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Keynote Speakers

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Catharina Landstrom Catharina Landstrom

In 1998 she was awarded a PhD in Theory of Science and Research from Göteborg University in Sweden. After this she did post doctoral research in Australia, on biological control of exotic pests. Back in Sweden she conducted a research project on gender, sexuality and technology. Then she moved to the UK for a post doc at University of Oxford in the project “Understanding Environmental Knowledge Controversies: The Case of Flood Risk Management”. In 2010 she moved to the University of East Anglia, first investigating scientific uncertainty in climate modeling and thereafter researching socio-technical challenges to geological disposal of radioactive waste.

>> www.uea.ac.uk/environmental-sciences
>> C.Landstrom@uea.ac.uk

Abstract

Can Participatory Modelling improve Resilience in Flood Risk Management?

Elaborating insights gained in an interdisciplinary research project, running from 2007 to 2010, this presentation discusses the use of computer simulation modelling for transdisciplinary knowledge creation, aiming to improve local flood risk management. Flooding is a major matter of concern in the UK, over 5 million people are estimated to be at risk. Since it is impossible to protect all vulnerable properties by established means – flood walls and other ‘hard’ engineered defences – the responsible authorities and government agencies are looking for alternative measures to reduce flood risk and alleviate flooding. As the frequency and magnitude of floods are expected to increase as a consequence of climate change the problem is of increasing concern. The ‘Understanding environmental knowledge controversies: The case of flood risk management’ project undertook an experiment with local ‘competency groups’ in order to develop local flood risk management, drawing on the experience-based expertise of local residents. The competency groups involved scientists and local residents working together, generating knowledge in new ways with the use of computer simulation models. The presentation focuses on the changes brought about in the modelling practice and the ways in which local residents, with no previous experience of computer simulation modelling, were able to make their experience-based knowledge explicit in the competency groups. To conclude, the implications of this project for understanding and addressing local flood risk in ways improving resilience are elaborated.

 

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