This course is aimed at students and professionals wanting to get an understanding of, and some hands-on experience on, using Bayesian networks for interdisciplinary (and even transdisciplinary) environmental research. The first version of this course will be given at the University of Helsinki DENVI doctorate programme in autumn 2019. This course comes with study groups and consultations with the teachers; however we believe that the study materials can be also used for individual study.

The teaching is based on flipped learning, which requires an active attitude from the students. The students are expected to read the study materials and discuss the study questions in addition to watching the videos. Also, it is advisable to study the materials in the presented order.

No specific technical skills are required; however fluent use of workstation computers is necessary.

The content of the course has been prepared by Dr Laura Uusitalo; the pedagogical expert is Dr Riikka Puntila-Dodd.

After the course, the student can

Proposed schedule of the course

For the first 4 weeks, the material will consists mostly of reading scientific articles and watching the teaching videos. This material is fully linked below.

On weeks 5-7, the students will build their own BN models on their own research problem. In the organized course, there will be peer support groups and consultation with the teachers. In the end, there is a course conference in which all participants will present their models, including problem framing, interdisciplinary aspects, model structure and why it was selected, data sources, and critical assessment. All students will peer-review two other presentations.

Technical note! The videos may not work on Chrome due to a protocol problem with the University service. In that case, try another browser.

Week 1: Basics

Introduction to the course:


Read these introductory & overview papers:

Introductory lectures:




Week 2: Interdisciplinary research

Interdisciplinarity: definition and motivation

Article: Open your mind to interdisciplinary research

Blog: The 5 Significant Advantages of Interdisciplinary Research

Interdisciplinary environmental research and problem framing

Read these research papers