Course code EDS350

EDS350 Økologi og samfunn

English course information

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Viser emneinfo for studieåret 2014 - 2015.

Emneansvarlige: Peter Gufu Oba
Studiepoeng: 10
Ansvarlig fakultet: Noragric - Institutt for internasjonale miljø- og utviklingsstudier
Frekvens: Årlig
Undervises på språk: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Begrensning antall plasser:
25 students
Undervises i periode:
Emnet starter i vårparallellen. Emnet har undervisning/vurdering i vårparallellen, .
Første gang: Studieår 2014-2015
Fortrinnsrett: M-IES
Emnets innhold:
The course offers integrated and holistic approaches for understanding the relationship between biological ecology and society, integrates different disciplines to improve understanding the impacts on global environments through time. The course is organized around seven (7) thematic areas. Theme 1: Defining ecology and society: from evolutionary, environmental history and cultural perspectives. Theme 2: Global human demands and ecological systems Theme 3: Cultural landscapes and human impacts Theme 4: Environmental-social systems. Theme 5: Climate risks and adaptations from global to local understanding water history Theme 6: Global and local perspectives of deforestation and land degradation Theme 7: Management of risk prone environments and adaptations of human societies.
The Ecology and society is a revised course (previously called EDS 350 Dry land Resource Systems and Management), which has been broadened and made highly relevant for students taking Master in International Environmental Studies (M-IES). The course provides an important bridging to other courses offered under the program. The ecology and society course presents students with knowledge of the fundamentals of ecology and their application by human societies. The course by blending biological ecology, with social science and environmental history approaches, provides a better understanding of the relationships between ecology, environment and social changes. The course further examines relations between human needs and environmental stressors. It examines resource diversity, uses and human adaptations to environmental changes at global and local scales. It covers both natural and human made ecosystems. Knowledge of cultural landscapes and human environmental impacts uses the tool of environmental history to understand how human societies through time adapted to the changing environment. The course will specifically examine changes in human cultural environments using human environmental memory. An aspect of this learning will be the role played by climatology in driving ecological and social systems through time. Environmental desiccation and land degradation processes will be examined from historical and contemporary perspectives. Understanding ecology and environmental relations in the drylands will be related to history of water and the cultures of water management. In this relation, the course will examine human adaptations in the dry lands, considering ecology of degradation and societies& responses using site and geographically specific case studies. These backgrounds will draw on lessons on continuities and collapses in human civilizations using case studies. Changes in landscapes would be examined from ecological and social perspectives. These will be related to historical relations between cultures and environments, taking global and local deforestation perspectives. At local scales, the course deals with natural ecosystems, human and ecological services, fragmentations, ecosystem restoration and consequences for human and natural systems. The course will guide students to focus on risk management in vulnerable environments. The ecology of indigenous knowledge of natural environments provides local perspectives of the management of human landscape systems. The course will further examine livestock systems from global and regional perspectives-Case studies on rural-urban livestock systems will be presented. Finally, the ecology and society course provides students with a solid anchor of theoretical and practical knowledge of global environmental and social change as mechanisms of adaptation. Objectives a) To help students to synthesize knowledge, understand processes, relations and impacts using global, regional and local case studies b) the teaching will develop solid knowledge of history of ecology and social change and c) in depth knowledge of problems of managing natural ecosystems and discuss possible solutions. This is an interdisciplinary course that requires students to synthesize holistic ideas related to the management of global environment with their human societies. The students will gain insights into the structure, functions and historical drivers of change and become familiar with theoretical and practical issues related to the management of the Global environments. The learning goals are critical thinking for synthesing  knowledge related to how societies and their environments respond to natural and anthropogenic disturbances, as well as management decisions for developing policies for sustainable management.
