2019 Introduction to global and local ecology

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering
Instructor(s)
Nakamura Takashi 
Course component(s)
Lecture
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue1-2(H136)  Fri1-2(H136)  
Group
-
Course number
TSE.A312
Credits
2
Academic year
2019
Offered quarter
1Q
Syllabus updated
2019/3/18
Lecture notes updated
2019/5/14
Language used
Japanese
Access Index

Course description and aims

Multiple environmental stresses including global environmental changes, e.g. global warming and ocean acidification, and local anthropogenic stresses, e.g. water pollution, are seriously affecting various ecosystems. In order to understand these effects quantitatively, it is necessary to understand the sustaining mechanisms of global and local environmental systems and ecosystems, and the processes of ecosystem responses to various environmental stresses. Moreover, understanding the actual situation concerning the effects of global/local-scale environmental stresses on ecosystems, and elucidating the relationship between the causes and the socio-economic structure are also needed. Then, to develop a sustainable social system by conserving ecosystems, it is important to elucidate the interactions between the social-system, which has two dimensions as a stress source and a stress controller, and the ecosystem, and to consider the entire system as a socio-ecological system.
The aim of this class is to understand the sustaining mechanisms of global and local environmental systems and ecosystems, to understand ecosystem dynamics under multiple environmental changes and environment-ecosystem interactions, and to understand the importance of understanding environmental problems in a socio-ecological system framework. For this purpose, the necessity of integrating various/broad/comprehensive points of view is shown through several case studies. Through lectures and group discussions on selected themes, students are expected to acquire the abilities to understand problem structures from such various viewpoints and propose solutions.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this class, students will be able to:
(1) understand the sustaining mechanisms of global and local environmental systems and ecosystems,
(2) understand ecosystem dynamics under multiple environmental changes and environment-ecosystem interactions,
(3) understand the importance of understanding environmental problems from various/broad/comprehensive points of view in a socio-ecological system framework,
(4) acquire the abilities to understand problem structures from various viewpoints and propose solutions.

Keywords

ecology, global environments, regional/local environments, ecosystem, environmental conservation, socio-ecological system

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills
- - -

Class flow

From class 1 to class 11 of this course, lectures about each topic are scheduled. In the last 4 classes, group discussion about case studies of actual projects will be held. At the end of this course, presentations will be made to summarize the discussions, and the results will be compiled in a report.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction, basic feature of ecosystems/ecosystems in danger Understand the overview of characteristics about global/local ecosystems, and recent critical situations on ecosystems.
Class 2 Global climate change and its driving forces Understand the overview of recent situations on global climate change, and its driving forces.
Class 3 Material cycle and ecosystem, biodiversity Understand basic processes for understanding ecosystems, and importance of biodiversity.
Class 4 Basics of mathematical ecology and ecosystem modeling Introduce the basics of mathematical ecology, explain basic equation for expressing ecosystem, and understand the basics of ecosystem modeling.
Class 5 Ecological environmental problems on semi-closed inner bay area Explain environmental problems with case studies on semi-closed inner bay environments, e.g., Tokyo Bay, Ariake Sea, etc.
Class 6 Environmental features and problems of tidal flat, seaweed/seagrass bed, mangrove ecosystems Explain environmental problems with case studies on tidal flats, seaweed/seagrass bed, mangrove ecosystems.
Class 7 Environmental features and problems of coral reef ecosystem Explain environmental problems with case studies on coral reef ecosystems.
Class 8 Ecosystem responses to local/global environmental impacts Explain the importance of understanding about ecosystem responses to local/global environmental impacts, and the difficulty of their evaluation.
Class 9 Basic framework for conservation and restoration of coastal ecosystems (1) Understand about case studies on conservation and restoration plans for coastal ecosystems, the fundamental principles of conservation and restoration, comprehensive understanding and assessment of multiple stresses, and the basic concept of marine protected areas.
Class 10 Basic framework for conservation and restoration of coastal ecosystems (2) Understand about the capability and limitation of restoration techniques, adaptive management, the importance of environmental monitoring, and the importance of communication, public awareness, education and human resources development.
Class 11 Ecosystem conservation strategy based on socio-ecological system framework Explain the importance of understanding environmental problems from the viewpoint of socio-ecological system framework, and discuss about how to implement resilient and sustainable systems.
Class 12 Group discussion (1) Conduct theme selection for group presentation and literature searching.
Class 13 Group discussion (2) Conduct theme selection, literature searching and group discussion.
Class 14 Group discussion (3) Conduct literature searching, group discussion and preparation of presentation.
Class 15 Group presentation Make a presentation about summarizing of the discussion.

Textbook(s)

Nothing

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Handout will be distributed before the beginning of class via OCW-i.

Assessment criteria and methods

Learning achievement is evaluated by combining results from quizzes/short reports in every class (40 %), group presentation (30 %), and group report (30 %).

Related courses

  • GEG.E401 : Global Environmental System and Ecosystem Dynamics
  • TSE.A335 : Basic theory of regional and global environment 1
  • TSE.A336 : Basic theory of regional and global environment 2
  • CVE.B310 : Coastal Engineering and Oceanography

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Nothing

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