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

Postgraduate Course: Ecosystem Values and Management (PGGE11188)

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
SummaryThis online course is only available to students registered on the Certificate in Global Health Challenges or the MSc in Global Challenges.

This course focuses on the concept of ecosystem services, its history and rise to prominence. We explore the ways in which ecosystem services can be valued, measured and monetized by society, across the spectrum from intrinsic values (aesthetics, inspiration, cultural) to extractive (e.g. fisheries, forestry, mining). Both theoretical and practical applications of ecosystem valuation are explored through case studies of policies and projects, and case studies. Real-world examples of ecosystem services being valued will be examined, including payment for ecosystem services projects, biodiversity offsets, certification schemes and REDD+. Students have the opportunity to explore a case study in depth. The course concludes with a critique of the idea of valuing ecosystem services, looking at the importance of governance and power structures, the difficulties in valuing complex and unpredictable ecosystems, and the trade-offs between efficiency and equity that often occur.
Course description The target audience are professionals who are working in areas related to ecosystem valuation and conservation management, who are studying part time, and at a distance. The chosen approach aims to maximise the benefits of engaging with working professionals, in particular by relating the course topics to the particular needs and interests of students, and also by supporting students to bring their professional experience and expertise into the course and to share this with their peers.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This online course is only available to students registered on the Certificate in Global Health Challenges or the MSc in Global Challenges.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 5 (Sem 2) and beyond
Course Start Date 17/04/2017
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Learning and Teaching Activities
Assessment (Further Info) Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Assessment Methods
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessments will include review of blogs, forums, presentations and a paper. Those students enrolled in the full MSc Global Challenges will do an ┐synoptic paper┐ focusing on learning gained throughout the whole MSc horizon and respective content, but in this case with a particular emphasis on environmental themes.

This will be refined by observation and participation of the e-course team, of the 'face to face' course in Semester 2, 2012, and coupled with ongoing learning about e-modes, will be refined in terms of specific delivery mode, content and assessment.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. appreciate the role that core ecosystem functions and dynamics play in terms of underpinning critical services for sustainable humanity
  2. recognise examples in the case studies of services e.g. food, coastal protection, carbon capture, water supplies, recreation. Distinctions and diversities of environmental governance mode related to common property and private resource regimes
  3. construct and model different applications of non-monetary and monetary economic assessment to ecosystem components and services
  4. demonstrate interdisciplinary scenario analysis examining application of different ecosystem service concepts for different habitat and cultural contexts
  5. understand ecosystem provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting services; intrinsic and extrinsic valuation, interdisciplinary frameworks, adaptive institutional design, scenario analysis
Reading List
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005). Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Synthesis. Island Press, Washington, DC.
Orstrom, E. (2009) A General Framework for Analyzing Sustainability of Social-Ecological. Science Vol 325 24 July 2009 p 419-422.
Young, OR (2009) Institutional Dynamics: Resilience, vulnerability and adaptation in environmental resource regimes. Global Environmental Change 20 (2010) 378-385.
Young, OR et al (2006) The Globalization of socio-ecological systems: An agenda for scientific research. Global Environmental Change 16 (2006) 304-316.
Tallis, HM and Karevia, P. (2006). Shaping global environmental decisions using socio-economic models. TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution Vo.21 No. 10.
Peterson, G.D. et al (2002) Scenario Planning: A Tool for Conservation in an Uncertain World. Conservation Biology, pp 358-366 Vol 17, No. 2, April 2003.
Grimm, V. et al (2005) Pattern-Oriented Modelling of Agent Based Complex Systems: Lessons from Ecology. Science Vol. 310, 11 Nov 2005.
Tallis H and Polansky S. (2009) Mapping and Valuing Ecosystem Services as an Approach for Conservation and Natural-Resource Management. The Year in Ecology and Conservation Biology 2009: Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1162: 265-283(2009)
Baldwin RF et al (2010) Habitat as Architecture: Integrating Conservation Planning into Human Health. AMBIO 28 October 2010.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsEcosystems,Distance Learning
Course organiserDr Calum Macleod
Tel: (0131 6)51 4447
Course secretaryMrs Paula Escobar
Tel: (0131 6)50 2543
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