AB-203 Arctic Environmental Management (15 ECTS)

Scooter excursion to Tempelfjorden

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ID:
AB-203
CREDITS:
15 ECTS
START DATE:
7 January 2019
END DATE:
25–26 April 2019
COURSE PERIOD:
Spring semester (January–April), annually
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
None
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Curriculum/reading list: Ca. 450 650 pages compendium of scientific papers and book chapters
COURSE COSTS:
None
COURSE CAPACITY MIN/MAX:
10/20 students
EXAMINATION SUPPORT MATERIAL:
Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
15 October 2018

INSTRUCTORS:

Anna Vader
Anna Vader
Associate Professor, Arctic Marine Biology

Course requirements:

60 ECTS within general natural sciences, of which 30 ECTS within the field of biology. The applicant must be enrolled in a programme at Bachelor level, or document that the course is approved into the applicant’s current study programme.

Academic content:

The course offers an introduction to environmental management in the Arctic, using the Svalbard Region as an example. Students are introduced to management strategies and practice through the following highly interlinked themes;

1) Physical environment and ecosystems, including the geographical environment, ecosystems and natural resources.
2) Challenges and conflicts, including climate, pollution, harvesting, cultural values and international relations.
3) Institutions and legal framework, including law and conventions, international organizations and fields of responsibilities for institutions involved in the management of Arctic natural resources.

Learning outcomes are designed to enhance understanding of the interplay between managed species, the combined challenges they face from natural and human influences and which procedures, methods and technologies are in place to monitor and manage their populations and environment. An integrated approach is used where lectures and seminars are complemented by fieldwork, excursions, problem-based projects, student-led teaching and role-playing workshops. A range of guest lecturers from management-related organizations and institutions complement UNIS staff, to present a multi-facetted view of Arctic environmental management.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge
Upon completing the course, the students can:

  • Describe the structure, legal basis and fields of responsibility for institutions involved in the management of Arctic natural resources
  • Explain the key Arctic environmental issues and evaluate their respective influences on biodiversity and populations of selected Arctic species
  • Understand the concept of sustainable management, and explain the processes that lead to protection, harvesting or exploitation of natural resources
  • Understand negotiation procedures and weight the strengths and weaknesses of international treaties and conventions

Skills
Upon completing the course, the students can:

  • Understand and organize an environmental impact assessment
  • Investigate a management based theme and present the findings to an audience
  • Demonstrate basic monitoring-related fieldwork under Arctic winter conditions
  • Analyze collected data and debate findings

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students can:

  • Critically read, evaluate and discuss scientific literature
  • Communicate own findings orally
  • Execute interviews
  • Organize and develop a group project

Learning activities:

The course extends over a full semester. Initially, students attend one week of compulsory Arctic survival and safety training (AS-101).

The course is based around lectures and seminars, role-playing workshops, student-led teaching, field work, excursions and oral presentation sessions. The lectures outline the various aspects of the environment and human activity including exploitation of resources and governance. Student-led teaching and workshops/seminars under the guidance of expert lecturers achieves deeper content knowledge and experience of group-work, presentation and debating.  The workshops illustrate in a practical manner the complexities of international negotiations, and the process of writing a comprehensive and inclusive environmental impact assessment. Students will also present a discussion of data obtained during field work, as well as a student-selected local environmental management case study  Research for the latter presentation includes executing interviews to gain first hand views and opinions of people living and working in Longyearbyen.

Total lecture hours: ca. 50 hours.
Total workshop and seminar hours: ca. 40 hours.
Excursions: 2–4 excursions.

Compulsory learning activities:

All workshops, seminars, excursions and oral presentations.
All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the final oral  exam.

Assessment:

Method Duration
Percentage of final grade
Oral presentation of field project (group)
10%
Oral presentation of case study (group)
20%
Oral exam (individual)
70%

All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course.

Only the final grade will be reported, based on the weighted average of the grades from the examination parts.

Application deadline: 15 October 2018

Snow scooter excursion to Barentsburg

AB-203 students during fieldwork. Photo: Mads Forchhammer/UNIS.

Lecture at Svalbard Satellite Station

AB-203 lecture at Svalbard Satellite Station (Svalsat). Photo: Mads Forchhammer/UNIS.

Student group photo on 8 March

Happy AB-203 students celebrate the return of the Sun on 8 March. Photo: Mads Forchhammer/UNIS.

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CONTACT INFO

The University Centre in Svalbard
Telephone: +47 79 02 33 00
Fax: +47 79 02 33 01
E-mail: post@unis.no / webmaster@unis.no
Address: P.O. Box 156 N-9171 Longyearbyen
Org. no. 985 204 454

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