Department of Community Sustainability
Environmental Science and Policy Program
Welcome to my webpage! I am a participatory modeler exploring the sustainability of complex systems with human and environmental components. I work directly with stakeholders, using participatory model-building techniques to foster adaptive learning about the dynamics of coupled human-natural systems, and to integrate stakeholder knowledge with academic knowledge. The models I build incorporate feedback and non-linear dynamics, and typically include biophysical, social, and human behavioral components. My work therefore addresses the complexity, interdisciplinarity, and engagement aspects of sustainability research. I work predominantly around problems related to agriculture, climate change, and food security, but the modeling tools I use may be applied in a wide range of contexts. My past and present research has addressed soil erosion, population growth, greenhouse gas emissions, water sustainability, energy use, deforestation, adoption of organic/sustainable agricultural techniques, and human health.
Courses I currently teach:
- CSUS 310: History of Environmental Thought & Sustainability
- CSUS 851: Modeling Natural Resource Systems (spring)
This modeling class is part of a new masters-level modeling certificate offered through the Environmental Science & Policy Program at MSU. Learn more here.
Here are links to two recent publications:
- Schmitt Olabisi, L., Wang, R. Q., and Ligmann-Zielinska, L. 2015. Why Don’t More Farmers Go Organic? Using A Stakeholder-Informed Exploratory Agent-Based Model to Represent the Dynamics of Farming Practices in the Philippines.
- Schmitt Olabisi, L., Blythe, S., Levine, R., Cameron, L. and Beaulac, M. 2016. Participatory, dynamic models: a tool for dialogue
Here are some resources I find useful and interesting:
- Research resources for action-oriented team science blog (I am a contributor).
- Website for the Resilience Alliance
- System Dynamics society website
- United States Society for Ecological Economics
- Environmental Science and Policy Program at MSU