Young Scholars Spring School on social-ecological systems research

This Spring School will take place after the Garden Route meeting, 2-4th October 2018, Sedgefield, South Africa

 Purpose and scope

This Spring School will take place directly after the 2nd Garden Route Interface Meeting (see attached flyer) and will build on the same theme of “science and practice co-learning to navigate complex social-ecological issues”. The main aim will be to stimulate and capacitate young scholars (master to post-doc levels) interested in social-ecological systems and transdisciplinary research. Participants will be exposed to a broad spectrum of approaches and methods that can be used to design social-ecological studies as well as hands-on study design in collaboration with peers, managers, experienced academics and dedicated mentors. The school will help to strengthen the emerging network of social-ecological scientists interested in bridging knowledge silos and contributing to transformations towards sustainability. 

Programme outline

The Garden Route Interface Meeting (2-4 Oct 2018) will serve as an “introductory module” for the Spring School, as many presentations and discussions will contribute to building capacity of the participants. The School per se will then commence on Friday 5 Oct with a combination of discussions (involving local managers to understand their needs, priorities and views of the social-ecological system they manage) and seminars on topics such as transdisciplinarity, knowledge co-creation, mixed-method research approaches, transformative learning and social-ecological transformations. Depending on the number of participants, four to five groups will be formed with a manager and a senior researcher (acting as a mentor or facilitator) assigned to each group. Over the remainder of the course, each group will focus on a specific management issue for which they will have to design a transdisciplinary study. A discovery field trip is envisaged for the Sat 6 Oct 2018. The course will conclude on the afternoon of Wed 10 Oct 2018 with group presentations and associated discussions and questions related to approaches and the feasibility of proposed studies. 

Benefits to participants

Exposure to state-of-the-art research topics and methods, open discussion with experienced and active inter- and trans-disciplinary researchers, concrete experience of co-designing a study, field experience with stakeholders and managers in the field (e.g. SANParks), facilitated group interactions on concrete themes embedded in a beautiful and very diverse environment with high societal stakes coupled with major ecosystem threats.

Fore more information and registration, please see the attached leaflet.

Hervé fritz

Published: 19/06/2018

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