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.
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.
ecology, global environments, regional/local environments, ecosystem, environmental conservation, socio-ecological system
|✔ Specialist skills||Intercultural skills||Communication skills||✔ Critical thinking skills||Practical and/or problem-solving skills|
From class 1 to class 8 of this course, lectures about each topic are scheduled. In the later 5 classes, group work is conducted for developing education material for the understanding ecosystem and its conservation or rehabilitation. At the end of this course, presentations and demonstrations of the products will be made to summarize the group works.
|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||Global carbon cycle||Understand global scale carbon cycle and its driving forces|
|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||Features on coastal environments||Understand several environmental factors affecting coastal ecosystems, such as tide, current, upwelling, and understand these driving forces|
|Class 6||Environmental features and problems of coastal 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 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 9||Group work (1)||Conduct theme selection for group work and literature searching.|
|Class 10||Group work (2)||Develop an education material for the understanding ecosystem and its conservation or rehabilitation|
|Class 11||Group work (3)||Develop an education material for the understanding ecosystem and its conservation or rehabilitation|
|Class 12||Group work (4)||Develop an education material for the understanding ecosystem and its conservation or rehabilitation|
|Class 13||Group work (5)||Develop an education material for the understanding ecosystem and its conservation or rehabilitation|
|Class 14||Group presentation||Make a presentation and demonstration of the developed environmental education material through the group works|
Handout will be distributed before the beginning of class via OCW-i.
Learning achievement is evaluated by combining results from quizzes/short reports in every class (60 %), group presentation (20 %), and products of the group work (20 %).