Forecasting Resilience of Social Ecological Landscapes

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Forecasting Resilience of Social Ecological Landscapes. Some Tools to Help Us Understand This Thing Called “Sustainability”. Lilian Alessa, Andrew Kliskey, Mark Altaweel - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Forecasting Resilience of Social Ecological Landscapes

Forecasting Environmental Resilience of Arctic Landscapes

Forecasting Resilience of Social Ecological LandscapesSome Tools to Help Us Understand This Thing Called Sustainability

Lilian Alessa, Andrew Kliskey, Mark AltaweelResilience and Adaptive Management Group, Water and Environmental Research Center, University of Alaska; Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity, Arizona State University, University of Chicago, Argonne National Lab

1A Few Sustainability MythsSustainability is about the environment.Consumer choices and grassroots activism works.There is no single critical piece of the sustainability challenge.

Lemonik, 2009. Princeton, New Jersey.2Humour Me..Sustainability is possibly one of the most misunderstood words in common usage.Social structure, particularly agent types, are powerful determinants of emergent SES patterns.The environment has become synonymous with green but we are more of a STS than an SES (something Id like you to jot down for your Immersion Experience tomorrow).

3Water is the Critical PieceEntering the Century of WaterMost issues depend on water availability, distribution and/or quality.Transitions from common pool resource to trade commodity.Several solutions are not possible unless water is factored in.

4Trends in Water ResourcesAlso see White, Hinzman, Alessa, JGR Biogeosciences, 2007Not just availability but also quality, we can only clean so well.

5Both surface and ground

6 Knowing about the use of water is important to planning for future water supplies. The USGS has published summaries of the Nations water use, every 5 years starting with 1950. This month we are publishing the summary for the year 2000 The information is compiled in cooperation with all of the states and many other federal agencies and organizations What we are describing here is the withdrawal of water from rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs, estuaries, and ground-water. It includes both fresh water and saline water, although within the report we distinguish between the two.

Sound planning for water depends on a sound understanding of the nations water resources and a sound understanding of how people will use the water in the future. This report is intended to help the public and decision makers better understand water use, to aid in better long-term national water policy and water planning for future generations.

7Dealing with Future Change Requires a Paradigm Shift in ScienceGrowing evidence that technological interventions alone are not effective and may drive critical changes in water use patterns. --UN Commission on Sustainable Development (1995).1. Our understanding of the social dynamics in social ecological systems is poor.2. Our incorporation of scale is sloppy.3. Our treatment of SES is oversimplified.These may represent some of our greatest vulnerabilities to effectively coping with change.





Alessa et al. 2009. In Press, Sustainability10Screen shot of SES types paper

11How Could We Possibly Fail?ScaleMessy Social Ecological SystemsUnderestimation of Social Dynamics Hubris: we will engineer a solution or sustainability as a hobby12


NetworksLearningVulnerableResilientResourcesDisasters/ConflictsPoliciesResilience & Adaptation14Gaining an Edge:The ToolsSocial Ecological Hotspots Mapping.The Arctic Water Resources Vulnerability Index (AWRVI).Forecasting Environmental Resilience of Arctic Landscapes (FERAL).MapAssessModel15Frances asked how do we integrate the social with the environmental. One way could be discourse but that is only a first step. The real work and the real pay off of the work comes from using tools, after all we are a tool using species.Social Ecological Systems Hotspot MappingTakes social and biophysical values and uses GIS to map the coupled social ecological landscape.Gives us information about where specific dynamics exist.Was highlighted as innovative science by NSF in Spring 2008.16Screen shot of paper


18Screen shot of paper

19Adapting to Change: AWRVIThe Arctic Water Resources Vulnerability Index: AWRVI (Ar-Vee).Tool to assess status of water resources at the watershed scale.Unifies western and traditional knowledge systems.Can be used to determine resilience and best strategies for development.First and only of its kind for high latitudes and local scales.20AWRVI represents the combination of western science and local knowledge, taking the strengths of both into a robust and all-around tool.Environmental Vulnerability IndicesEVI: United Nations Environment Programme (2001).UN Commission on Sustainable Development (1995).Global Commission on Fresh Water Resources (2004).Water recognized as single-most important variable in rapid change.21


23Emergent toolsagent-based models (ABM)

