课程信息
In this course you will become familiar with the ideas of the water-energy-food nexus and transdisciplinary thinking. You will learn to see your community or country as a complex social-ecological system and to describe its water, energy and food metabolism in the form of a pattern, as well as to map the categories of social actors. We will provide you with the tools to measure the nexus elements and to analyze them in a coherent way across scales and dimensions of analysis. In this way, your quantitative analysis will become useful for informed decision-making. You will be able to detect and quantify dependence on non-renewable resources and externalization of environmental problems to other societies and ecosystems (a popular ‘solution’ in the western world). Practical case studies, from both developed and developing countries, will help you evaluate the state-of-play of a given community or country and to evaluate possible solutions. Last but not least, you will learn to see pressing social-ecological issues, such as energy poverty, water scarcity and inequity, from a radically different perspective, and to question everything you’ve been told so far. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Part of the results and case studies presented have been developed within two projects: MAGIC and PARTICIPIA. However, the course does not reflect the views of the funding institutions or of the project partners as a whole, and the case studies were presented purely with an educational and illustrative purpose.
Globe

100% 在线课程

立即开始,按照自己的计划学习。
Intermediate Level

中级

Clock

完成时间大约为29 小时

建议:4-6 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

字幕:English
Globe

100% 在线课程

立即开始,按照自己的计划学习。
Intermediate Level

中级

Clock

完成时间大约为29 小时

建议:4-6 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

字幕:English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Introduction

Welcome to our course on the sustainability of social-ecological systems! Before getting started, we suggest you take a couple of minutes to read the information about the course and about the platform as given below. ...
Reading
1 video (Total 3 min), 8 readings
Reading8 readings
Welcome learners!10m
Course organization10m
Grading and logistics10m
Acknowledgement10m
FAQ - General topics10m
FAQ- Time management10m
FAQ - Quizzes and assignment10m
FAQ - Certificate10m
Clock
3 hours to complete

MODULE 1. Introducing the basic concepts

In this first week we will look at the nexus from a different perspective: What is the nexus? Why is it getting all this attention right now? Is it just a buzzword, or something more? We will start by explaining what the nexus means in terms of complexity and propose the basic concepts needed for a metabolic analysis of the nexus. It might take a while to get your head around these concepts, but they are essential to understand what comes next. Finally, we will give examples of “elephants in the room” in the sustainability discourse – to show you that mainstream narratives are not always right....
Reading
9 videos (Total 118 min), 1 quiz
Video9 videos
The challenges faced in nexus analysis17m
Examples of “different” analyses of the nexus14m
Basic concepts of metabolic analysis12m
The bio-phsyical roots of metabolic patterns9m
Too rich to be green12m
The “intolerable” dependence on fossil fuel imports10m
Circular economy, Bioeconomy and Zero-emissions14m
Jevon’s paradox and the myth of resource efficiency as a solution for sustainability9m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Quiz 150m

2

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

MODULE 2. Acknowledging the poor quality of existing quantitative analyses

This week is all about narratives, framing and complexity. You will see how different narratives affect quantitative assessments, and why numbers aren’t always right. We will delve deeper into the theoretical basis of complex systems, and propose alternative ways of doing sustainability analysis, through the use of grammars. ...
Reading
9 videos (Total 123 min), 1 quiz
Video9 videos
The fragility of numbers10m
Handling the issue of scale15m
Narratives vs. Storytelling12m
The identity in Complex Systems11m
The Concept of Holon16m
Grammars: how to keep quantitative analysis semantically open10m
Mosaic Effect: integrating quantitative analysis across different hierarchical levels17m
The Sudoku Effect – how to handle impredicativity in quantitative analysis11m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Quiz 230m

3

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Module 3. The challenge of food accounting

Having introduced the basis of metabolic analysis and complex systems, we will now focus on the different elements of the nexus, starting with food. We will start by answering some seemingly basic questions: what do we mean by food, and how can it be accounted? Which qualities of food can and cannot be accounted for in terms of numbers? Practical examples will guide you along the way, and by the end of the week you will see why the current agricultural system is unsustainable to its core....
Reading
9 videos (Total 137 min), 1 quiz
Video9 videos
An example of an integrated quantitative analysis of food metabolism: Ecuador13m
What are qualities of the produced food that cannot be considered in qualitative analysis?18m
Pre-industrial metabolic pattern18m
Technological lock-in of agriculture11m
The post harvest sector16m
Feeding the cities12m
The mission impossible of agriculture in modern times16m
Multifunctional agriculture15m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Quiz 330m

4

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Module 4. The challenge of energy accounting

This week we will look at energy. As we did for food, we will start by looking at the problems of energy accounting, and setting a framework to allow us to carry out energy analyses across levels and scales. You will see why energy accounting is one of the most problematic aspects of sustainability, and through the example of the Energiewende we will explore how this affects policy....
Reading
9 videos (Total 123 min), 1 quiz
Video9 videos
Exosomatic Metabolism11m
EROI a critical appraisal14m
Energy grammar13m
Functional and structural components12m
Quality of PES13m
Energy efficiency for policy targets12m
The problem with agro-biofuels13m
Energiewende and the problem of intermittents9m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Quiz 420m

5

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Module 5. The challenge of water accounting

