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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Marine Systems and Policies (PGGE11186)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryMarine (coastal and ocean) environments are fundamental features of the Earth system that are profoundly influenced by human interactions. As these ecosystems are trans-boundary and multi-dimensional the policy instruments governing the utilization of coastal ocean systems are complex. However, policies, laws and regulations are often disconnected to the scale and dynamics of targeted ecosystems and species in both time and space (e.g. oceanographic processes, migratory species, multi-site life stages). Many global to local scale policies can be more effective, support deeper understanding of ecosystem processes, and take into account cumulative impacts of social pressures and environmental change, when viewed through an ecosystem lens from the past and looking ahead. Additionally, as technology advances, human population increases and energy demands combine to extend the horizons of marine exploration and exploitation further offshore, a robust understanding of policies impacts and ecology responses in coastal-ocean realms is increasingly vital.

This course uses case studies to gain an understanding of marine conservation measure and spatial planning to explore linkages between different scales of coastal-ocean ecosystem processes and ecological dynamics in connection with applicable scales of policy instruments (e.g. Law of the Sea, Convention of Biodiversity, UNESCO World Heritage; regional conventions; Local codes and policies framed around fishing regulations, coastal zoning, and traditional knowlege). Diverse case studies across a range of biomes, scales, and issues are considered to examine and test the suitability of different policies for different ecosystem scales, environmental issues and socio-cultural contexts. Examples of case study scales include: Archipelagos and Islands, Estuaries, Semi-enclosed Seas, Continental Margins, Urbanizing Shorelines and Global Oceans.

While most courses in GeoSciences are terrestrial in orientation, this course is focuses on marine ecosystems, issues and policies in an integrated way that provides foundational learning for critical analysis of marine environments and human impacts. This course will help prepare students for positions in governments, NGOs, environmental consultancies and private enterprise requiring competency at the science-policy interface.

(Note: This course is co-taught as a 20c course for (PGT only) and 10c for a small number of fourth year Env GeoScience and Ecology, with joint lecture sessions. The PGT 20c has additional discussion groups and journal response assignments. Group Presentations will be presented by both 10c and 20c groupings, with all attending. Both 10c and 20c will have individual policy position papers.)
Course description The first part of the course has lectures on different marine biomes, followed by exemplary case studies from academic staff and guest lectures from government and NGO organizations. Together these illustrate a range of issues and societal contexts through which suitability of different policies will be examined and tested. Building on these lecture-based and case study examples, students will conduct their own case-based policy suitability and solution analysis though small group presentations and an individual essay. (Note on some weeks the UG students arrive after the PGT discussion groups.)


Week 1 | 23 Sept: Course overview, goals and organization.
Introduction to different realms of coastal-ocean ecosystems in the context of science, policy and management linkages, noting distinctions from terrestrial systems.
(Timing: PGT + UG: 930 - 1300)

Week 2 | 30 Sept: Archipelagos, Atolls and Islands:
Coral reefs and island habitats, World Heritage on island biogeography, ecology and cultures, connectivity across similar sites; sea level rise; habitat loss; cultural values, formal and traditional governance) (e.g. Micronesia, Polynesia)
- Timing: PGT 930-1015 Discussion Group, PGT + UG: Lectures 1100-1300
- PGT Journal Response 1 Due on Learn night before class (13 Oct)

Week 3 | 7 Oct: Continental Margins and Shelves:
Offshore features, upwelling, seabed, seamounts, reefs; Policies targeting a balance of extractive activities with biodiversity conservation, e.g. fisheries, infrastructure, renewable, offshore exploration. (e.g. California, Scotland, Australia)
- Timing: PGT 930-1015 Discussion Group, PGT + UG: Lectures 1100-1300
- PGT Journal Response 2 Due on Learn night before class (Tues, 6 Oct)

Week 4 | 14 Oct: Estuaries and Semi-enclosed Seas:
Deltas, wetlands, shallow seas; Regional Seas policies on transboundary issues pollution, fisheries, land to sea based impacts. (e.g. NE Atlantic OSPAR, Red Sea - Jeddah Conv., Black Sea-Bucharest Convention, Mediterranean- Barcelona Convention.)
- Timing: PGT 930-1015 Discussion Group, PGT + UG: Lectures 1100-1300
- PGT Journal Response 3 Due on Learn night before class (Tues, 13 Oct)

