Jan Sendzimir, PhD

The Founder of the Sendzimir Foundation. Dr. Sendzimir studied systems ecology as part of the environmental engineering program at the University of Florida, Gainesville, USA, under H.T. Odum (master’s degree in 1984) and C.S. (“Buzz”) Holling (PhD in 1998).

In the interim he worked as a wetlands ecologist in the design and integration of natural and artificial wetlands into waste treatment systems. In addition to field research on the dynamics of lake, river and forest ecosystems, Dr. Sendzimir collaborates with academia, NGOs and government on research applied to problems with complex combinations of ecological, economic and sociopolitical factors that occur over relatively large areas such as river basins, major watersheds and mountain chains. A major research area focuses on how ecological, social and economic interactions influence our capacity to adapt to and/or mitigate change at different scales and how that affects the robustness and resilience of social-ecological systems to change. He uses conceptual and formal modeling as social simulation exercises (role-playing games) to integrate perspectives from different disciplines and sectors of society in decision-making frameworks such as the adaptive management process.

Dr. Sendzimir’s current projects use modeling to guide scientific research – policy development related to the sustainable development of communities in major river systems: The Narew, Odra and Barycz rivers (Poland), the Rhine and Elbe (Germany), the Tisza river (Ukraine, Romania, and Hungary), and the Amudarya (Uzbekistan) as well as in semi-arid regions in Africa (Sahel) and Central America (Central Cordillera of Nicaragua).