Environmental Method and Geosystem Analysis (13MZS2I2)

  • Level of study master academic studies
  • Teacher: Ph.D. Miroljub Milinčić
  • Subject status: elective
  • ECTS: 7
  • Semester: II
  • Number of classes: 3

Introducing students with the specifics of ecological methods in environmental research. Possibilities of its application in monitoring the past, analysis of present and forecasting of future changes of elements and environmental factors. Introduction to the methodological possibilities of synthesis and integration of facts and ideas related to the research of various media and environmental systems. Indication of the necessity of overcoming the concept of the environment as a dual system (nature and society), but also as an aggregate of its constituent parts. Ecological method as a symbiosis of natural and humanistic methodological approaches. Spatial and temporal determination of the environmental system in a specific geographical area. Ecosystems as energy transfer systems, matter and information in which interactions provide feedback mechanisms.

Acceptance of the ecological method as the basis for a comprehensive interpretation of complex geospatial relations in the environment and the possibility of its application in other complex scientific disciplines: preeon-ecology, complex geography, noology, sozology, nature sociology, etc.

Theoretical lectures

1. Introduction students with: course program of Ecological method and geosystem analysis and its significance in realization of master study curriculum Geospatial basics of environment; dynamics, method of work and realization of the curriculum; instructions for selection, conception and realization of the topics of essays.
2. Method as a way of knowing: scientific interpretation of phenomena, processes and objects in the environment; the evolution of the process of learning from Antiquity to modern research; positivism and quantitative revolution in the perception of the environment.
3. Environmental science: ecology and environment as a boundary science: the boundary between similar disciplines, the point of contact between related perspectives and various but complementary branches of science; the connection between environmental science and system theory; concept of ecosystem, concept of ecosphere.
4. Geography as a science of complex real systems: the position of geography as an integrative science of a holistic character that studies complex spatial systems; monism and dualism in geography; Positivism and Scientism.
5. The problem of complexity and the study of the environment: the systemic environment; phenomena, processes and objects in the environment; way of knowing: credibility, denial, reductionism; holistic and reductionist approach in the exploration and interpretation of geospatial phenomena.
6. The development of the theory of the system: antique sources (Herodotus, Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy - Picture of the world as a complex system); scientific foundation - Kenneth Boulding, Ralph Gerard, AnatolRapoport, Ludwig von Bertalanffy ...; philosophy, theory and meta-theory of environmental science.
7. Environment and system theory: holism (Jan Smuts); ecosystem (Arthur Tansley); EugeneOdum (1973) and the appearance of the "Basics of Ecology" section - the boundary period of a comprehensive systemic approach in ecology and environmental studies; global ecology of James Lovelock.
8. Methodology of environmental science: characteristics and specificities of scientific methods in the environment; the subject of the methodology of environmental science; tasks of the methodology of environmental science; ways of getting to know the environment; methodology of environmental science.
9. Ecological method and principles: ontology and epistemology of environmental science; paradigm of research; reductionism and holism; geo-ecological correlation; topological correlation; stratigraphic correlation; principle of functionality; principle of actuality; principle of geosystem.
10-11. Systematic Approach and Systemic Environment: the notion of system and systemic  ofenvironment; types of environmental systems: topological environmental systems - ecosystems; landscape systems ; regional systems; ecosphere; open and closed systems.
12-13. Geosystem analysis: the concept of the system and its philosophical implications; consideration of links between ecology, environmental protection and system theory; system ecology, global ecology and system theory.
14. Application of ecological method: ecological theoretical methods; ecological special methods of research; ecological methods of environmental evaluation.
15. Recapitulation of contents of thematic units of the subject Ecological method and geosystem analysis.

Certoma Chiara (2006): Ecology, environmentalism and system theory. Kybernetes, vol.35, no.6, 915-921.

Voigh Annette (2011): The Rise of Systems Theory in Ecology. Schwarz, Astrid & Kurt (eds), Ecology revisited- Reflecting on Concepts, Advancing Science, Springer, New York, 183-194.

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