Postgraduate Course: Ecosystem Values and Management (PGGE11188)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||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.
The course is organised into two distinctive blocks as follows:
1. An introduction to the ecosystem services concept. (weeks 1-4) This block is largely contextual. It involves critical reflection on the ecosystems services concept and explore its emergence in policy and management.
2. Exploring ecosystem service valuation to support policy. (weeks 4-8) Both social (non-monetary) and economic valuation and their links to policy instruments are explored in this block by reading the foundational literature and exploring themed case studies.
Aside from the expected contributions to the weekly programme there are two coursework assignments (each of which is weighted at 50% of each student's final mark for the course).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||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 2021/22, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
Assessment 1: Local ecosystem services assessment- 50%
Assessment 2: Persuasive essay- 50%
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- appreciate the role that core ecosystem functions and dynamics play in terms of underpinning critical services for sustainable humanity
- 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
- construct and model different applications of non-monetary and monetary economic assessment to ecosystem components and services
- demonstrate interdisciplinary scenario analysis examining application of different ecosystem service concepts for different habitat and cultural contexts
- understand ecosystem provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting services; intrinsic and extrinsic valuation, interdisciplinary frameworks, adaptive institutional design, scenario analysis
|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.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Rafael Silva
|Course secretary||Ms Louisa King
Tel: (0131 6)50 2543