How integrative modelling can break down disciplinary silos

Effective management of environmental systems requires assessments of multiple (physical, ecological, and socio-economic) issues and integration of knowledge from various disciplinary experts. Integrative research faces widely acknowledged theoretical and practical challenges. In this paper, we argue that model development aimed at integrating multidisciplinary inputs can overcome many of these difficulties. Environmental models can act as a shared goal and provide a framework for successful integrative research. Modellers often have the more generalist background and overarching perspective required to develop a shared understanding of a system. Modellers are therefore well-placed to facilitate integrative processes. We discuss the challenges of integrative research and discuss how modellers, and model development, can facilitate successful integration through: definition of common research questions and objectives; conceptual modelling; identification of project participants; aligning terminologies; and stressing the importance of communication and trust

Issue Date:
Jul 11 2011
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
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JEL Codes:
Q57; Y80; Z19
This paper has been published in a peer-reviewed journal as: Kragt, M.E., Robson, B.J. & Macleod, C.J.A. (2013) Modellers’ roles in structuring integrative research projects. Environmental Modelling & Software, 39(1): 322-330. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2012.06.015
Series Statement:
Working Paper

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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