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Seminar “Using Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping to understand human-environmental interactions”

09 May 2019 - Steven Gray, Department of Community Sustainability of the Michigan State University, USA, will hold a seminar entitled “Using Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping to understand human-environmental interactions” at IAMO in Halle (Saale), Germany, on 9 May 2019.

Understanding and modeling contemporary socio-environmental problems requires ‘systems thinking’ and computational skills so that researchers, teachers and students can conceptualize and define the complex connections between human and natural systems. Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM) provides a powerful approach to modeling, analyzing and teaching about socio-environmental problems because it is domain flexible, quantifies the often hard-to-define networked relationships within complex systems, integrates conceptual and empirical data, and provides insight into both system structure and behavior through dynamic scenario analysis. Although the use of FCM as a modeling approach has seen increasing popularity over the last decade among computer scientists, ecologists and environmental social scientists, educational training courses that provide a comprehensive overview of theoretical, analytical and computational approaches to FCM-based research and teaching are not currently available. Through a combination of lectures, individual and group activities, this one day workshop will review the main background concepts associated with FCM (e.g. systems thinking, fuzzy logic, neural networks, expert systems, graph theory), introduce and use FCM based software tools (Mental Modeler and FCM Wizard), and review the analytical capabilities of FCM (e.g. structural and behavioral analysis, use in artificial intelligence, learning algorithms). Ultimately the goals of this short course is to promote and increase the use of FCM as an approach to (a) teaching about complex socio-environmental systems (b) modeling complex socio-environmental systems and (c) integrating stakeholder and interdisciplinary knowledge in socio-environmental research.

Registration for the seminar is free of charge. Please contact Johanna Jauernig by e-mail.

Seminar “Using Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping to understand human-environmental interactions”
9 May 2019 │ 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
IAMO (conference room 1) | Halle Saale, Germany


Steven Gray is an associate professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University, USA. His research focuses on socio-environmental modeling and understanding how individuals and groups make decisions about complex social-ecological systems. He is the lead editor on the book “Environmental Modeling with Stakeholders: Methods, Theories and Applications” (Springer 2017) and lead developer of the participatory modeling software “Mental Modeler”.   He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Anthropology, MS in Geography from Texas State University, USA, and PhD in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University, USA.