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

Postgraduate Course: Nature-based Solutions (PGGE11265)

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
SummarySociety is in urgent need of sustainable responses to climate change. Nature-based Solutions (NbS) aim to meet this challenge by using nature in natural and managed ecosystems for mitigation, adaptation and sustainable development. You will learn to critically appraise different NbS strategies, when and where they are most appropriate, and the range of ecosystem services they deliver.
Course description The course will provide students with skills in critical analyses of scientific rationales for current NbS strategies through lectures and field courses. Students will engage and become familiar with the latest research in NbS in different ecosystems and will develop their understanding of cross-cutting issues in ecosystem services, climate change and ecology.
The course will consist of a series of lectures with student group assignment activity included in 5 or 6 of the weekly sessions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 100%

1. Group presentation based on a management plan for the adoption of an NbS approach in a land or marine ecosystem (50%)

Each group will focus on a different ecosystem. This assignment will be assessed by two staff members

Each week from week 3 onwards a different group will present their talk to the rest of the class (after the lecture).

2. Essay (3000 words) (50%) - due week 11
Critical assessment of the evidence-base for an existing NbS strategy.
Feedback Students will be provided with formative feedback for both the group and individual assignment. In addition, post-assignment written feedback will be supplied.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Gain an understanding of the need for Nature-based Solutions and how they can meet climate change challenges through effective mitigation and adaptation applications across a wide range of ecosystem types.
  2. Gain an understanding of different NbS strategies and the range of different ecosystem services they can provide.
  3. Understand the national and international policy context and the history and development of Nature-based Solutions.
  4. Understand the ecological underpinnings and evidence-base for NbS strategies across a range of land and marine ecosystems.
  5. To be able to critically assess the scientific evidence-base for several types of NbS strategies with a particular appreciation of when and where NbS are more effective and appropriate than alternative non nature-based schemes.
Reading List
Bastin, J.-F. et al., 2019. The global tree restoration potential. Science, 365(6448), pp.76¿79. (and the papers critiquing it)
Bellamy, R. & Osaka, S., 2019. Unnatural climate solutions? Nature Climate Change, pp.1¿2.
Bhattacharjee, K. & Behera, B., 2018. Does forest cover help prevent flood damage? Empirical evidence from India. Global Environmental Change, 53, pp.78¿89.
Bridgewater, P., 2018. Improving adaptive capacity of social-ecological system of Tashk-Bakhtegan Lake basin to climate change effects ¿ A methodology based on Post-Modern Portfolio Theory. Integrative Medicine Research, 18(4), pp.311¿316.
Brink, E. et al., 2016. Cascades of green: A review of ecosystem-based adaptation in urban areas. Global Environmental Change, 36, pp.111¿123.
Cohen-Shacham, E. et al., 2019. Core principles for successfully implementing and upscaling Nature-based Solutions. Environmental Science and Policy, 98, pp.20¿29.
Cromsigt, J.P.G.M. et al., 2018. Trophic rewilding as a climate change mitigation strategy? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 373(1761), pp.20170440¿12.
Dadson, S.J. et al., 2017. A restatement of the natural science evidence concerning catchment-based ¿natural¿ flood management in the UK. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Science, 473(2199), p.20160706.
Das, S. & Vincent, J.R., 2009. Mangroves protected villages and reduced death toll during Indian super cyclone. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(18), pp.7357¿7360.
Dorst, H. et al., 2019. Urban greening through nature-based solutions ¿ Key characteristics of an emerging concept. Sustainable Cities and Society, 49.
Doswald, N. et al., 2014. Effectiveness of ecosystem-based approaches for adaptation: review of the evidence-base. Climate and Development, 6(2), pp.185¿201.
Faivre, N. et al., 2017. Nature-Based Solutions in the EU_ Innovating with nature to address social, economic and environmental challenges. Environmental Research, 159, pp.509¿518.
Gaywood, M.J., 2017. Reintroducing the Eurasian beaver Castor fiberto Scotland. Mammal Review, 48(1), pp.48¿61.
Griscom, B.W. et al., 2020. National mitigation potential from natural climate solutions in the tropics. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 375(1794), pp.20190126¿11.
Hobbie, S.E. & Grimm, N.B., 2020. Nature-based approaches to managing climate change impacts in cities. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 375(1794), pp.20190124¿14.
Jones, H.P., Hole, D.G. & Zavaleta, E.S., 2012. Harnessing nature to help people adapt to climate change. Nature Climate Change, 2(7), pp.504¿509.
Keesstra, S. et al., 2018. The superior effect of nature-based solutions in land management for enhancing ecosystem services. Science of the Total Environment, The, 610-611, pp.997¿1009.
Lavorel, S. et al., 2019. Mustering the power of ecosystems for adaptation to climate change. Environmental Science and Policy, 92, pp.87¿97.
Malhi, Y. et al., 2020. Climate change and ecosystems: threats, opportunities and solutions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 375(1794), pp.20190104¿8.
Mbow, C. et al., 2014. Achieving mitigation and adaptation to climate change through sustainable agroforestry practices in Africa. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 6, pp.8¿14.
Morecroft, M.D. et al., 2019. Measuring the success of climate change adaptation and mitigation in terrestrial ecosystems. Science, 366(6471), pp.eaaw9256¿7.
Narayan, S. et al., 2017. The Value of Coastal Wetlands for Flood Damage Reduction in the Northeastern USA. Scientific Reports, pp.1¿12.
Nesshöver, C. et al., 2017. The science, policy and practice of nature-based solutions: An interdisciplinary perspective. Science of the Total Environment, The, 579(C), pp.1215¿1227.
Perino, A. et al., 2019. Rewilding complex ecosystems. Science, 364(6438), pp.eaav5570¿10.
Sandom, C.J. et al., 2020. Trophic rewilding presents regionally specific opportunities for mitigating climate change. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 375(1794), pp.20190125¿8.
Seddon, N. et al., 2020. Understanding the value and limits of nature-based solutions to climate change and other global challenges. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 375(1794), pp.20190120¿12.
Stratford, C. et al., 2017. Do Trees in UK-relevant river catchments influence fluvial flood peaks? Wallingford, CEH/NERC. UK.
Thomas, C.D., 2020. The development of Anthropocene biotas. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 375(1794), pp.20190113¿9.
Thorslund, J. et al., 2017. Wetlands as large-scale nature-based solutions: Status and challenges for research, engineering and management. Ecological Engineering, 108(Part B), pp.489¿497.
Watson, J.E.M. et al., 2018. The exceptional value of intact forest ecosystems. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 2(4), pp.599¿610.
Willby, N.J. et al., 2018. Rewilding wetlands: beaver as agents of within-habitat heterogeneity and the responses of contrasting biota. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 373(1761), pp.20170444¿8.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical analysis of data and peer-reviewed evidence. Planning and creating a management plan. Report writing. Presentation skills, group/teamwork.
KeywordsEcosystem-based adaptation,natural flood management,agro-forestry,climate change mitigation
Course organiserDr James Paterson
Course secretaryDr Beata Kohlbek
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