Land Use, Natural Resources, and Conservation

SFS 3050

Land Use, Natural Resources, and Conservation

4 credits

In this course we will consider natural resources in the context of local livelihoods through the lens of ecology and economics, and across regional, national and global scales. We will examine the implications of different land uses related to various agricultural practices and livestock rearing. Furthermore, we will consider historical and current land use trajectories to understand the impacts of such practices over time on ecosystem resilience. For example, what are the principal stressors to the local economy and the environment at local, regional and national levels? We will consider food security, both at the local and regional levels and link those to natural resource stressors. Furthermore, we will look for synergies between conservation (both biodiversity and agrobiodiversity) in relation to rural livelihoods and development. This course is closely linked to the other two disciplinary courses in our program: Mountain Ecology and Political & Socioeconomic Dimensions of Environment. Conceptually, we will focus on the notions of resilience and multi-functionality and seek evidence for these in the field. Course lecture material will be complimented by field lectures, guest lectures, student led discussions and field exercises. Students will explore the science behind current local and global issues in conservation biology, land use, water resources, food production, biodiversity and climate change. The purpose of this course is to provide students with opportunities to develop a strong foundation of scientific knowledge on the natural environment and to build a tool kit of field research methodologies and analytical skills to uncover, test and describe the relationships between natural resources, land use practices and conservation.

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Himalayan Environment and Society in Transition

18 Weeks
18 Credits
Spring 2024
Jan 30 - May 10
In the Field
Fall 2024
Sep 4 - Dec 15
Filling Fast
Spring 2025
Jan 27 - May 9