Boğaziçi University, Institute of Environmental Sciences. Spring, 2013.
Systems Inquiry and Modeling for Sustainability
Instructor : Ali Kerem Saysel, email@example.com, http://web.boun.edu.tr/ali.saysel,
tel: 3597252, office: HKC207
Lectures : ThThTh234
Course description and objectives:
This is a series of seminars on applications of system dynamics method on various topics related to the problems of sustainability. Sustainability, in technical and operational terms is "inter-generational transfer of natural and manufactured capital stocks that would be adequate and no less than the one that exists now in terms of quantity and quality". System Dynamics is a simulation based method for understanding the structure and behavior of complex dynamic socio-economic systems. The dynamic, long-term problem orientation, closed loop thinking and simulation based experimentation in system dynamics renders it useful for the analysis of many economic, social and environmental sustainability problems.
Sustainability problems occur at different temporal and geographical scales. Dynamics of growth in a finite world; urban dynamics; energy transition; global climate change; agro-biodiversity loss; food security; water stresses; toxic contamination; epidemics; education and learning for sustainabiliy as well as other renewable and non renewabel resource issues are potential themes that are studied with systems approach and dynamic modeling.
Lectures start with an introduction and review of the system dynamics method and definitions of sustainability. Causes of "overexploitation" of the earth's source and sink resources are investigated from dynamic systems perspective. Cooperative action problems in common pool resource regimes, misperceptions of dynamics of resources systems are introduced. Two very classical debates in system dynamics, dynamics of growth in a limited environment and the problems of urban growth and aging are covered. Other topics and the remaining parts of the syllabus are decided on the first meeting of the instructor and the students. For the following lectures, students select out their own topics and the instructor provides basic literature and suggests instructional materials. Therefore, student contribution and attendance is compulsory.
Grading and Students Obligations
Each student is expected to first prepare a literature review (15 pt.) and lecture a course (10 pt.) on a selected theme related to the problems of sustainability in systems perspective. The literature review is the basis for classroom instruction. In their literature reviews, students are expected to cover the background of their selected theme, introduce various associated problems and then to point to a single or a few highly relevant particular applications of system dynamics. Students are adviced to provide their literature review papers and a single or a few readings at least one week in advance to their classroom lectures, to be shared with their classmates and the instructor.
Throughout the lectures, particular research topics are adressed. Students will build two by two groups to accomplish a term project on these selected research problems. Projects are typically applied modeling work but can also be on further analysis and improvement of models that exists in literature. Student are obliged to create a research proposal (15 pt.), develop the project and submit its research write-up (30 pt.).
Last student obligation is to the take the comprehensive final exam (30 pt.), which will cover all the topics studied throughout the semester, both in the instrcutor's and students' lectures.
ESc 577, IE 550 or instructors consent.
Esc 578 research guidelines
1. Andrew Ford, Modeling the Environment: An Introduction to System Dynamics Modeling of Environmental Systems. Island Press. 1999-2011.
2. Barlas Y. 2002. System Dynamics: Systemic Feedback Modeling For Policy Analysis, Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), UNESCO Publishing, Paris-Oxford.
3. John D. Sterman, Business Dynamics, McGraw-Hill, 2000.
4. Turner R K, Pearce D, Bateman I, Environmental Economics: An Elementary Introduction, John Hopkins, 1993.
5. Robin Hahnel, Green Economics: Confronting the Ecological Crises, M. E. Sharpe, 2011.
Week 1 (19/02). Meeting and organization. Selected research themes and problems. System Dynamics Method.
Readings: John Sterman, Business Dynamics, McGraw Hill, Chapter 3: The Modeling Process.
Week 3 (05/03). System Dynamics Method and Sustainable Development
Readings: Pearce and Turner, Environmental Economics, John Hopkins Press, 1993, Part I.
Robin Hahnel, Green Economics, M. E . Sharpe, 2011, Ch. 4.
Week 4 (12/03). Common pool resources and collective action problems.
Readings: Ostrom, Gardner, Walker. Rules, Games and Common Pool Resources, Michigan, 1994. Chapter 1.
Castillo and Saysel, 2005. Simulation of Common Pool Resource Field Experiments, Ecological Economics, 55, 420-436
Week 5 (19/03). Common pool resources (cont. analysis of the simulatioın model)
Week 6 (26/03). Resource overexploitation: The Role of misperceptions.
Readings: Sterman, J. 1994. Learning in and About Complex Systems, System Dynamics Review, 10 (2-3), pp. 291-330. Read until p. 310.
Moxnes, E. 2000. Not Only the Trajedy of the Commons but Misperceptions of Feedback and Policies for Sustainable Development, System Dynamics Review, 16 (4), pp. 325-248.
Week 7 (02/04). Role of misperceptions (cont.)
Moxnes, E. and A. S. Saysel. 2009. Misperceptions of Global Climate Change: Informatiın Policies, Climatic Change, 93:15-37.
LITERATURE REVIEW PAPER DUE
Week 8 (09/04) Literature review lectures.
Readings: Vennix, J. A. M. 1999. Group Model Building: Tackling Messy Problems, System Dynamics Review, 15.
Harich, J. 2010. Change Resistance as the Crux of the Environmental Sustainability Problem, System Dynamics Review, 26.
Week 9 (16/04). World Dynamics and Limits to Growth debate
Lecture notes I
Readings: Jorgen Randers. 2000. From Limits to Growth to Sustainable Development in a System Dynamics Perspective
Week 10 (30/04). RESEARCH PROPOSALS DUE
The growth debate (cont.)
Week 11 (07/05) Research proposal discussion.
Week 12 (14/05). Urban Dynamics
J. W. Forrester, Systems Analysis as a Tool for Urban Planning, ISEE Transactions, October 1970.
K. Saeed, Economic Development, Creative Destruction and Urban Dynamics, ISDC, Seoul, 2010.
Week 13 (21/05). Missellaneous topics and supervision.
FINAL EXAM, 4 JUNE 2013 10:00 (open notes)
RESEARCH WRITE UPS DUE, 11 JUNE 2013 10:00