focus on the EU Horizon 2020 Support and Coordination Action ESMERALDA (Enhancing ecosystem services mapping for policy and decision making) and the implementation of MAES (Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services) in Europe.

24.01.2018
Prof. Dr. Andrea Lenschow, Fachbereich Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften, Universität Osnabrück

Governance for sustainability in telecoupled relations
Environmental politics and governance increasingly has a global dimension. This is not only because of ‘global’ issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss, but also because local human action has repercussions in far-away places. For example, meat production in Lower Saxony is dependent on imported Brazilian soy and, coupled through the global soy commodity chain, is causing surplus nitrate accumulation in Europe, on the one hand and tropical deforestation in South America on the other hand. Different strands of academic literature concerned with social-ecological interactions have described such phenomena as ‘telecoupling’ (Liu et al. 2013; Eakin at al. 2014; Friis and Nielsen 2017). Such telecoupling via commodity chains, global production networks, human migration, and the like, poses mounting challenges to global environmental sustainability – and, therefore, to governance. However, while the field of global environmental politics (and governance) has been maturing in recent years, telecoupled phenomena have not become subject to sophisticated governance frameworks yet. Reporting from a collaborative research project (which however is still in its first exploratory phase) the talk aims to raise awareness of the particular nature of telecoupled problems with the corresponding governance challenges and relate these challenges to existing conceptual understandings of global environmental politics and governance. The talk will build especially on one core case study – the soy connection between Germany and Brazil –, report on spillovers, feedback loops and (unintended) effects in the commodity chain, before turning to some first governance attempts with their potentials and shortcomings, and thus to a mounting research agenda.

07.02.2018
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Annie Waldherr, Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

News waves and opinion spirals: Studying the public sphere as a complex system
Understanding the public sphere as a complex, adaptive system helps understanding dynamic macro phenomena of public communication. In terms of complexity theory, the public sphere can be conceptualized as an arena where heterogeneous, autonomous and adaptive agents interact and self-organize. Multiple feedback mechanisms lead to the emergence of non-linear macro patterns such as news waves or opinion spirals. In my talk, I will first show how fundamental characteristics of complexity apply to the system of the public sphere Ð particularly in our contemporary digitized world. Then, I will illustrate this perspective by presenting two agent-based models. The first model simulates the typical stylized pattern of news waves by modeling the adaptive behavior of journalists and strategic issue sponsors. The second model builds on Noelle-Neumann's (1974) theory of the spiral of silence assuming that fear of isolation causes people to only speak out their opinion if they perceive a favorable opinion climate surrounding them. We will discuss the macro consequences of several micro assumptions of these models and think about how both models might be combined.

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