Behavioural aspects of environmental problems: Use of evolutionary approaches to investigate how people react to environmental policy.
Climate-economic Models: Understand how economic agents think and decide about climate change and climate protection
Agent based modelling in water management, especially focused in extreme phenomena such floods and droughts.
The Global Resource Observatory (GRO)
The Global Resource Observatory is largest single research project being undertaken at the GSI, it investigates how the scarcity of finite resources will impact global social and political fragility in the short term. The ambitious three year project, funded by the Dawe Charitable Trust, will enable short term decision making to account for ecological and financial constraints of a finite planet.
GRO will include an open source multidimensional model able to quantify the likely short term interactions of the human economy with the carrying capacity of the planet and key scarce resources. The model will enable exploration of the complex interconnections between the resource availability and human development, and provides projections over the next 5 years.
Data and scenarios will be geographically mapped to show the current and future balance and distribution of resources across and within countries. The GRO tool will, for the first time, enable the widespread integration of the implications of depleting key resource into all levels of policy and business decision-making.
I am currently completing a PhD on information sharing for natural resources management. Research is based on case studies on oyster farming, in the Thau Basin, France and in New South Wales, Australia
I am interested in questions of method, and in the application of computational social models to a wide variety of national security questions (such as counterterrorism and counterinsurgency) as well as decision-making around complex natural resources such as water. My methods interest center on the use of qualitative social theory to inform the structure of computational social models, and the ways in which such models handle qualitative data. This raises questions around the nature of data and the ways in which computational social models convey information to decision-makers.
Dr. Dawn Parker is a professor at the University of Waterloo in the School of Planning. Her research focuses on the development of integrated socio-economic and biophysical models of land-use change. Dr. Parker works with agent-based modeling, complexity theory, geographic information systems, and environmental and resource economics. Her current ongoing projects include Waterloo Area Regional Model (WARM) Urban intensification vs. suburban flight, a SSHRC funded development grant that explores the causal relationships between light rail transit and core-area intensification, and the Digging into Data MIRACLE (Mining relationships among variables in large datasets from complex systems) project.
Andrew Bell (Ph.D. 2010, Michigan) was a Research Fellow in the Environment and Production Technology Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, DC. His current research portfolio focuses on the use of field instruments – such as discrete choice experiments, framed field experiments, randomized control trials – to inform behavior in agent-based models of coupled human-natural systems. Prior to this post, Andrew was a post-doctoral research fellow at The Earth Institute at Columbia University, where he focused on developing applications for paleo-climate histories.
I am a Ph.D. student studying the interactions between external regulations and social norms in natural resource management and international development. In particular, I am looking to use mixed methods research, including ethnographic research, field experiments, and agent-based computational models to explore the sustainability of market-based interventions and their possible perverse outcomes.