Week 5 | 21 Oct: Marine Policy Analysis and Case Study Design Tutorial.
- Timing: PGT + UG: 930 - 1300
- PGT and UG: Draft Policy Paper Ideas Abstracts on Learn (**Sun, 18 Oct, unmarked, for feedback to be provided in class**)

Week 6 | 28 Oct: Transboundary Shorelines:
Conservation and restoration across large scale transboundary shorelines (e.g. marine parks across Mozambique -Tanzinia, Great Barrier Reef).
- Timing: PGT 930-1015 Discussion Group, PGT + UG: Lectures 1100-1300
- PGT Journal Response 4 Due on Learn night before class (Tues, 27 Oct)

Week 7 | 4 Nov: Global Oceans:
Pelagic and large MPAS, climate change, temperature, acidification, migratory species, circulation; High Seas UNCLOS, global instruments, such as Climate Change Framework, Biodiversity Convention), (e.g. Maldives, Pacific Ocean MPAs, tuna, turtles).
- Timing: PGT 930-1015 Discussion Group, PGT + UG: Lectures 1100-1300
- PGT Journal Response 5 Due on Learn night before class (Tues, 3 Nov)

Week 8 | 11 Nov: PGT Group Presentations. Timing: PGT + UG: all 930-1300).
- PGT Presentations uploaded to Learn night before class (Tues, 10 Nov)

Week 9 | 18 Nov: UG Group Presentations. (Timing: PGT + UG: all 930-1300).
- UG Presentations uploaded to Learn night before class (Tues, 17 Nov)

Week 10 | 25 Nov: Abstracts Symposia session sharing overviews of individual policy papers.
- PGT + UG Abstract and Photo to Learn (unmarked), Sun, 22 Nov for instructor to compile class Abstract Booklet)
- PGT + UG Policy Papers uploaded to Learn night before class (Tues, 24 Nov)
(NB. A detailed outline including specific speakers and case study topics will be presented at the first class. There may be some changes to order of -biomes-presented based on guest speaker availability.)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course is assessed entirely by coursework (100%). No examination will be held. (Only activities 1, 3, and 5 listed below are marked.) All written exercises must be via hard-copy in class and electronic via LEARN by midnight the day before class. Detailed guidance for the Journal Responses, Case Study Presentations, and individual Policy Papers will be provided during the course. (NB Due dates are indicated in the week-by-week Course Description section above.)

The course is assessed entirely by coursework (100%). No examination will be held. (Only activities 1, 3, and 5 listed below are marked.) All written exercises must be via hard-copy in class and electronic via LEARN by midnight the day before class. Detailed guidance for the Journal Responses, Case Study Presentations, and individual Policy Papers will be provided during the course. (NB Due dates are indicated in the week-by-week Course Description section above.)

1. JOURNAL RESPONSES (25% total mark): Discussion group participation and 5 x journal responses, due on LEARN by midnight the night before class. The 1st response is experimental and not marked, the other 4 are marked (= 6.25% per response).

2. POLICY PAPER ABSTRACT (not marked): 300 word abstract of case study (not assessed, for feedback only, on Learn and hard copy in class)

3. GROUP PRESENTATION (25% total mark): on Week 8 (50% of total is group mark, 50% is individual)

4. INDIVIDUAL POLICY PAPERS (50% total mark) 2500 words max. Hard copy in class on Week 9, and LEARN by midnight the night before (see table)

5. ABSTRACTS SYMPOSIA (not marked) The final class are fun, 3 minute flash presentations on your individual policy papers. The abstracts from your paper and 1 photo will be compiled to make a ┐take-away┐ Abstracts Booklet from the class.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand coastal-marine ecosystem processes with regard to the inter-dynamics of different scales and human dimensions and drivers of environmental change.
  2. Be familiar with a array of conservation pathways and scenarios for recovery, e.g. habitat conservation and restoration.
  3. Be familiar with examples of key national and international marine conservation policies.
  4. Conduct reviews of key literature and policies, developing the capacity to conduct policy analysis and solutions for different settings and scales, resulting in a formal policy paper.
  5. Be able to develop and demonstrate leadership and participation in group discussions, and team based oral presentations.
Reading List
There is no textbook that covers the course. Key readings for each week are indicated below. Additional readings relating to each topic will be provided via LEARN along the way, for further in-depth reading for case study presentations, individual policy papers, creating a -living-course library on topics of interest.

