Course code EDS350

EDS350 Økologi og samfunn

English course information

Søk etter andre emner

Viser emneinfo for studieåret 2017 - 2018.

Emneansvarlige: Peter Gufu Oba
Studiepoeng: 10
Ansvarlig fakultet: Fakultet for landskap og samfunn
Frekvens: Årlig
Undervises på språk: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Begrensning antall plasser:
Undervises i periode:
Emnet starter i vårparallellen. Emnet har undervisning/vurdering i vårparallellen, .
Første gang: Studieår 2014-2015
Fortrinnsrett: M-IES
Undervises hvor?: Campus Ås
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 environmental history through time. The course is organized around seven (6) thematic areas.

Theme 1: Defining ecology and society: from environmental history and cultural perspectives.

Theme 2: Global human demands and ecological systems

Theme 3:  Cultural human ecological systems

Theme 4: Past environmental-social systems.

Theme 5:  Climate change and adaptations

Theme 6: Degrading world ecosystems and human health

Ecology and society presents students with knowledge of the fundamentals of ecology and human societies, past and present. The course by blending biological ecology, with social science and environmental history, provides a better understanding of the relationships between ecology, environment and social changes. The course further examines relations between human needs and environmental stressors from the ancient times to the present. It examines resource diversity, uses by societies and their adaptations to environmental changes. 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 climate and environment. The course specifically examines changes in human cultural environments using environmental. 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 societal relations in the dry lands in particular will be related to history of water and the cultures of water management. In this aspect, the course will examine human adaptations in the dry lands, considering ecology of degradation, climate change and societies¿ responses using site and geographically specific case studies. These backgrounds will draw on lessons on continuities and collapses in past human civilizations. Changes in local landscapes (both natural and human made) would be examined from ecological and social perspectives. These will be related to historical relations between cultures and environments, taking global and local perspectives as an approach to learning. 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. Finally, ecology and society provides students with a solid anchor of theoretical and practical knowledge of environmental and social change by giving an overview of global environmental history.

The students will; (a)  synthesize knowledge, understand processes, relations and impacts using global, regional and local case studies; and (b)the teaching will develop solid knowledge of environmental history 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 ideas holistically related to the management of global environments with societies as central players. Students will gain insights into historical drivers of change and become familiar with theoretical and practical issues related to management of Global Environments and humans past and present survival strategies. The learning goals are  critical thinking on how societies in the past and the present respond to natural and anthropogenic disasters, as well as management decisions to offset disturbances.

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 di

There is no set book in this course. The teacher concerned will use wide range of sources and students are advised to read on their own some directed and preferred references. The lectures will draw on the following sources,

1: Michael Bollig and Olaf Bubenzer (eds.), 2009, African landscapes: Interdisciplinary approaches, Springer.

2: Gufu Oba, 2014, Climate change adaptation in Africa: An historical ecology, Routledge.

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. Brian Fagan 2009, Floods, famines, and emperors: El Niño and the state of civilizations, Basic books

6. Brian Fagan 2000, The Little Ice Age: How climate made history 1300-1850, Basic Books.

7. Sing C. Chew 2001, World ecological degradation: Accumulation, urbanization, and deforestation, 3000 B.C.- A.D. 2000,  Altamira Press.

8. Roderick J. McIntosh, Joseph A. Tainter et al. 2000, The way the wind blows: Climate, history, and human action, Colombia University Press.

9. Sing C. Chew 2008, Ecological futures: what history can teach us, Altamira.

10. Charles L. Redman1999, Human impact on ancient environments, The University of Arizona Press.

11. Jared Diamond 2005, Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed, Viking.

12. Alfred W. Crosby 2004, Ecological imperialism: The biological expansion of Europe, 900-1900, Cambridge.

13. Jared Diamond 1997, Guns, germs, and steel: The fates of human societies, W.W. Norton & Co.

14. Grove A. T. and Oliver Rackhamm 2001 The nature of Mediterranean Europe: An ecological history, Yale University Press.

15. Joseph A. Tainter 1988, The collapse of complex societies, Cambridge University Press.

16. William H. McNeil 1998, Plagues and peoples, Anchor Books.

17. Ian and Jenifer Glynn, 2004, The life and death of smallpox, Profile Books.

18. Jonathan Cowie, 2013, Climate change: Biological and Human aspects, Cambridge University Press

19. N. Nuzhet Delfas, George Kukla & Harvey Weiss, 1994, Third Millennium BC climate change and old world collapse, NATO ASI Series, Springer.

20. John L. Brooke 2014, Climate change and the course of global history: A rough journey, CUP

21: Donald Worster 1990, Nature¿s economy: A history of ecological ideas, CUP.

22. Clive A. Spinage 2012, African ecology-Benchmarks and historical perspectives, Springer.

Forutsatte forkunnskaper:
Bachelorgrad eller tilsvarende
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: Participation in lectures and class seminars, reviews, group presentations and group exercises . 
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: (a) class attendance (10%),  individual, group reviews and presentati (60%) and a group term paper accounting for 30% of the total 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