Teach the Earth > Complex Systems > AGU Modeling Workshop 2010 > Modeling Exercise Ideas > Modeling a social-ecological system

This is a partially developed activity description. It is included in the collection because it contains ideas useful for teaching even though it is incomplete.

Modeling a social-ecological system

Steven Gray, Ecology and Evolution Department, Rutgers University

Course type: Upper level undergraduate course or graduate level course


Modeling a social-ecological system, like a watershed , Bay/estuary system, fishery system or land-use system.

Learning Goals or Outcomes

Combining social and biological data into one model. Ingenuity in looking for co-varying social/ecological variables.

How would you assess whether those goals have been met?

By students identifying the links between social and ecological systems (and the contributing driving factors which may affect these interfaces).


Delgado, L. E., V. H. Marín, P. L. Bachmann, and M. Torres-Gomez. 2009. Conceptual models for ecosystem management through the participation of local social actors: the Río Cruces wetland conflict. Ecology and Society 14(1): 50.