Week 1. Coastal-ocean diversity in the context of science, policy and management.

- IOC UNESCO, IMO, FAO, UNDP (2011). A Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability.
- Palumbi, S. R. et. al., 2009. Managing for ocean biodiversity to sustain marine ecosystem services. Frontiers in Ecology 7(4): 204-211.
- Hobday, et al, 2014. Dynamic Ocean Management: Integrating Scientific and Technological Capacity with Law, Policy and Management. Stanford Environmental Law Journal Vol. 33:2, pp 125-165.

Week 2. Archipelagos, Atolls and Islands
- Kittinger, J. N. et. al., 2012. Human dimensions of coral reef social-ecological systems. Ecology and Society 17(4): 17.
- Yamamoto, L. and, Miguel Esteban, M. 2010. Vanishing Island States and sovereignty. Ocean & Coastal Management 53 (2010) 1-9.

Week 3. Continental Margins and Shelves
- Levin, L. A. and Sibuet, M., 2012. Understanding Continental Margin Biodiversity:-A New Imperative. Annual Review Marine Science 2012. 4:8.1-8.34
- Armstrong C.W., et. al., 2012. Services from the deep: steps towards valuation of deep sea goods and services. Ecosystem Services 2 (2012) 2-13.
- Roberts, et. al., 2006. Reefs of the Deep: The Biology and Geology of Cold-Water Coral Ecosystems. Science Vol 312 (543-547)

Week 4. Estuaries and Semi-enclosed Seas:
- Jackson, J.B.C., et. al., 2001. Historical Overfishing and the Recent Collapse of Coastal Ecosystems. Science VOL 293 27 JULY 2001.
- Lejeusne, C. 2009. Climate change effects on a miniature ocean: the highly diverse, highly impacted Mediterranean Sea. Trends in Ecology and Evolution Vol.25 No.4 (250-260).
- Hughes T.P. et. al., 2013. Living dangerously on borrowed time during slow, unrecognized regime shifts. Trends in Ecology and Evolution Vol 28 no. 3. 149-155.

Week 5. Marine Policy Analysis and Case Study Design Tutorial.

Week 6. Transboundary Shorelines:
- Wells, s. Burgess, N. Ngusarud, A. (2007) 'Towards the 2012 marine protected area targets in Eastern Africa', Ocean and Coastal Management, 50 (2007) 67-83
- Neves, K., 2010. Cashing in on Cetourism: A Critical Ecological Engagement with Dominant E-NGO Discourses on Whaling, Cetacean Conservation, and Whale Watching. Antipode, Volume 42, Issue 3, pages 719-741
- Klain S.C. and Chan, M.A.K., 2012. Navigating coastal values: participatory mapping of ecosystem services for spatial planning. Ecological Economics 82, 104-113.

Week 7. Global Oceans:
- Sumaliam U.R., et al, 2011. Climate change impacts on the biophysics and economics of world fisheries. Nature Climate Change, Vol 1. 449-456.
- Block, B.A., et al., 2011. Tracking apex marine predator movements in a dynamic ocean. Nature, Vol 475, 86-90.
- Game, E.T. et al., 2009. Pelagic protected areas: the missing dimension in ocean conservation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol 24. No. 7, 360-369.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Capacity to conduct context based policy analysis to develop solutions for different settings and scales;
- Writing brief critiques and reviews of key literature and policies.
- Leadership and participation in group discussions on complex topics, scientific literature and examples;
- Team based oral presentations and participation in an Abstracts Symposia.
- Researching, constructing and delivering individual white paper, policy brief.
KeywordsMarine,coastal ocean ecosystems; biophysical processes and scales; marine policy and governance; cl
Course organiserDr Meriwether Wilson
Tel: (0131 6)50 4311
Course secretaryMr Edwin Cruden
Tel: (0131 6)50 2543
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