Previous courses


Using visualisation to express your scientific ideas well, John Bellamy, 25 April- 11 May

In this course, students will learn basic principles of visual communication which can be applied to all platform of visual communication. By adhering to the rudimentary principles taught in the session and by developing a critical understanding of the various factors involved in the development process, students will learn how to tackle the design of visual material with a systematic problem solving approach. The skills learned from these sessions, when practiced and applied, will help the user develop an ability to successfully design effective posters, presentation slides, illustrations and diagrams. Students will learn the key skills that enable them to tailor effective communication visuals that accurately convey information to intended audiences. Read more (pdf, 558.4 kB). For further details please click here.


Nordic PhD course in Advanced Systems Analysis, 14-17 September 2015, Garry Peterson & Uno Svedin

The course aims at a conceptual discussion of systems analysis methodologies and practical applications in different thematic fields and contexts – albeit, this year with particular focus on energy related issues and connected concerns.
PhD students will have the opportunity to (i) deepen their knowledge on systems analysis theory and improve applied systems analysis skills in a specialised thematic context; (ii) discuss state-of-art theoretical concepts and issues with various senior researchers and peers; (iii) exercise concret systems analysis applications. The profile of the course is multi- and interdisciplinary in character. Also, the course aims to increase professional connections in the systems analysis community.

A primer in quantitative methods for studying complex social-ecological systems, 9th - 20th March, James Watson & Maja Schlüter

The lectures will focus on key social-ecological concepts and the language and approaches quantitative scientists use to describe and analyze them. Learning outcomes: Understanding of how to conduct quantitative analysis of Social-Ecological Systems (SESs), and how to model (in the broadest sense); A vocabulary to talk with researchers doing ecological, economic, social-ecological modeling of SES using statistical, mathematical or computational approaches; Overview of quantitative methods available for studying SES, particularly formal modeling, empirical analysis and methods from complexity science; Understanding of when and how different approaches can be used, their potentials and limitations (but no technical details on their application); Understanding of different conceptualizations of SES, different approaches and their implications (e.g. what do we learn from a theoretical model, from a statistical analysis, etc.)


Sense of place and resilience in social-ecological systems, Richard Stedman & Maria Tengö, 3 hp, 7 October (open to SRC students only)

The aim of this course is to explore a number of crucial potential intersections between theory and method related to sense of place and social-ecological systems (in general) and resilience concerns.  Especially if we take seriously the material environment as underpinning sense of place, sense of place represents a potential key—and underappreciated--“coupling” mechanism in coupled SES and as such relevant for understanding dynamics of social-ecological systems and implications for resilience, in particular in relation to “reconnecting to the biosphere” and transformation. However, the literatures around these areas rarely intersect (a startling lack of intersection, as a matter of fact). In the course, we will discuss the sets of literature, how their different disciplinary positions/standpoints contributed to the gaps.

GIS Demystified (1,5 hp), Emma Sundström, 11-14 Nov 2014

This is an introductionary course in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for students and researchers interested in using spatial data in their research. We will use Quantum GIS, a free Open Source tool, and cover the concepts you need to get started with creating maps and doing basic GIS analysis.

Topics include: Different types of GIS data and what kind of analysis can be done with it; different ways of visualizing data on maps; an introduction to important concepts like projections and resolutions; sources of spatial data, especially what is available at Stockholm University and SRC; Tools available, with an emphasis on Open Source Tools; Tips, tricks and commnon pitfalls

Studying social-ecological systems using Qualitative Comparative
Analysis (QCA), 1,5 hp, Örjan Bodin & Manuel Fischer, 20-21 October

Social‐ecological(SES) systems are characterized by high levels of complexity. Numerous factors have either been shown, or are hypothesized to, affect the functioning of SES in different ways. Furthermore, it is commonly assumed that many of these factors act in combination to produce certain outcomes. Analyzing phenomena influenced by such complex causality presents a significant challenge when using many traditional research approaches. In this two-day workshop/course we will demonstrate how Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and fuzzy­‐set QCA (fsQCA) can be used to address these challenges in SES research.

