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Geography - Environmental Systems

Regular course within the MSc Physical Geography and MSc Human Geography at Marburg University.


Model dynamic systems, understand drivers and feedbacks, and simulate potential developments.
We live in a complex, dynamic, and man-made environment. Human actions or natural events generally trigger other changes. The latter might occur at remote places or with a considerable delay. This complexity exceeds our cognitive abilities making model building an essential competence not only for Geographers. This course provides room for asking questions to environmental systems and finding answers by modelling their dynamics.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of this course you should be able
  • to formulate questions suitable for guiding your modelling
  • to model dynamic systems using a graphical notation
  • to discuss the scope of application of specific models, simulations and results
  • to critically evaluate limitations of educated guesses and potentials of system dynamics
  • to reflect modelling as a tool for knowledge generation and decision support

Course features

The course is intended as a blended learning module in our study program. The provided introductions, explanations and examples might also be useful for self-study.
<a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/"><img alt="Creative Commons License" style="border-width:0" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by-nc/4.0/88x31.png" /></a><br /><span xmlns:dct="http://purl.org/dc/terms/" property="dct:title">The module Environmental Systems</span> by <span xmlns:cc="http://creativecommons.org/ns#" property="cc:attributionName">Thomas Nauss and Christoph Reudenbach</span> is licensed under a <a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License</a>.
This course uses content served by external providers (such as Google, Yahoo, GitHub, Vimeo) to ensure authentic learning pathways. If you interact with this content (or even load a page where such content is embedded), your IP and other information can be read by the third provider in the same manner as it is the case if you would visit the site directly. By using the learning materials of this course you accept this.

Some more information on the individual providers (non-complete list):
Be aware that there are browser plugin available which help you to control to some extend which data of you might be used. For example, Google developed a plugin which according to Google prevents the use of Google Analytics .



Learning Resources

Learning Module ILIAS



Media Pools

Media Pool