PROGRAM OBJECTIVES AND MISSION
Graduate Program in Environmental Systems Analysis and Modeling (PPG-AMSA) aims to analyze and model complex environmental systems in order to support landscape management, territorial planning and the formulation of environmental policy at different levels of governance ( federal, state and municipal). The PPG-AMSA approach is to perform teaching, research and extension activities seeking solutions to social and environmental problems, especially those that have territorial expression, in Brazil and the World. In line with the OBJECTIVE of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), the PPG-AMSA promotes the generation, development, transmission and application of knowledge through teaching, research and extension, understood in an inseparable manner and integrated into the education and scientific and technical-professional training of citizens imbued with social responsibility with particular emphasis on the dissemination of knowledge in the field of Environmental Sciences. In fulfilling its OBJECTIVES, PPG-AMSA maintains academic, scientific, technological and cultural cooperation with national, foreign and international institutions and constitutes a regional, national and world development vehicle, aiming to consolidate itself as PPG of excellence and relevance.
The PPG-AMSA performance aims to generate and disseminate scientific, technological and cultural knowledge, highlighting as a reference program in the formation of critical and ethical individuals, equipped with solid scientific basis in analysis of natural resources (ARA), modeling of environmental systems (MAS) and landscape management (GP). We seek to develop social skills and train individuals committed to transforming interventions in society, with a view to promoting economic development, reducing social inequalities, reducing regional asymmetries, environmental conservation and ecosystem services provided by nature to society as well as in promotion of sustainable development.
ARTICULATION AND ADHESION OF THE CONCENTRATION AREA, RESEARCH LINE AND CURRICULUM STRUCTURE IN RELATION TO OBJECTIVES/MISSION
PPG-AMSA is organized in a single Concentration Area (AC): Environmental Systems Modeling and 3 Research Lines (LP): 1) natural Resources Analysis (ARA), 2) Environmental Systems Modeling (MSA) and 3) Landscape Management (GP), all of them strong and well balanced in terms of the dimension of the faculty, intellectual production and the number of research and extension projects. The name of the program is inseparable from the Concentration Area (AC) that created the identity of the program: Modeling of environmental systems. Modeling is the technique and art to represent in a simplified manner key components in complex environmental systems in order to better understand and simulate former different states/social conditions of this environmental system. Spatial simulation models aim to assist the understanding of the causative mechanisms and processes for the development of environmental systems, and determine as that they evolve in view of different scenarios that translate into socioeconomic, political and environmental conditions. The single AC, MSA, is named after just one of the lines of research, however, it represents the identity of the PPG-AMSA well as modeling is the aggregating interface that capitalizes on the analysis of resources to manage the landscape. To fulfill its mission, the PPG-AMSA has established the following goals for its teaching, research and extension activities:
Objectives of TEACHING ACTIVITIES: develop personal and professional capacities, skills and competences for the training of analysts, modelers and environmental managers, with inter and transdisciplinary training. Our students and graduates are capable of moving through various fields of knowledge, focusing on the interactions between the environment and society and on the organization, planning and management of the territory.
Objectives of the RESEARCH ACTIVITIES: to answer major “guiding” and relevant questions in the socio-environmental domain, using both fundamental science and applied science to solve real world problems. Our research seeks to answer big questions, for example:
How can the analysis and modeling of socio-environmental systems support the sustainable management of resources and the management of landscapes, especially those that are humanized and with a high degree of anthropization?
What multi-scale governance mechanisms are capable of stimulating sustainable transitions in land use and land cover, reversing habitat loss trends in Brazilian biomes, maintaining them and/or recovering their structural and functional characteristics in order to foster sustainable development?
Our focus is to analyze and model the complexity of Socioecological Systems (SES) covering the physical, biotic and socioeconomic environment so that the participatory and multifunctional management of the landscape can provide a set of material and immaterial beneficial services (ecosystem services) to society.
The objectives of the teaching, research and extension activities briefly described above clearly show the ARTICULATION and ADHERENCE of the activities developed with the MISSION and performance of the PPG-AMSA, consolidating its objective to create and develop capacities in citizens to analyze and model complex environmental systems. However, our mission goes beyond the creation of scientific knowledge to also use this knowledge to create territorial intelligence in order to support landscape management and territorial planning at different levels of governance (federal, state and municipal) seeking to solve a diverse set of socio-environmental problems of the Anthropocene.
PPG training aims to develop knowledge, skills and expertise in technical frameworks by preparing them to be integrated into civil society institutions and governmental organizations. Our graduates are prepared to qualify the “modus operandi” of these institutions in order to use science as a basis for their strategic decisions and guidelines. From a strategic and national development point of view, the PPG-AMSA fills a gap that has not yet been explored. The research and extension actions of the PPG-AMSA aimed at public administration are often shown that the managing body itself did not know these gaps (ratifying the proactive and inducing nature of PPG’s public policies). Although aware of the importance of analysis and models to understand, diagnose and simulate environmental problems and solutions, the Government, the academy and the private initiative lack qualified professionals in number and sufficient knowledge to cover such demand. In this context, PPG-AMSA has received candidates from different sectors of public administration, academy, private initiative and third sector, a fact proven by the growing volume of academic research applied to society.