Development of delta professionals: the need for fundamental change in mainstream education on landscape related issues

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Landscapes are under severe pressure. These landscapes are being used for several functions and interests that compete with each other for influence on and space in the countryside. The application of only a disciplinary or sectoral perspective does no longer provide us with satisfactory answers for dealing with diverse claims of the various stakeholders in the open space. Therefore, through interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research the Wageningen Delta program takes up the challenge to search for an integrated perspective combining scientific expertise with non-academic knowledge of stakeholders for dealing with regional issues. However, it appears that for effectively conducting interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research specific competence is required which is not offered by the mainstream landscape studies. Landscape studies are not unique in this weakness. Similar shortcomings can be observed in related fields such as environmental or agricultural education. This contribution highlights the need for change in mainstream education on landscape related issues (e.g., land use planning and design, landscape architecture). For the argumentation, first I will describe the required competencies of inter- or transdisciplinary professionals/researchers which next, I will compare with the characteristics of mainstream landscape related studies. The comparison leads me to conclude on the necessary changes in the current landscape educational system. Being a member of the Wageningen tradition, I will refer to the members of inter- and transdisciplinary research teams as Delta professionals. Moreover, in this statement a distinction is made between the Delta professional being a member of an inter- or transdisciplinary research team and the process manager sometimes referred to as facilitator, project manager or intermediary. The latter can also be considered a team member of an inter- or transdisciplinary research team, but with a specific role i.e., enabling inter- and cross- disciplinary and sectoral relationships as well as maintaining an inter- or transdisciplinary focus
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterdisciplinary and transdisciplinary landscape studies: potential and limitations
EditorsB. Tress, G. Tress, A.J.J. van der Valk, G. Fry
Place of PublicationWageningen
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Publication series

NameDelta series


  • interdisciplinary research
  • professional education
  • landscape
  • rural environment
  • netherlands


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  • ESS-CC

    Project: Other

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