First year at Bangor University: Module 3

Natural Resource Management

Course objectives

The purpose of this module is to give students a theoretical understanding of the systems approach to managing natural resources to provide various ecosystem services, as well as a practical grounding in the ways in which natural resource managers can draw on a variety of knowledge sources to inform themselves and others of the impacts of land management interventions.

Course content

  • Ecosystem services and the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment;
  • Systems concepts and the sustainable livelihoods framework;
  • Participatory modelling of natural resource management issues;
  • Using systems models to explore natural resource management issues;
  • Using visualisation systems to explore natural resource management issues;
  • Incorporating local knowledge in natural resource management;
  • Systematic approaches to local knowledge.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures: 7 x 2 hrs + 2 x 3 hrs lectures.
Computer practicals: 1 x 4 hrs.
Practicals: 3 x 2 hrs.
Field visits: 3 x 6 hrs.
Presentation sessions: 1 x 2 hrs.

Competences acquired

Learning outcome 1: show a critical appreciation of how people impact the rural environment, appreciating the complex nature of land use interventions and how multiple ecosystem services are impacted by them.

Learning outcome 2: show a critical understanding of the key concepts in systems theory and the livelihoods framework and be able to apply these to practical resource management issues using a participatory modelling approach.

Learning outcome 3: show a critical understanding of the concepts and terminology associated with the difference between local and global knowledge systems and be able to critically evaluate knowledge required to address natural resource management issues.

Learning outcome 4: show a critical understanding of the nature and limitations of readily available data relating to land cover and land use and how different actors may differ in their perceptions and ownership of such data and interpretations based upon them.

Learning outcome 5: show a critical understanding of the value of landscape visualisation tools and be able to facilitate evidence-based negotiation about land use interventions using them.

Learning outcome 6: be able to design and conduct a series of semi-structured interviews, using non-leading questions, and to derive a comprehensive record of what a defined group of people know about a defined topic.

Learning outcome 7: be able to create electronic knowledge bases (KBs) and generate and interpret causal diagrams derived from them.

Learning outcome 8: show a critical understanding of how to present findings from analyses of local knowledge back to stakeholders and the effectiveness of such feedback in establishing good working relationships amongst stakeholder groups.