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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI THESys

Summer School 2015: Exploring current trends, discussions and methodologies in research on human-environment relations

IRI THESys is hosting its Summer School 2015 on human-environment relations

14-18 September 2015 (Start Monday 1 pm - Finish Friday 3 pm)
IRI THESys offices, 4 Floor, Friedrichstraße 191, 10117 Berlin

Research on human-environment relations is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary. Various and often quite different disciplines spanning natural, social and human sciences engage in research focusing on how humans live in, affect, govern, reflect upon and perceive their natural environment, and how, in turn, that environment supports or constrains human life and culture. A multiplicity of methods, epistemologies and even ontologies thus intermingle in human-environment research. How well do these integrate to enable (truly) interdisciplinary research?

At the Integrated Research Institute on Transformations of Human-Environment Systems, researchers from the humanities, social and natural sciences challenge each other in order to collaborate, develop and potentially solve research questions revolving around current transformations of human-environment systems. The PhD Summer School Exploring current trends, discussions and methodologies in research on human-environment relations is part of this agenda.

The Summer School will bring together scholars and PhD students from different disciplines. The scholars will be asked to present their personal as well as general disciplinary understanding of what a ‘human-environmental relation’ is. This understanding has implications for how research on human-environment relations is done in different disciplines. The scholars are therefore encouraged to link their personal and disciplinary understanding of human-environment relations with how they go about exploring these.

By providing the students (and invited scholars) with epistemological and methodological insights into how different disciplines engage with human-environment relations the Summer School hopes to provide 1) a better understanding of how different disciplines understand a ‘human-environment relation’, 2) how they go about researching it, 3) ways to identify and understand differences between disciplines, and 4) ways to identify common and complementary research topics and methodologies cutting across disparate disciplines.

The latter objective is a particularly important component of the Summer School. A major challenge for interdisciplinary research is the difficulty of developing research questions around which different disciplines can collaborate. It is our hope that the Summer School will equip the students with knowledge on how to think about and develop such questions.


Deadline for application: 25 July 2015

Please send your application to Wiebke Hampel, w.hampel@hu-berlin.de
Please explain in your application why you are interested in attending the Summer School and how your research would benefit from your participation.


Jonas Nielsen
Photo: Jonas Nielsen


Prof. Dr. Jonas Østergaard Nielsen, Research Group Leader
Phone: +49 (030) 2093-66341
E-Mail: jonas.ostergaard.nielsen@hu-berlin.de

Wiebke Hampel
Photo: Heiko Marquardt

Wiebke Hampel, Graduate Program Coordination
Phone: +49 (030) 2093-66346
E-Mail: w.hampel@hu-berlin.de