Farming and food systems as social ecological systems - integrated assessment for resilience and adaptive capacity
13 - 19 June 2010 in Finland
4 ECTS (1 ECTS ~ 25-30 hours work load)
The overall aim of the course is to introduce PhD students with conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches of studying farming and food systems as social ecological systems, and integrated assessment for sustainability of these.
The key learning goals include conceptual modelling of agri-food systems as social ecological systems, tools for their integrated assessment, and resilience and adaptive capacity as key parameters of sustainability of such systems. Along the rationale of the NOVA agroecology network (see e.g. Francis et al. 2003), an emphasis is in applications relevant not just to mainstream systems, but also to organic/ecological systems.
Professor Juha Helenius, Helsinki University, Finland
Professor Tor Arvid Breland, UMB, Norway
Senior scientist Mette Vaarst, AU Denmark
Associate professor Vibeke Langer, LIFE/KU, Denmark
Martin van Ittersum, WUR, Associate Professor, plant production systems, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Charles Redman, Arizona State University, Director, School of Sustainability, and Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Reimund Rötter, Agri-Food Research Finland, Adjunct Professor, Docent of agroecology, University of Helsinki
The course consists of a pre-course assignment 1-31 May, and an intensive course 13-18 June.
The pedagogical approach is based on a concept developed over the series of earlier courses of the Agro-ecology network, consisting of the following four elements:
• A good preparation of participants ensures a high level at the course. Thus, a pre-course assignment must be accepted before coming to the intensive course period.
• A research-based learning environment is sought by linking to an internationally recognized research examples, by eminent guest teachers. Creativity is facilitated by including conceptual frameworks stemming from a range of disciplines.
• A high degree of interactions during the intensive course period is sought by integrating windows of interaction with invited experts, interactions among participants through walk-and-talk and discussion topics.
• Ownership of own learning is sought by using a tool that has proven its value during the previous courses of the Agro-ecology network, which is that the participants apply what they learned in developing research proposal (group work) which is being defended in front of all participants.
NOVA Universities are:
LIFE, DJF, HU-AF, HU-V, UEF-F, LBHI, UMB, NVH, SLU
See list at NOVA website
BOVA Universities are:
EMU, LLU, LZUU, LVA
See list at BOVA website
Tvärminne Zoological station is situated in south coast of Finland,
about 100 km from Helsinki.
The place is surrounded by nature conservation areas and sea, and nature there is unique!
More information (in english) of Tvärminne station can be found here: