Solving wicked problems of the future ocean

#marine ecology #maritime business #marine governance #cultural studies


Are you interested in current marine research?

Do you want to learn more about marine ecology and maritime business?

The Sea—Solving wicked problems of the future ocean course aims to introduce the students to some of the ocean-related wicked problems and to discuss solutions.


Dates: MON 10–FRI 21.8.2020

Organizer: The Sea, Åbo Akademi University

Credits: 5 ECTS

Class size: min. 10, max. 20 students

Course description

The aim or the course is to introduce the students to some of the ocean-related wicked problems and to discuss solutions that enable coexistence between marine and maritime life and the modern society that promotes sustainability.

A ‘wicked problem’ is a challenging and urgent problem with numerous causes and effects, for instance climate change, or eutrophication of water bodies. Their solution involves a number of different stakeholders with divergent views, which makes these problems inherently difficult to solve.

In this course, we will focus on how these problems can be tackled in an interdisciplinary, science-based way, combining perspectives from marine ecology, maritime business, marine governance, and cultural studies.

The course includes short lectures, team work, excursions to relevant sites, as well as meetings and discussions with several relevant stakeholders.

Learning objectives

Upon completing this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Argue for the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to solving wicked problems related to the sea.
  • Explain basic socio-ecological and socio-technical phenomena in the context of marine and maritime studies.
  • Relate sustainable development needs to marine and maritime topics.


Subjects may change.

Target audience

Undergraduate students or anyone interested in marine ecology and maritime business.


Magnus Hellstrom, Biträdande professor, FA-profileringsprojekt Havet
Nina Tynkkynen, Biträdande professor, inom profileringsprojektet Havet
Anna Tornroos, Assistant Professor, Biosciences
Christian Pansch-Hattich, Biträdande professor