This can be achieved by: 1. Through lectures and class discussions as well as group presentations to achieve: blending application of biological ecology with social science and environmental historical knowledge, 2. Understanding linkages between global human demands of the ecology and social needs in diversities of terrestrial ecosystems, 3. Analyse relations between cultural landscapes and human environmental impacts, 4. Learning changes in human environmental social memory and management of natural environments, 5. Understanding roles of climate in environmental changes:- understanding water history in dry lands, 6. Understanding relations between human cultures and global and local deforestation, 7. Increased awareness of the fragility of natural ecosystems and managing of risk prone environments.
The teacher responsible for the course will be guiding class presentations and group exercises. The teacher will give the lectures and suggest appropriate reading if needed by the students. The student learning will be by both independent and group work. The course philosophy is to encourage the students to pursue their interests using class lectures as a support to theirlearning.
There is no set text book in this course that is able to cover all the diverse subjects given in the thematic areas. The students should therefore be prepared to read on their own some directed references. The course will use the following references . These would complement  specific reading lists for each thematic area. 1: Robin, S. Reid, 2012. Savannas of our birth, people, wildlife, and change in East Africa, University of California Press. 2: Kathrin Homewood 2009, Ecology of African Pastoralist Societies, James Currey. 3: Brian Fagan, 2011, Elixir: A history of water and humankind, Bloomsburry Press. 4: Brian Fagan 2008, The Great warming: Climate change and the rise and fall of civilizations, Bloomsburry Press. 5: Jared Diamond 2005- Collapse: How societies choose to fall or succeed, Viking. 6. Fikret Berkes 1999, Sacred Ecology: Traditional ecological knowledge and resource management, Taylor og Francis. 7. Henning Steinfeld, Harold A. Mooney et al. 2010. Livestock in a changing landscape: Drivers, consequences, and responses, Vols. 1 og 2. 8. Kathleen A. Galvin, Robin S. Reid, et al. 2008, Fragmentation in semi-arid and arid landscapes: Consequences for Human and natural systems, Springer. 9. Sing C. Chew 2001, World ecological degradation: Accumulation, urbanization, and deforestation, 3000 B.C.- A.D. 2000, Altamira Press. 10. Luke Martel 1994, Ecology and society: an Introduction, University of Massachusetts Press. 11. Alan Mikhail, 2013, Water on sand: Environmental histories of the Middle East and North Africa, Oxford University Press. 12. Roderick J. McIntosh, Joseph A. Tainter et al. 2000, The way the wind blows: Climate, history, and human action, Colombia University Press. 13. Edward J. Kormondy and Daniel E. Brown 1998, Fundamentals of Human ecology, Prentice Hall, 14. I. Peter Martini og Ward Chesworth (eds.) 2010, Landscapes and societies, Springer. 15. Sing C. Chew 2008, Ecological futures: what history can teach us, Altamira. 16. Robert Costanza, Lisa J. Graumlich and will Steffen 2007, Sustainability or collapse?: An integrated history and future people of Earth, The MIT Press 17. Emilio F. Moran, 2008, Human adaptability: An introduction to Ecological anthropology, Westview 18. Nora Haenn and Richard R. Wilk (eds.) 2006, The environment in anthropology: a reader in ecology, culture, and sustainable living, New York University Press
Forutsatte forkunnskaper:
Anbefalte forkunnskaper:
Students taking this class should have the background of the core course EDS 303: Introduction to international environmental studies
Obligatorisk aktivitet:
Compulsory activities include: class seminars, group exercises and personal essays. These are graded as continuous assemments. This course do not therefore have a  final examination.
During the course the class will be involved in weekly reading assignments selected from the seven thematic areas. These are compulsory. The evaluation of the course will comprise group presentation counting for 60% of the grade and an individual term paper counting 40% of the grade.
Class seminars will be evaluated by the teacher, while group exercise will involve an extrernal sensor
Normert arbeidsmengde:
Total work load for this course including reading is 30 hours per credit. The course is 10 credit. This means the students will be expected to spend a total of 300 hours of learning of various activities including consultations on this course
There would be 2 double lecture hours per week. Students are expected to sit for 4 hours in lectures and seminars per week, 12 weeks in total.
Eksamensdetaljer: Langsgående vurdering: A - E / Ikke bestått