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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2020-21

ENVS 80.10 Coupled Human-Natural Systems: Theory and Practice

This course is an introduction to coupled human-natural systems, exploring how social, ecological, and environmental systems are linked and feedback to influence each other. Increasing human demand for Earth’s limited resources has resulted in a plethora of hazards to the natural world; problems which are unlikely to be solved without understanding the links between human and natural systems. Here, we will explore some of the complex, sometimes non-intuitive behavior that results from coupling these systems. The primary objective is to introduce students to the tools and techniques of complex systems science used for researching coupled human-natural systems. In a series of lectures and computer laboratory modules, students will be introduced to significant areas of research in the field and learn how to analyze and leverage basic continuous and discrete time differential models and spatiotemporal statistics to address socio-ecological problems. The course will provide basic coding instruction, as necessary. No prior experience in coding is needed. In a final project, students will work in groups to develop or adapt an existing socio-ecological model, gather and analyze existing data, as well as interpret the implications of their results for human management.



Distributive and/or World Culture


The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.