SES: Sustainable Management of Socio-Ecological Systems

Course Description: 

The course aims to introduce students to understanding socio-ecological systems (SES), and using SES frameworks to understand environmental and associated sustainability issues. In this course, specific attention will be given to understanding how socio-ecological systems are structured, function and interact as an integrated whole and what happens when they don’t. The behaviour of SES will be viewed through the lens of ecological principles and guidelines and the approaches of social institutions to translate them into resource management practice. With primary emphasis on renewable resources and biodiversity, the course will emphasize the importance of socio-ecological context and draw upon case studies. Students will also explore the behaviour of SES through the FishBanks simulation game. At the end of the course a successful student should be able to:

  1. Define biological diversity, understand how it is measured, and its spatial variation
  2. Understand the key anthropogenic drivers and impacts on global biodiversity
  3. Identify key ecological principles necessary to sustainably manage land resources, and guidelines for implementing these principles in practice
  4. Define SES with its key principles, components, interlinkages and applications
  5. Understand how SES are manifested and function in natural resource management institutions
  6. Be able to apply the framework in an introductory analysis of specific SES
Learning Outcomes: 
  • Define SES with its key principles, components, interlinkages and applications
  • Understand how SES are manifested and function in natural resource management institutions
  • Be able to apply the framework in an introductory analysis of specific SES
  • Define biological diversity, understand how it is measured, and its spatial variation
  • Understand the key anthropogenic drivers and impacts on global biodiversity
  • Identify key ecological principles necessary to sustainably manage land resources, and guidelines for implementing these principles in practice
Assessment: 

Course exam (75%)

Conference presentation (25%)

Prerequisites: 

none