A pplied Methods Related to Regime Shifts in Social-Ecological Systems
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A pplied Methods Related to Regime Shifts in Social-Ecological Systems

A short course held in conjunction with WCERE 2014
June 27-28, 2014, Istanbul Technical University (ITU), Istanbul, Turkey



Istanbul Technical UniversityIstanbul Technical UniversityMany ecosystems have nonlinear features that can cause them to shift abruptly from one state to another. Human action is typically the trigger for such regime
shifts, which can be difficult to reverse and can cause the loss of valuable ecosystem services. Regime shifts have been documented for example in coral reefs, savannahs, and lakes. More details and examples can be found in the Regime Shifts database (www.regimeshifts.org). Economists have become increasingly interested in understanding how regime shifts affect environmental management and policy decisions.

The course is a standalone follow up to the one held two years ago in Prague which was mostly on theory. This time we will focus on two methodological approaches for conducting applied research on environmental regime shifts: statistical methods for identifying thresholds and tipping points in empirical data sets, and experimental methods to assess behavioral responses of people to regime shifts. In addition to lectures, the course will include lab sessions in
which participants will gain experience applying these approaches. 

Following the lectures and lab sessions, there will also be discussion sessions during which participants will work with the instructors to identify promising topics for applied research on environmental regime shifts in their countries and determine the key informational requirements for studies on those topics. The intention is to give participants a head start on preparing research proposals to be submitted to funding sources in their countries or regions. The course will be different from the previous one and a good complement for the students who took it last time, however people who didn’t have the opportunity to take the course two years ago are much welcome to apply as well on equal premisses.

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