Studying at the Institute of Social Ecology (SEC) Vienna
Issues of sustainable development are gaining momentum within science, politics and public discourse. For the design and implementation of sustainability strategies, which are equally based upon social, economic and ecological criteria, inter- and transdisciplinary approaches are required. The scholarly field of Social Ecology integrates approaches from the humanities, social and natural sciences and focuses on co-evolutionary interactions between social and natural systems across temporal and spatial scales. SEC-research is organized around five major themes: a) social metabolism, (b) land use and colonization of ecosystems, (c) long term socio-ecological research and environmental history, (d) support for sustainability transitions and (e) integrated socio-ecological modeling. Methods used include material and energy flow analysis (MFA and EFA), geographic information system (GIS) based research and analysis, systemic actor-oriented and organizational analyses, integrated modeling and historical investigations.
Our teaching activities allow students to look beyond the limits of their disciplines and give insights into the interdisciplinary research field of Social Ecology. We try to acquaint students with research processes and scientific practise and engage them in vivid interdisciplinary discussion with each other, with us, and with our international partners. International students bring different perspectives into our student groups and are very welcome to our courses.