Crisis Relief

In the midst of writing a PhD thesis crises of confidence are like those Routemaster buses I was talking about the other day (but on a different temporal scale); days and weeks without a worry and then a couple come along on the same day. Sometimes the end feels infintely far away. Today has been such a day.

However, I’ve found by writing down my specific aims and objectives and then reviewing my progress toward them I can calm myself down before any lasting damage is done. So here’s what I wrote today:


  1. Examine the impacts of human land use/cover change upon wildfire regimes in a Mediterranean landscape
  2. Explore and evaluate novel methods to ‘validate’ simulation models (and processes of modelling) of environmental change considering human activity

To achieve aim i): Develop a spatially-explicit computer simulation model to examine:

  1. impacts of change in land use/cover configuration (specifically fragmentation) on future wildfire regime (spread component)
  2. impacts of change in vegetation (land cover) composition on future wildfire regime (spread and ignition risk components)
  3. impacts of change in human population (size and ‘type’ of inhabitant) on future wildfire regime (ignition risk component)

To achieve aim ii):

  1. Explore ways of using local stakeholder input to ‘validate’ (or assess the ‘warrantability’ of) the construction of the model (emphasis on the ‘realism’ of the model rather than dynamics
  2. Discuss potential uses of narrative approaches to present processes of model construction and interpretation of results
  3. Examine use of ‘table of inductions’ as proposed by W. Whewell
  4. Think about discussion of potential of online tools for collaborative/participatory approaches to environmental modelling

Ahhhh. That’s better…

(And England won the cricket! GET IN!)

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