The course is offered to students of the 2nd year of the second degree who are expected to deal with the assessment and management of complex environmental issues that are relevant to human society.
Four main goals are proposed.
1) Analyze the great picture of the implications of ecological processes for human society referring to the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment and projects such as TEEB, IPBES, CICES and PEER. In this context, the main ecosystem services, the state of conservation and degradation of ecosystems, and the potentials of restoring degraded ecosystems are illustrated. A major focus is on aquatic ecosystems and wetlands.
2) Illustrate and discuss major biogeochemical processes that support key ecosystem services, emphasizing their quantitative aspects.
3) Evaluate how such processes and related ecosystem services can be managed at the local/regional scale.
4) Address the restoration ecology as a tool for restoring degraded ecosystems. This goal is achieved by addressing case studies at local/regional level.
Objectives 1 and 2 are aimed at completing basic knowledge and acquiring new knowledge and skills in ecosystem ecology.
Objectives 3 and 4 are aimed at the application of acquired knowledge in a professional context, whereby the ability to identify and analyze problems is required, as well as to propose solutions. In parallel, the students are trained at developing communication, judgment and self-learning abilities.