- Transdisciplinary approaches
- Teaching sustainability science
- Social-ecological systems
- Resilience assessments
Miriam Huitric's research focuses on transdisciplinary approaches to understanding social-ecological systems. She is director of studies for Bachelor and Master’s level courses, as well as other trainings run at the SRC
Huitric works intensively on education activities at SRC, and has done so since its inception. She was part of the team that planned and structured the Master’s programme Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development (SERSD), and is director of the programme. Her work here involves overseeing the programme's content and progression, following students during their time here, as well as teaching course modules.
In 2017, Huitric took on two new roles related to education and training: the role of director of studies for Bachelor’s and Master’s level studies, and co-ordination of training and capacity building components at SRC.
Huitric’s current research has built on her experience in transdisciplinary approaches to understanding social-ecological systems. For example, Huitric worked with the Arctic Resilience Report co-ordinating the collection and analysis of case studies for the report together with her colleagues Juan Rocha and Garry Peterson. Looking at changes that are impacting livelihood in each case, the cases could be studied from a social-ecological resilience perspective, to understand what factors were behind cases that displayed resilience, loss of resilience or transformation.
Huitric began her academic career at the Department of Systems Ecology at Stockholm University where she wrote her doctoral thesis. Her research focused on the mis-matches between institutions and the ecosystems they attend to, using the shrimp farming industry in Thailand and the lobster and conch fisheries in Belize as examples.
Her findings demonstrated that even severe changes in a resource and/or its environment can have limited impact on the institutions governing its use. Furthermore, while many expect a well-structured and successful social system related to resource use to respond to changes in the system they depend on, this is not necessarily the case. It is not possible to study the social or ecological system in isolation if one wants to understand the dynamics between resource users and their resource base. The social-ecological system needs to be the point of departure.
Huitric has also taken part in policy-science processes at the SRC, such as co-ordinating and editing the background report for the scientific workshop Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Governance – Targets Beyond 2010 , in preparation for the EU high level meeting in to revise the Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and in particular the development of new biodiversity visions and targets following the evaluation of the 2010 Biodiversity Target.
On completion of her doctoral thesis, she spent a year with the Albaeco and enjoyed taking part in various projects that Albaeco have been engaged in, including its very successful exhibition Manna — Food in a New Light.
Awards and achievements:
The Swedish Higher Education Authority’s evaluation of the SERSD programme rated the programme to be of “very high quality”. The Swedish Higher Education Authority evaluated 39 programmes in environmental science similar subjects, at 15 different universities. The programmes were evaluated on five assessment points. The majority (27) of the programmes were considered to be of "high quality”, eight were considered inadequate. Only three programmes were considered to be of "very high quality", including the SERSD Master’s programme, which was the only programme to receive the highest possible ranking on all five assessment points (2013).
News articles with Huitric, Miriam
Educational news | 2021-09-30
New MOOC on how to deal with the climate crisis
Learn how to drive the social change that is fundamentally required for an effective response to climate change
General news | 2021-01-22
Miriam Huitric, the centre’s director of studies, reflects on teaching, time and murder mysteries
Research news | 2018-03-07
Subject to change - educating and resilience thinking
To celebrate International Women's Day, we highlight five of our woman researchers. Centre researcher and director of the Master's programme, Miriam Huitric, explains her role and research on complex ecosystem dynamics
Research news | 2016-11-25
Dealing with Arctic tipping points
Amid rapid change, new Arctic Resilience Report identifies 19 tipping points and need to prepare for surprises