Artificial Intelligence

Measuring and Managing the Complexity of Socio-Environmental Systems

When:
Friday, December 14, 2018, 11:00am - 12:00pm PSTiCal
Where:
10th floor conference room (1016)
This event is open to the public.
Type:
AI Seminar
Speaker:
James Watson, Oregon State University
Video:
https://bluejeans.com/334904496
Description:
People around the world are embedded in natural systems and depend upon a myriad of ecosystem services (i.e. food and income) to maintain welfare. The coupled nature of socio-environmental systems means that they are complex, being comprised of numerous working parts, and also dynamic, comprised of strategic agents at microscopic scales, whose interactions create large scale emergent properties. Together, the complexity and dynamic nature of socio-environmental systems makes it an extreme challenge to measure and manage desired outcomes, such as the continued production of food and income. In this talk I will discuss numerous forms of complexity exhibited by socio-environmental systems and how they can be measured, including spatial ecological connectivity, economic connectivity and strategic decision making, and collective behavior in ecological aggregations. The context for these topics will include the response of socio-environmental systems to climate variability and change, and the prediction of catastrophic changes in ecological systems, and more generally in complex systems such as financial markets. 
 
James Watson is an Assistant Professor in the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. Dr. Watson uses methods from oceanography, ecology, economics and computer science to analyze and model socio-enivonmental systems. Previously, Dr. Watson received his PhD in Marine Science from the University of California Santa Barbara, and spent time as a post-doctoral researcher at Princeton University and as a Research Assistant Professor at the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden. Dr. Watson is the recent recipient of a DARPA Young Faculty Award targeting novel prediction algorithms for complex systems, and is the PI on a new NASA project focusing on predicting illegal activities at sea using big and rich spatial datasets.People around the world are embedded in natural systems and depend upon a myriad of ecosystem services (i.e. food and income) to maintain welfare. The coupled nature of socio-environmental systems means that they are complex, being comprised of numerous working parts, and also dynamic, comprised of strategic agents at microscopic scales, whose interactions create large scale emergent properties. Together, the complexity and dynamic nature of socio-environmental systems makes it an extreme challenge to measure and manage desired outcomes, such as the continued production of food and income. In this talk I will discuss numerous forms of complexity exhibited by socio-environmental systems and how they can be measured, including spatial ecological connectivity, economic connectivity and strategic decision making, and collective behavior in ecological aggregations. The context for these topics will include the response of socio-environmental systems to climate variability and change, and the prediction of catastrophic changes in ecological systems, and more generally in complex systems such as financial markets. 
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