This week is all about water. By now you should be familiar with the concept of grammar, and we will see how building one for water can help in dealing with its many dimensions. Through the example of an analysis of the Mauritius Islands, you will become familiar with the many aspects of water accounting, and by the end of the week you will understand the importance of water in nexus analysis, especially when it comes to policymaking. ...
Reading
9 videos (Total 101 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video9 videos
A taxonomy for water analyses12m
Multi-scale grammars for water13m
The case of Mauritius island7m
The societal metabolism of water10m
The ecosystem metabolism of water9m
Incoherent water and food policies10m
Food security vs. water security8m
Water-energy nexus: fracking16m
Reading1 readings
Water metabolism of social-ecological systems10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Quiz 545m

6

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Module 6. The metabolic pattern of social-ecological systems across multiple scales and dimensions

We talked about scales and dimensions a lot, and this week we will explore and understand these concepts better. You will learn to account for human activity, an essential fund that is often left out from quantitative analysis, and how GIS tools can be incorporated with the methods you have learnt so far. This week is heavy on theory, to prepare you for week 7 which is all about applications. ...
Reading
9 videos (Total 119 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video9 videos
Time profile and types of society10m
Paid work overhead11m
Metabolic pattern of rural communities14m
Participatory integrated mapping of land uses8m
GIS tools for diagnosis and simulation11m
A general framework of analysis of the metabolic pattern of Social-Ecological Systems13m
Studying viability and desirability using the concept of Bio-Economic Pressure16m
Studying feasibility using the concepts of DPSIR and Environmental Impact Matrix18m
Reading2 readings
Between theory and quantification10m
Report of the Catalonia case study10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Quiz 645m

7

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

Module 7. Applications of MuSIASEM 2.0

How can the theoretical concepts explained so far be applied to practical examples? After introducing the basic building blocks of relational analysis needed for our applications, we will look at two real case examples: a nexus analysis of vegetable production in Almeria, and of a wind-powered desalination plant in the Canary Islands. By the end of this week you should be able to build processors and set up nexus analyses....
Reading
9 videos (Total 110 min), 1 quiz
Video9 videos
The concept of processor11m
The “tool-kit” to study feasibility, viability and desirability19m
Framing the analysis7m
Procedure for accounting12m
Illustration of results8m
The framing of the problem9m
The procedure of accounting with data11m
Illustration of the results13m

8

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Module 8. Time for "something completely different": from the Cartesian dream to quantitative story-telling via evidence based policy

We are ending the course with something a bit different (thanks to our guest lecturer Andrea Saltelli). This week we leave quantitative assessments behind, and take some time to reflect upon why it is important to do analyses in a different way. We will introduce the concepts of post-normal science and quantitative story-telling – this will allow you to think deeply about how you frame your analyses in the future. ...
Reading
9 videos (Total 95 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
Video9 videos
The undoing of the dream8m
Trust in Science and trust in quantification10m
What is PNS? Is it useful? PNS and quantification14m
All models are wrong, some are useful … but when?10m
Sensitivity auditing10m
Why frames matter; social construction of ignorance8m
A field example10m
Quantitative story telling10m
Reading4 readings
What is science’s crisis really about?10m
Post-normal institutional identities10m
What is wrong with evidence based policy, and how can it be improved10m
Further reading10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Quiz 830m
4.9

Top Reviews

By ALMar 31st 2018

Everybody should learn this !\n\nIt will change my way of looking at sustainability as promised by Prof. Giampietro.\n\nTHX

Instructors

Avatar

Mario Giampietro

ICREA Research Professor
Avatar

Andrea Saltelli

Guest researcher
Avatar

Tarik Serrano

Post-Doc Researcher

About Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) is a public university located in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. International in its outlook, it is fully consolidated within its local surroundings, and offers quality education in close association with research activity, the transfer of scientific, technological, cultural and educational knowledge, the promotion of its human potential and the responsible management of available resources. The UAB currently offers 81 degrees, 130 official Master Programmes and 183 UAB-specific Masters Degrees. In addition, it offers 174 lifelong learning programmes and 65 PhD Programmes, 27 of which have been distinguished through Quality Awards. The UAB has a total of over 3,500 teaching and research staff, over 2,000 administrative staff and over 40,000 students....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • If you pay for this course, you will have access to all of the features and content you need to earn a Course Certificate. If you complete the course successfully, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. Note that the Course Certificate does not represent official academic credit from the partner institution offering the course.

  • Yes! Coursera provides financial aid to learners who would like to complete a course but cannot afford the course fee. To apply for aid, select "Learn more and apply" in the Financial Aid section below the "Enroll" button. You'll be prompted to complete a simple application; no other paperwork is required.

  • The course is directed toward upper-division undergraduate and graduate students from a wide variety of disciplines (environmental sciences, engineering, agricultural sciences, social sciences) as well as professionals (NGOs, think tanks) and policy makers concerned with sustainable development in both developed and developing countries.

  • You can request the certificate at any time: before, during or once you finish the course.

  • · The course name

    · The instructor's signature

    · The logo of the partner institution offering the course

    · A verification URL that allows others to check the Certificate's authenticity

    · A statement that Coursera has confirmed the identity of the learner who completed the course

  • · Academic credit from the partner institution offering the course

    · The final grade you got in the course

    · Your ID photo

    · The hours you spent working on coursework

    · A printed or mailed copy of the Course Certificate.

    Certificates are provided as downloadable PDF files, which you can print yourself. You can also share them electronically.

    Unfortunately, Coursera cannot provide course Certificates with any more information than they already include.

  • No. The certificate shows that the student has passed the course, but it is not an official qualification of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center