This course was earlier given under the name "Ecological
Process Modelling" (KTE160, swedish name Ekologisk
The Biogeochemical Modelling course consists
of a number of simulation tasks, which are first to be described
using Causal Loop Diagrams (CLDs) and then solved numerically, usually
using the STELLA simulation environment. The Modelling course includes
an introduction to CLDs. For a task to qualify as a simulation task
in Biogeochemical Modelling, they should meet as many as possible
of the following requirements:
- They should be simple enough to have a reasonably
intuitive behaviour (i.e. not too time-consuming)
- They should describe current environmental problems
- Together, the simulation tasks should describe
environmental problems of different scale and complexity
- The solution should be close to the "professional"
solution, i.e. after solving the task, the student should have
gained insight in how the research that forms the basis of international
agreements and protocols is carried out.
Causal Loop Diagrams is at the heart
of the course, and can be described as an esperanto for system dynamics
and is a map of all/important feedback loops of a system. From a
correctlty drawn CLD for a system, all possible dynamic responses
can be foreseen and reference behaviour patterns (RBPs) can be analysed.
With some knowledge on the relative importance of different feedback
loops further conclusions on the specific behaviour can be drawn.
There are many advantages with CLDs, e.g.
- facilitates communication of system behaviour
to people without training in advanced mathematics.
- focuses on and illustrates feed backs rather than mechanisms
- facilitates a holistic approach in tackling dynamic systems
Who can follow this course?
The course is a G2 course, i.e. you're expected to have prior experience
of studying at the university level. Over the years many different
kinds of students have taken this course and found it interesting
and worthwhile, including chemical engineers and PhD-students in
ecology although most student the recent years have been students
at the environmental engineering programme. What we have found is
that a basic understanding of
- general chemistry
- reaction kinetics
- computer aided simulation
- differential euqations
- insights in the actual systems we model
makes following the course easier, but we haven't
listed any definite prerequisites for the course.
Material will be handed out or made available through