Population and the Environment: Analytical Demography and Applied Population Ethics/PeterRoolf
Notes by user Peter Roolf (Portland State Univ.) for Population and the Environment: Analytical Demography and Applied Population Ethics
The most useful part of this short course for me was learning the high level perspectives of experts outside of my field. As a systems science PhD student I am interested in studying social-ecological systems and how we as a society are going to adapt to a changing climate, resource depletion, population growth, energy transitions, etc. My personal interest is in implementing circular economies at the community level (neighborhoods, towns, etc) and so I found Chris Kempes' "Ecological & Metabolic Population Constraints" and Charlotte Lee's "Environment, Food Supply, & Demography" presentations particularly relevant to my work, and I am interested in utilizing some of their findings into the development of agent based models of local economies. Additionally, I have not had significant exposure to demographics, fertility, and migration in recent memory, and so I now have plenty of additional information to consider when designing models or community interventions. And lastly, the "Anthropogenic Change & Biodiversity" talk by Andy Rominger and the closing thoughts by Partha Dasgupta reinforced my understanding of the larger problems at hand and provide the larger context for the smaller investigations and projects that I am involved in.
Insofar as how I plan to use this knowledge, over the past several years I have formed the equivalent of what physicians would call a "general impression" of the great changes that are taking place. The content of this course has largely validated my differential diagnosis and has enriched my understanding by providing details backed up by rigorous research. As I move forward with my academic and professional work I will undoubtedly refer to my lecture notes and dig deeper into the research papers cited. And, although I will not go into detail in regards to a number of interesting conversations during the course, suffice it to say I am delighted to now be a part of this intellectual network and I plan to connect with several students and faculty for further conversation and collaborations.
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