Christian Erik Pohl: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2017

Name Prof. Dr. Christian Erik Pohl
Dep. Umweltsystemwissenschaften
ETH Zürich, CHN K 78
Universitätstrasse 16
8092 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 632 63 10
DepartmentEnvironmental Systems Science
RelationshipAdjunct Professor

701-0007-00LTackling Environmental Problems I Restricted registration - show details
Only for Environmental Sciences BSc.
5 credits4GC. E. Pohl, P. Krütli, B. B. Pearce
AbstractEach year in the case study we analyse a different problem from the field of sustainable development and develop solutions to it.
ObjectiveStudents are able:
- to compile a case study dossier for a given topic. The dossier presents (a) the state of knowledge and (b) the need for further knowledge and action.
- to integrate knowledge of diverse perspectives in a qualitative systems model, to identify problems within the system and to suggest possible solutions from a specific stakeholder's perspective.
- to make an inquiry on a given subject, structure the results, interpret the results in relation to the research question, write a report and present the results.
- name the different roles within a group, explain the role(s) they are suited for, self-organise in groups, identify problems of collaboration and constructively address the problems.
ContentIn the first semester the students compile what is known about the problem, its causes and possible solutions. Each group of students makes an inquiry to a given part of the overall problem. The inquiry includes a thematic as well as stakeholder analysis.

During synthesis week, which takes place during semester break, the results of the different part inquiries are integrated in a qualitative system model. The students identify specific problems within the system and develop solutions.

Most of the time students work independently in groups. Tutors support the students in key steps. Introductions are given for:
- The overall topic of the case study,
- Inquiry, scientific writing and managing references (by experts of ETH library),
- Role behaviour and collaboration in groups,
- Preparing reports, posters and presentations,
- Qualitative system modelling (Systaim),
- Developing solutions (design thinking, Checklands' soft systems methodology).
Lecture notesStudents will compile the case study dossier.
LiteratureLiterature on methods will be provided during the case study course.
701-0015-00LTransdisciplinary Research: Challenges of Interdisciplinarity and Stakeholder Engagement2 credits2SM. Stauffacher, C. E. Pohl
AbstractThis seminar is designed for PhD students and PostDoc researchers from all departments involved in inter- or transdisciplinary research. It addresses challenges of this kind of research and discusses these using scientific literature presenting case studies, concepts, theories, methods and tools. It concludes with a 10-step approach to make participants' research projects more societally relevant.
ObjectiveParticipants know specific challenges of inter- and transdisciplinary research. They know concepts and methods to tackle questions like: how to integrate knowledge from different disciplines, how to engage with other societal actors, how to secure broader impact of research? They learn to critically reflect their research project in its societal context and on their role as scientists.
ContentThe seminar covers the following topics:
(1) Theories and concepts of inter- and transdisciplinary research
(2) The specific challenges of inter- and transdisciplinary research
(3) Collaborating disciplines
(4) Engaging with stakeholders
(5) Exploration of tools and methods
(6) 10 steps to make participants' research projects more societally relevant
LiteratureLiterature will be made available to the participants
Prerequisites / NoticeParticipation in the course requires participants to be working on their own research project.
701-1503-00LThe Transdisciplinarity Lab (TdLab) Winter School 'Science Meets Practice4 credits9AB. B. Pearce, P. Fry, C. E. Pohl, M. Stauffacher
AbstractThere is an increasing need for scientists to understand and engage with people and institutions outside the scientific community. The TdLab Winter School is aimed at helping PhD students and Postdocs from a wide range of disciplines and institutional backgrounds to uncover the societal relevance of their own science projects and to define and clarify the societal relevance of science, in general.
Objective1. Participants acquire knowledge, tools and hands-on experience to work with stakeholders to frame a complex, real- world problem.
2. Participants will gain practical skills to work in groups effectively across disciplinary and cultural boundaries.
3. Participants learn to reflect on their role as scientists in society.
ContentThe TdLab Winter School provides a conceptual and methodological foundation on the challenges of knowledge exchange and dialogue between science and practice. The course will provide space and methods for the participants to reflect on their own approach to science and how it could be utilized effectively for problem solving in the real world. Participants take the concepts and methods into the real world and test them through individual and small-group interactions with stakeholders. Participants will learn to identify and become perceptive of diverse world-views, expectations and needs of stakeholders. To this end, they will be expected to organize workshops and events within the community. Together, participants and stakeholders work towards framing complex problems and possible solutions. This year, the topic (which has been identified by the community itself as being important) is community amalgamation and spatial planning in Swiss villages. No prior experience or knowledge of the topic is required for participation.

The TdLab Winter School will take place in Propstei Wislikofen on 16-19 and 22-25 January 2018. Students will also be expected to travel around the region by public transportation in order to engage with stakeholders. Accommodation is provided.
Lecture notesCourse materials (e.g. slides, articles, toolboxes) are provided for preparatory reading and during the course (in Moodle).
LiteratureCollection of key literature in online reader in Moodle.
Prerequisites / NoticeParticipants (PhD students and postdocs from any field) are required to apply online providing key information about their interest and project - details and application form can be found here:

The Winter School runs with a maximum of 25 participants.
The Winter School 2018 will be delivered by lecturers and coaches from ETH Zurich and experienced practitioners:
- BinBin Pearce (USYS TdLab, ETH Zurich)
- Michael Stauffacher (USYS TdLab, ETH Zurich)
- Christian Pohl (USYS TdLab, ETH Zürich)
- Patricia Fry (Wissensmanagement Umwelt GmbH)

The total time requirement is in the range of 120 hours, equivalent to 4 ECTS. The learning control focuses on 1) active participation, engagement in case examples, and reflection against the background of own projects and experiences, 2) active team involvement in the design and organization of stakeholder meetings. The course is successfully completed by pass (pass/no pass, thus no marks). The language of the Winter School is English. Stakeholder meetings will be in the local language (Swiss German) and translation into English is provided.

There is a participation fee of 400 CHF for the course, which is a contribution to the costs for the two blocks at the seminar venue Propstei Wislikofen, organizational support as well as material for the stakeholder meetings. Travel expenses to the venue are to be borne by the participants.
701-1551-00LSustainability Assessment3 credits2GP. Krütli, C. E. Pohl
AbstractThe course deals with the concepts and methodologies for the analysis and assessment of sustainable development. A special focus is given to the social dimension and to social justice as a guiding principle of sustainability as well as to trade-offs between the three dimensions of sustainability.

The course is seminar-like, interactive.
ObjectiveAt the end of the course students should

- core concepts of sustainable development, and;
- the concept of social justice as a core element of social sustainability;
- important empirical methods for the analysis and assessment of local / regional sustainability issues.

Understand and reflect on:
- the challenges of trade-offs between the different goals of sustainable development;
- and the respective impacts on individual and societal decision-making.
ContentThe course is structured as follows:
- Overview of rationale, objectives, concepts and origins of sustainable development;
- Importance and application of sustainability in science, politics, society, and economy;
- Sustainable (local / regional) development in different national / international contexts;
- Analysis and evaluation methods of sustainable development with a focus on social justice;
- Trade-offs in selected examples.
Lecture notesHandouts.
LiteratureSelected scientific articles & book chapters