Introduction to resilience thinking and analysis, Henrik Österblom and Magnus Nyström, 15 September - 3 October (open to SRC students only)

This new course serves as an introduction to advanced research studies at SRC. It communicates the research framework that is used by centre researchers, clarifies “ways of thinking and practicing” and “tacit knowledge” at SRC, i.e. the “softer” values that are essential for multi- and transdisciplinary advanced research at SRC (our “signatory pedagogy”). The course identifies outstanding major research challenges and research fronts in order for the PhD student to be able to understand where they can situate their research, and also how their research can contribute to developing any or several of these fronts. The course also relate the SRC “branch” of Sustainability Science to a wider historical context including fields of philosophy of science and provide practical advice on methods and approaches that will guide the PhD student in his or her research.

ACCESS and ARR summer school, 22-26 September

Its aim is to provide the students with an opportunity to learn about different aspects of Arctic resilience with focus on Arctic climate change, changes in the economic sectors of shipping, tourism, fisheries, oil and gas exploitation and governance. The course will consist of a series of lectures and group assignments focusing on analyzing recent research developments regarding the direct and indirect impacts of climate change in the Arctic Ocean and how to synthesize these results using different tools like marine spatial planning, resilience assessment, and indicators.

Ecosystem services, economic theory and economic analysis: an introduction from an ecological economics perspective, Tom Green, 23-29 April, 3.0-4.0 hp

This course builds from an ecological economics perspective to consider contempory interest in describing, assessing and incorporating consideration of ecosystem services in land use and resource management decision-making. Various issues are discussed, including debates over monetary valuation, cultural ecosystem services, payments for ecosystems services schemes, and concerns that drawing on an ecosystem services lens enables the commodification of nature. Case studies are used to relate theory to practice.

Why read old Durkheim? Using classical social science to understand the social dynamics of social-ecological systems, Wijnand Boonstra, 23 January - 20 February 2014, 3hp

The objective of this course is to introduce to graduate students of the Resilience Research School several classic publications from the social sciences. The general course objective is to introduce students into diverse social science perspectives on the collective dimensions of causes, outcomes and solutions to environmental problems. More specifically, the aim is to have students extrapolate insights from (classical) social science to understand and analyze the dynamics in social-ecological systems. Students will have to use social science theories to construct an original claim that relates to their own analytical and empirical work. In so doing, the course aims to cultivate skills in independent thinking by developing their own thesis statement, supporting that thesis with logical rationale and appropriate evidence, and presenting the thesis in a convincing fashion, both orally and in writing. Moreover, the course also introduces students into the diversity of social science perspectives on the interdependent relations between social behavior and the natural environment.


Regime Shifts, 4 November - 12 December, Oonsie Biggs, Örjan Bodin, Juan Rocha, Garry Peterson
This course is intended to deepen students’ understanding of strategies to write proposals and papers for resilience research. Students will learn to link general research questions to specific research questions and specific research results to general questions. Students will explore these issues through writing assignments in which they develop research questions and methodologies for how to address them for resilience-related research.

Social Network Analysis, 1 week, 12-15 November, Örjan Bodin
The network perspective has fairly recently been proposed as an analytical framework particularly suited for studying complex social-ecological systems (SES). The underlying rationale is that the network approach as such is generic and allows the research to model any kind of systems as consisting of separated but interlinked components of different kinds.

This course consists of one lecture and one full-day lab exercise. In the practical hands-on lab, participants will learn and practice how to conduct some basic but still fundamental analyses of networks. Both formal analyses and different ways to graphically visualize networks and their different characteristics will be explored.

Resilience and the Study of Social-Ecological Interactions, 4-7 November, Maja Schlüter and Albert Norström

This course is intended to deepen students' understanding of the concepts of resilience and social-ecological systems and the adaptive cycle.

Modelling workshop: Introduction to Dynamical Systems, 15 October
Dynamical systems is the field of mathematics that studies the behaviour of models whose dynamics are governed by differential or difference equations. The classic S-shaped curve of regime shifts is a good example of how dynamical systems theory can be applied: dynamical systems theory provides the tools with which to understand and calculate these curves.

Furthermore, the mathematical theorems of dynamical systems can also guide applied resilience research. Indeed, many of the fundamental concepts of resilience - such as ball and cup diagrams, tipping points, regime shifts -- were inspired by dynamical systems theory. Fundamental concepts from dynamical systems also, for me, underlie the early successes of recent research on early warning signals.

The workshop will provide an indtroduction to dynamical systems theory.

