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Recurring questions in interdisciplinary research contexts are: How to combine natural and social sciences and humanities, how to develop common research questions or common ground from where to proceed? How to come up with integrative research methods? How to ensure the compatibility of findings? What requires a scientific environment to actually enable interdisciplinarity? What knowledge and expertise is necessary to answer that question? And where to find it? Thus, what does is need to bridge the gap?

Along the focal fields "Resources", "Practices" and "Images", interdisciplinary research foci were introduced for discussion.


Resources: The Governance of Marine Spaces

Across the globe increasingly diverse and resource-intensive ocean uses are reaching further out and deeper down. There is no discernible form of global ocean governance yet, thus effective ocean governance requires a more focused and committed forum to connect the diverse stakeholders in an operational network across sectors, issues, regions, disciplines and interest groups. Focusing on fisheries, deep sea mining, marine protected areas and marine spatial planning we address questions such as: How are governance actors in market, civil society and government currently interlinked? What are the strengths and challenges of the current ocean governance system? What forms of knowledge are needed for effective ocean governance?

Practices: Marine Energy

Marine renewable energy resources are various and plentiful. Wind energy both on-shore and off-shore is pioneering human activities in utilizing these resources. Approaches to make use of currents, waves, chemical gradients or biomass for energetic purposes have already started. Hot spots of the emerging activities are coastal and shallow marine waters. Current practices proof the marine energy sector to remain a challenging innovation and to be conflicting with other established sectors and the respective stakeholders as well. The workshop aims to identify crucial aspects of future sustainable practices of marine energy. From socio-ecological and socio-technical perspectives, we address topics like ecosystem approaches to energy resources needed to be defined and embedded in societal processes.

Images: Marine Awareness

The importance of people’s perception as an emerging field of study has been detected by historians and art-historians as well  as social and cultural scientists. There is comparatively little awareness of the cultural heritage of the sea, being threatened by building projects like offshore wind farms, compounded with missing governance. We question how the North Sea been has been perceived over time, being used for economic and recreation reasons, at the same time being protected for its ecological and cultural importance. How to influence people´s perception that a broader understanding of the marine environment can be achieved? Thus, how to include archaeological expertise into the decision making processes about the marine environment?