24Agent Based ModelsSpecify the rules of behavior of individuals (agents) as well as rules of interactionSimulate many agents using a computer modelExplore the consequences of the agent-level rules on the population as a wholeSimple models to produce complex behaviors

How could drops of water know themselves to be a river? Yet the river flows on--Antoine du Sainte-Exupery25Agents and Systemsagents have connections to each other, and form a system and operate in an environment with feedbacksagents behave autonomously thus they each have their own parameters (data) and behaviorssystems change once the agents affect the threshold in a significant way26Agent Based ModelsAre notAn attempt to perfectly reproduce reality (usually)

AreAre a tool to gain intuition about the system of interest without needing to know all of the detailsA tool to run experiments which cannot be performed in real lifeA tool to generate and test hypotheses about what is occurringA tool to refine data collection foci

27Big QuestionsWhat drives the human hydrological system? How do societies overshoot their resources (both social and physical)?How can we learn to avoid this fate? (Should we? If so, why?)Move beyond rhetoric.Source: Alessa , Kliskey, and Altaweel. 2009, In Press, Sustainability28All environmental problems are human problems: even science is anthropocentric. Easier to talk in general terms, use Chapin quotes here.Desire,MeansTechnologyPerceptions,ValuesExposure

NetworksLearningVulnerableResilientResourcesDisasters/ConflictsPoliciesResilience & Adaptation29Forecasting Environmental Resilience of Arctic Landscapes (FERAL)

30Developing Real RulesToo often, ABMs rely on artificial rules (e.g., games).Or .what ifs.It is critical that rules be derived from the messy, real world.Humans are not logical but they are predictable."Man is a complex being; he makes the deserts bloom and lakes die." Gil Stern31Developing Real RulesThere are three rules of thumb to successfully developing rule sets for ABM.Observe your system to the point of intimacy.Establish colleagues in it who will assist you with field work and data collection.Include modelers at the outset, not once you think it would be nice to model.32Screen shot of JASSS 2 paper

33Your Immersion ExperienceTomorrow you will go out into three SES (two being primarily STS).As yourself who/what are the objects in the landscape (e.g., people, terrain, interventions, others?). For each of these objects, what would you need to know about them to develop meaningful rule sets?34Applying Agent-Based Modeling

Source: Altaweel, Alessa, and Kliskey, JASSS, Forthcoming35Values held toward water

Source: Alessa , Kliskey, Williams. Society & Natural Resources. 2008.36Current Social ABM in FERAL

Step 1: Assess water source selection process with observed trends and determine consequences of water selection choices.37Integrated Models: Example Runtime Output 2

River DischargeQuantity change beliefMaximumMean38How People Make Choices: Why We Need to Know This

People make decisions according to their life experiences,social relationships, and perceptions of what is around them.

Different people have different influence and goals that influencesother people around them: three agent types, alpha, beta and gamma.A persons ideasPersons decision

The thought processSocial influence and behavior affects water use39

Decision Making: Divisions in the Decision Process12510Plot points show agents.Red=RejectBlue=AcceptDifferent agent types affectwhether decisions made resultIn collective or individualbenefits

Results show cliquesforming and social positionof those rejectingan idea.40

Decision Making: Representation in Social Space 25110Social network representation of relationships.Over a few ticks, more people agree to accept the initial idea. However, this often occurs if leaders agree initially and coordinate theirefforts.Black=RejectLight Blue=Accept25Negative Relationships 41Changing Viewpoints: Effect on Decision Making

Group vs. Individual goals42Certainty Agreement matrix is a conceptual representation. Agent based models, using data derived from the field allow us to test these kinds of ideas. What it shows is that some aspects hold true, the ones that are somewhat obvious, but many dont. Thus using ABMs also allows us to refine and advance knowledge. FERAL: White Mountain Scenario

agentWhite MountainFish RiverMunicipal Water sourceWorld Wind 3D visualization view4310-Year Scenario: Travel To River

agentsWhite MountainFish RiverAgents concentrate at river sources nearest to White Mountain.4410-Year Scenario: Tracking Total Movements

Aggregate agent movements during each Time tick.Concentration of movements over entire simulation and time.


Municipal and non-municipal sources fluctuate seasonally.Colors in water sources indicate r