Course ObjectiveTo achieve a high level of understanding of global change processes
related to terrestrial ecosystems and human land use. Objectives of this
-being able to conceptualize the role of land use both as driver and as
impact of global environmental change;
-achieve understanding of human-environment interactions and feedbacks
between ecological, physical and social (including economic) processes;
-become familiar with research methods to study land use change and
ecosystem dynamics, including the analysis of driving factors, the
simulation of land use dynamics, biodiversity impacts and the assessment
of human-environment interactions through global value chains;
-becoming able to match interdisciplinary research questions with
appropriate scientific tools, simulation models and other methods;
-understand potential options and policies for sustainable land use.
Course ContentLand use is key to sustainability. Achieving sufficient food, mitigating
climate change and conserving biodiversity all require land, so
competing claims on land emerge.
In the first part students will be trained in understanding the extent,
the driving factors and the impacts of land use change. We combine
global and local perspectives in studying land use changes and impacts
of such changes on ecosystems. In the second part of the course the
students will be presented with a portfolio of research methods,
theoretical models and simulation models to analyze dynamics of land
use. Practicals and computer exercises will provide a hands-on
experience with these methods. Methods and models discussed will
originate from different disciplines and include economic models,
spatial land use models, and participatory approaches. During practicals
and assignments students will match research questions with appropriate
(combinations) of methods. In the third part of the course transitions
to sustainable land use will be discussed and the different pathways to
achieving sustainable land use are introduced.Both global perspectives,
governance aspects as well as implementation at the local level (i.e.
sustainable intensification of agriculture) will be discussed.
Teaching MethodsLectures, Practical (computer) exercises. Self-study, including
literature study, group and individual assignments.
Method of AssessmentWritten exam (60%) and practical and assignment results (40%).
LiteratureSelected articles and practical instructions will be made available on
Target Audience-Master students with an interest in sustainable development and
interdisciplinary science (with some background on quantitative analysis
and preferably GIS)
-First year students of MSc Earth Sciences, specialization Global
Environmental Change and Policy who meet the above entry requirements.
Recommended background knowledgeBasic knowledge of GIS is recommended.
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||Faculty of Science|
|Course Coordinator||prof. dr. ir. P.H. Verburg|
|Examiner||prof. dr. ir. P.H. Verburg|
prof. dr. ir. P.H. Verburg
dr. A.J.A. van Teeffelen
dr. J. Dell'Angelo
dr. ir. O.J. Kuik
dr. M.J. Koetse
You need to register for this course yourself
Last-minute registration is available for this course.
|Teaching Methods||Computer lab, Lecture|
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