Resilience Research, 13-19 September
This course is compulsory for RRS-students.
Students who take this course will have a deeper understanding of strategies to write proposals and papers for resilience research, be able to link general research questions to specific research questions, and specific research results to general questions and finally develop and describe the methodologies to address research questions.

An Introduction to R, 11 September, Ingo Fetzer
R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. The R environment is especially suitable to handle large and complex data files. It can be used on all computational platforms and allows analyses of all kind of data ranging from genetics to search for extraterrestrial life. Due to its capability for easy programming of own functions and expansion with large number of existing packages for almost every purpose has R become a quasi standard in many fields of natural sciences, sociology and economy.

- How to use R (the R environment, structure of R language, using R interactively, R-editors, Help-pages, import of own data files, installation of additional packages, etc)
- Data manipulation (numbers, vectors, arrays and matrices, dataframes, lists, simple statistics)
- How to create simple and advanced graphics (different plot types and graphics, tweaks and twist on graphics, etc)

Seminar on databases and algorithmic complexity, 4 September
This seminar is for anyone working with structured data (e.g. in Excel spreadsheets) or geographic data.

Topics covered will be:
- Databases or spreadsheets? When to use what?   
- Introduction to sql - the language used for working with relational databases
- Which database to choose? What's available at SRC?
- Cooperating with data, and integrating databases with programs like R
- Using databases for geographic data to effectively answer queries about spatial relationships.
- Introduction to algorithmic complexity and things to think about when the stuff you want to do just causes your computer to hang.
- A little bit about specialized types of databases (e.g. databases for working with networks)   

The seminar is at introductory level. No previous knowledge or registration required. There will not be any labs this time, but cheat sheets for how to start working with this yourself will be provided.

For more information contact Emma Sundström

Sociology of the Planet: Culture, Institutions and Social Relations in the Pursuit of Sustainability, 15 ECTS (January - June)
This survey course provides a broad overview of sociological perspectives that provide analytical leverage for understanding the complex relationships between societies and the natural environment. It is targeted at the PhD and advanced Masters student level, and includes selected readings in three key areas:
a) classic works of sociology that speak to the critical links between ecology and society,
b) influential works in sociology that explicitly examine those relationships,
c) readings addressed to one of three analytical dimensions describing key factors that contribute to stability and change in society: institutional, cultural, and relational factors.

Positive dependence - Biophilia and Topophilia as Sources of Social-Ecological Systems Resilience, 1,5 cr (20-22 May)
The course will have a workshop form and be led by Keith Tidball and Richard Steadman from Cornell University who are leading experts in this field, as well as long going collaborators with several researchers at the SRC. The course is a joint initiative between the urban and adaptive governance themes at SRC.

What creates a network, and why does it look like it does? - Explaining network structures using exponential random graph models (16-17 May)
Although modern social network analysis originated in the 1930s, the last twenty years has seen dramatic growth in innovative network methods to understand the structure of a network-based social system. Central questions include how best to describe a social network structure, how to identify structural regularities in a system, how to infer the social processes that sustain a system, and what are the likely outcomes at both system-level and for the individuals within the system. By participating in this course/workshop, you will acquire understanding on how state-of-the-art analyses can be used to better understand what local-level processes that give rise to emergent larger-scale network structures.

Social-ecological transformation in China: A Historical Perspective on Ecosystem Services (25 April-8 May)
This course will allow students to explore social-ecological transformation from a historical perspective, in the context of contemporary Chinese experiments with ecosystem services. Through course readings, presentation assignments and group discussions, students will explore how use of natural resources and what we know today as ‘ecosystem services’ has changed in China during successive social, political, and economic transformations. This historical perspective will provide students with the tools to better interpret current social-ecological trends in China, for instance situating current experimentation with landscape restoration in the context of historical food insecurity and concerns about economic growth, and situating urban air and water pollution in the context of the communist ‘battle against nature.’

An Introduction to Common Pool Resources (6-15 February) and
A deeper look into the Tragedy and Drama of the Commons (21 February - 7 March)
These courses introduce theoretical and applied approaches to understanding and analysing the nature and use of common property/ common pool resources in the context of social-ecological systems. This includes: game theory, institutions, institutional analysis and social networks.


Resilience and the Study of Social-Ecological Interactions (26-29 November 2012)
This course is intended to deepen students' understanding of the concepts of resilience and social-ecological systems and the adaptive cycle.

