Sustainicum Collection

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Resource facts

  • Less than 5 students
    5 to 10 students
    More than 10 students
    Independent of the number of students
  • 15 to 30 min
    Up to 3 lecture units
  • English, German

Resource Description

Instruction file

Additional attachments

Resilience quiz: a predator-prey system(Resource ID: 175)

A simple idealized predator-prey model demonstrates how resilient behavior is developed in the internal organization and dynamics of a system. The quiz consists of 17 web pages that are interlinked. Various hypotheses are considered and discussed in the quiz. The users must answer a set of yes-no questions referring to the future development of the system. Students can do the quiz individually or the lecturer can present the quiz and discuss it in the course.

Resilience is the ability of a system to overcome difficulties. Resilience develops within the system's organization and dynamics. The better the internal structure and the interrelations of a system are known, the better the degree of resilience of the system can be determined. This is illustrated by a simple predator-prey model.

An important fact in the concept of resilience is that it is not related to a one-time event. A specific type of difficult event that occurs repeatedly has to be overcome. The predator-prey model illustrates this point in a way that is easy to understand because of its simple structure. The limits of resilience are also demonstrated.

The quiz consists of 17 web pages that are interlinked. Various disruption scenarios are considered and the resulting dynamics are discussed in the quiz. The users have to answer a set of yes-no questions referring to the future development of the system. The quiz can be taken online or downloaded.

Two possible applications are recommended:

  • The students take the quiz individually. No previous knowledge on resilience is required as the term is defined properly in the quiz. At the end, further contexts where the term is applied are described and a warning of oversimplification is delivered.
  • A lecturer presents the quiz in a course. Each question is first discussed with the students and the answers are then considered.

For those interested in the mathematical background of the quiz, the equations used in the model are described on the last page.

Learning Outcomes
The students should understand the term resilience on a basic level. It is important to understand that the term refers to the ability of a system to repeatedly respond to difficult events by resisting damage whereas this ability is developed from the internal organization of the system.
Relevance for Sustainability
Sustainability includes the ability to assess the resilience of ecosystems to human-made disasters. The concept of resilience is also important for the development of human societies, especially in times of global change.
Related Teaching Resources
No specific previous knowledge / related resources required
Preparation Efforts
Low
Access
Free
Sources and Links

  • Steve Carpenter, Brian Walker, J. Marty Anderies and Nick Abel: From Metaphor to Measurement: Resilience of What to What?, Ecosystems (2001) 4: 765 – 781 (DOI: 10.1007/s10021-001-0045-9). [Online hier]

  • Stockholm Resilience Centre

  • Resilience Alliance

Funded by
Funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research within the framework of the call "Projekt MINT-Massenfächer" (2011/12)

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Author

Franz Embacher

Contact

Franz Embacher
franz.embacher(at)univie.ac.at
This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
Institution:
Center for Global Change and Sustainability (BOKU Vienna)
Date:

License

Creative Commons
BY-NC-SA

Teaching Tools & Methods

  • Simulation program
  • Written material
  • Simulation