This PhD position is part of the OR ELSE – Operational Recommendations for Ecosystem-based Large-scale Sand Extraction project. It examines the temporal and spatial ontologies of stakeholders in the Dutch North Sea, and their underpinning epistemologies. A qualitative mixed method approach (including surveys, semi-structured interviews, and discourse analysis) will be used to examine to what extent stakeholders think of the North Sea social-ecological system as an ecosystem or as an industrial park and as dynamic or static; how far into the future their concerns extend; and the epistemological context for these perceptions. The ultimate intent is to discover opportunities for collaboration that will enhance the wellbeing of the whole social-ecological system.
We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.