Resilience Research (14-20 November 2012)
Students who take this course will after examination have a deeper understanding of strategies to write proposals and papers for resilience research, be able to link general research questions to specific research questions, and specific research results to general questions and finally develop and describe the methodologies to address research questions.

Introduction to Adaptive Assessment and Management (7 November 2012)
This one-day course will introduce key concepts and methods of Adaptive
Environmental Assessment and Management (AEAM). Course instructor: Lance Gunderson ( )
Read morePDF (pdf, 49.1 kB)

Introduction to GIS/Spatial analysis(30 October - 2 November 2012)
This is an introductory course in Geographical Information Systems for those interested in using spatial data in their research. Participants will use Quantum GIS, a free, Open Source-tool and cover the concepts needed to get started with creating maps and doing some basic GIS-analysis.

Training Session: Implementing a Companion Modelling Approach for Resilient Natural Resources' Management (12-14 June 2012)
This training session is intended to introduce Master and PhD students or research fellows to implementing a ComMod approach of social-ecological systems.

Quantitative Analysis of Social-Ecological Systems - Theory and Methods (29-31 May 2012)
In this course we will look at the linkage between theory, research design and quantitative data analysis. How can theory and clear conceptual thinking help to guide data collection and analysis to avoid common pitfalls?

Conducting Resilience Assessments in Social-Ecological Systems (14-16 May 2012)
This course intended to introduce students to conducting resilience assessments of social-ecological systems, adapting the Resilience Assessment Workbook to various settings. A large part of the course focused on reflecting on successes, failures and keys to making resilience assessments useful.

Introduction to Open Source GIS (20-23 Mar 2012)
This is an introductory course in Geographical Information Systems for those interested in using spatial data in their research. Quantum GIS, a free, Open Source-tool will be used. The course will cover the concepts needed to get started with creating maps and doing some basic GIS-analysis. No previous knowledge of GIS is required.


Resilience Research (17-21 Oct 2011)
Students who take this course will after examination have a deeper understanding of strategies to write proposals and papers for resilience research, be able to link general research questions to specific research questions, and specific research results to general questions and finally develop and describe the methodologies to address research questions.

Resilience and the Study of Social-ecological Interactions (27-30 Sep 2011)
This course is intended to deepen students' understanding of the concepts of resilience and social-ecological systems and the adaptive cycle.

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) (12-23 Sep 2011)
This is an introductory two week general course aimed for PhD students and researchers. The main components of the first half are lectures in GIS, mixed with tutorials using both vector and raster based approaches. The second half of the course consists of personal GIS-projects based on each participant´s own research project.

Introducing network analysis as a cross-disciplinary conceptual and analytical framework for studying complex systems (27 Apr - 6 May 2011)
In this practical hands-on lab, participants will learn and practice how to conduct some basic but still fundamental analyses of networks.

Qualitative interview methods - theory and practice (9 Mar - 1 Apr 2011)
Plan and conduct an interview, writing, presentation of a report, relating research questions to methodological challenges.


Understanding the Social-Ecological Landscape: A Short-Course in Spatial Analysis Techniques (4-16 Oct 2010)
This course was part of the Resilience Research School at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and included a peer-to-peer mentoring exchange between PhD students at Stockholm University (SU) and University of British Columbia (UBC).

Linking resilience theory to research questions and design (18 Jan - 11 Mar 2010)
This course discusses critical issues concerning resilience in social-ecological systems. Students suggest methods and write a research proposal.


Complex Adaptive Systems
Cross-discipline conceptual discussion on system identity, adaptive processes, feedbacks and network theory.

Community-conserved areas, multi-level governance and adaptation to
climate change (23 Mar - 20 Apr 2009)
Stockholm Resilience Centre hosted this PhD course given by Professor Fikret Berkes from University of Manitoba, Canada, and consisted of 3 credits.


The Economics of the Environment (Apr - May 2008)
Stockholm Resilience Centre hosted a PhD course in Environmental Economics, 5 credits. The course was given in collaboration with the Department of Economics, Stockholm University.


Complexity and the Social Sciences (24 Sep - 2 Oct 2007)
Stockholm Resilience Centre (former CTM)* hosted this PhD course focusing on complexity theory and its connection to the relationship between natural and social science.  

Current & upcoming courses


Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Stockholm Resilience Centre
Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B
Phone: +46 8 674 70 70

Organisation number: 202100-3062
VAT No: SE202100306201