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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG3180 Management of Wilderness and Global Ecosystems

20 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Dr Stephen Carver

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

GEOG2070 or GEOG2095 or an equivalent qualification as agreed with the module convenor

This module is mutually exclusive with

GEOG3321Management of Wilderness Environments

Module replaces

GEOG3320 Management of Wilderness Environments

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module examines environmental problems and management issues in wilderness and global ecosystems. These include Arctic, mountain, forest, desert, savannah, wetlands and coastal/marine ecosystems, all of which are coming under increasing pressure from over use and development. The module focuses in particular on human/environment interactions, dealing in turn with environmental impacts, current and proposed management strategies, protected areas, wilderness preservation, sustainable development and national and international policy implications. The second half of the module will allow students to follow one of two routes that will focus on different analysis methods: a) the application of GIS and associated spatial information technologies (including remote sensing), or b) analysis of the effectiveness of international cooperation on the management of global ecosystems through UN Conventions, and in particular forest ecosystems and dryland ecosystems, with particular emphasis on monitoring and evaluation methods, and the contribution of science to supporting the formulation and implementation of policies. Reference is made to examples and case studies from the UK, Europe and around the world to illustrate key issues and concepts.


On completion of this module students will have acquired:
- an appreciation and understanding of the broad theoretical and practical issues pertaining to wilderness landscapes and global ecosystems: their relevance in the global, regional and national context, policy development (with an emphasis on international examples, Europe and the UK), their role in maintaining ecosystem services, management approaches, spatial decision making, and issues surrounding their sustainability and resilience to external pressures;
- the ability to apply either (a) GIS and associated spatial information technologies (including remote sensing) or (b) resource and policy analysis to a range of wilderness and sustainable ecosystem problems; and
- a detailed knowledge of wilderness and global ecosystems within the UK, Europe and global contexts.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- demonstrate a broad and detailed knowledge about issues pertaining to wilderness and global ecosystems including sustainable development (including both political and scientific approaches), natural capital, ecosystem services, carrying capacity, development and use of indicators, drivers for change, and recreational opportunity;
- demonstrate an appreciation of the issues of scale, quality and character in relation to the measurement and evaluation of landscape values;
- apply either (a) GIS and other spatial modelling techniques, or (b) resource and policy analyses to the study of wilderness and global ecosystems; and
- use a variety of research methods to address a variety of wilderness and global ecosystem management problems.

Skills outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. demonstrate an appreciation of the issues of scale, quality and character in relation to the measurement and evaluation of landscape and sustainable development;
2. apply research techniques to the study of wilderness and global ecosystems;
3. use research methods to address a variety of wilderness and global ecosystem management problems; and
4. demonstrate advanced skills in the use and application of ArcGIS and Erdas IMAGINE software and/or generic policy analysis/research methods.
5. demonstrate skills in the analysis of international relations in general and international organizations in particular; sustainable development in theory and practice; methods for modelling and monitoring national land use and land cover changes, including indicator schemes; and science-policy communication.


Module content may include:
- Wilderness and global ecosystems.
- Wilderness landscapes and biomes
- Threats to wild places.
- Management and policy approaches.
- Mapping and environmental assessment techniques.
- Global ecosystems in biogeography and international relations.
- Theories and politics of sustainable development.
- Governing sustainable tropical forest management
Monitoring desertification and the role of science.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours23.00
Private study hours138.00
Total Contact hours39.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

1. Completion of independent online learning exercises associated with lecture/seminar (23hrs)
2. Formation and working in small groups (approx. 5) to develop GIS/policy analysis projects on a topic approved by the convenor (20hrs)
3. Development and writing up individual practical reports allied to the above group projects (28hrs)
4. Reading and researching appropriate literature (50hrs)

This module also involves an optional fieldtrip to a destination within the Lake District (40 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress is monitored by:
1. in class discussion of materials in lectures and tutorials;
2. seminar discussions
3. field-based discussion;
4. independent online learning and online submission of associated tasks;
5. research and development of practical projects; and
6. group work on practical projects.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report1 x 2000 words50.00
AssignmentMinimum 4 short contributions (1500 words total max) plus 1 long thread (500 words max) plus comments on peers threads50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/08/2020 17:04:15


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