Taking place 26-28 May prior to the MSEAS 2016 symposium, the training course will serve the needs of scientists involved in interdisciplinary research projects with a growing emphasis on stakeholder engagement. Through a hands-on, learning-by-doing approach, students will be equipped with vital skills in social science, being guided through the basics in such techniques as interviewing and participant observation.
Marloes Kraan, social scientist at IMARES Wageningen University in the Netherlands course co-instructor, expanded more on the aims of the programme.
"The idea is not to make social scientists out of natural scientists, but to explain to them what social science is about and give some good instruction on how it works. There is a need for social and natural scientists to understand the theories, concepts, and methodologies of each other's work."
"This course will also help you, if you are interested in 'going out there' and discussing your work with stakeholders in one way or another. It also teaches you about interaction with people and how to do that more effectively."
The course will be directly followed on Monday May 30 (until June 3) by the ICES MSEAS symposium Understanding marine socio-ecological systems: including the human dimension in Integrated Ecosystem Assessments.
The focus of MSEAS is on integration and assessment across ocean users and sectors such as fisheries, renewable energy, and oil and gas. The conference will have a global perspective, focussing on regions where integrated ocean management policies have recently been developing and on the challenges of incorporating the human dimension – the social, cultural, economic, and governance aspects of ecosystem-based management – into integrated assessments. This process involves the application of methodologies from both social and natural scientists and the development of practices that combine across disciplines.