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Wetland Ecology and Management

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NOVA master's course of 3.5 ECTS, organised by University lecturer Petri Nummi, University of Helsinki: Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.
Course dates and location: 2-6 Sept. 2019, at Lammi Biological Station, Finland.

Course Description
This course is organized as a joint MSc/PhD training. While students will follow the same lectures, projects and assessments will vary. The goal is to familiarize students with ecology and management of wetlands and wetland dependent species. About 2/3 of the European wetlands have disappeared during the last 100 years. Wetlands provide crucial ecosystem services among which provisioning of drinking water, food (fishes, waterfowl) and flood regulation. It is crucial to understand the socio-economic value of a shared resource if one wants to protect it. Each lecture will strive to provide basic background information and integrate this with recent advances on the forefront of research. The field trip will familiarize students with wetlands, wetland-dependent wildlife and methods in habitat management. In addition this class seeks to

  • Develop skills in planning data collection, data analysis
  • Critical thinking when confronting practical conservation and management challenges
  • Written and oral skills to exchange positively with researchers, stakeholders, policy makers, public from different origin.

The preparatory module in August contains an introduction to the different topics, based on a range of overview scientific literature and web reports. During the on-site part the topics will be treated in depth and placed in perspective through lectures and excursions. Finally, during the second distance learning part, students are required to prepare a report in teams, reflecting the answers to questions distributed during the course. The course is articulated around 5 main themes and will cover the following topics:

  1. Wetlands ecology and services
  2. From habitat to species
  3. Factors affecting wetlands
  4. Management of wetlands and species: what is at stake?
  5. Methods to develop scenarios
  6. Conclusion: towards adaptive management

Excursion: Vanajavesikeskus and key sites in the catchment area

Programme Outline
Course days will consist of lectures followed by group work. Teaching and tutoring will be shared among the teachers. The course will start Monday morning and will end on Thursday. Field work will be carried out on Friday in the catchment area of the vanajavesi area. Students will provide their feedback Friday afternoon.

Pre-/Post-Campus Assignments
Students will be required to read reports and articles before the course.

Learning Outcomes
After finalising the course, the participant will be able to: 

  • Recognise the complexity of wetland adaptive management and the importance of integrating stakeholders from the beginning of the process
  • Use the right tool for the right question
  • Integrate different perspectives to wetland management plans for ecosystem services provisioning
  • Adopt a long-term solution oriented attitude


  • Students will be provided tools and knowledge to understand challenges related to wetland managements


  • Students will learn to apply these tools and knowledge at the proper scale.


  • Students will be able to answer crucial research questions and management problems by involving end users and stakeholders in general towards an adaptive solution.

Evaluation Elements
Students will choose a wetland type and study related characteristics and management questions. The report will be sent for evaluation within the month following the end of the course and graded using the ECTS scale.

Pedagogical Approach
The course will include interactive lectures and group work. Students’ needs in term of career enhancement will be taken into account and discussed individually.

Estimated Workload

  • 7 hours seminar
  • 24 hours lecture
  • 11 hours independent work
  • 46 hours other: 2 weeks of independent work prior to the course (40h) and 6 h of field work

Prerequisite Knowledge
B.Sc in Ecology or a similar background.

Admission for NOVA courses is handled by the course organiser/ the NOVA member institution organising the course. Please see the links in the margin for more information.

Apply here


There is no course fee neither for NOVA/BOVA students, nor for non-NOVA/BOVA students.

Please find information on costs for accommodation and meals etc. here.



Published 21. January 2019 - 11:30 - Updated 28. August 2019 - 8:58