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Module DXX-4505:
Natural Resource Management

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Tim Pagella

Overall aims and purpose

The purpose of this module is to give students a theoretical understanding of the systems approach to managing natural resources to provide various ecosystem services, as well as a practical grounding in the ways in which natural resource managers can draw on a variety of knowledge sources to inform themselves and others of the impacts of land management interventions.

Course content

The course has 9 core lectures: - Ecosystem services and the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment - Systems concepts and the sustainable livelihoods framework
- NRM at landscapescales - NRM in degraded systems - Soils Assessment in Natural Resource Management - Incorporating local knowledge in natural resource management - Participatory biodiversity evaluation - Sustaining NRM Interventions (adoption) - Participatory modelling of natural resource management issues

Assessment Criteria


Written assignments. Submission covers the fundamentals of the chosen topic, but is based mainly on material provided during the module, shows little evidence of supplementary reading or original information and lacks critical analysis.


Written assignments. Submissions are reasonably well-argued report showing good understanding and knowledge of the chosen topics, evidence of supplementary reading, original information and some critical thought.


Written assignments. Submissions are very well-argued, showing excellent understanding and depth of knowledge of the chosen topics, evidence of substantial supplementary reading, sound collection and use of original information, and much critical thought.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an awareness of the major paradigms that inform natural resource management decision making (including ecosystem services, resilience and sustainable intensification) and understand issues associated with 'operationalising' these paradigms

  2. Critically evaluate the value of systems theory and the livelihoods framework, and the role of participatory research methods for addressing critical knowledge gaps, characterising socio-ecological systems and enabling change.

  3. Show a critical understanding how changes to natural systems (including the biotic and abiotic components) are measured and assessed (in particular in response to management) and the tools (including models) which have been developed for this purpose.

  4. Demonstrate an awareness of the importance of temporal and spatial scaling in natural resource management - particularly in relation to current uncertainties and the different forms of data that can inform changes in land use and outscaling of technologies

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Local Knowledge poster 10
Elwy Group Report 35
Critical Review 35
Participatory Modelling Review 20

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Private and guided self-study

  1. Local Knowledge practical 3 hrs.
  2. Simulation modelling 3 hrs (with optional drop is session 2hrs)

Field visit to the Elwy Valley and Henfaes


9*3 Hour lectures


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • PS1 Communication skills, covering both written and oral communication with a variety of audiences
  • PS3 Problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information
  • PS6 Information technology skills which support the location, management, processing, analysis and presentation of scientific information
  • PS13 The ability to make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations
  • PS14 Independent learning skills required for continuing professional development
  • PS15 The ability to think critically in the context of data analysis and experimental design
  • SK1 Are fully conversant with major aspects of chemical terminology
  • SK9 Read and engage with scientific literature
  • SK11. Reading and engaging with scientific literature.
  • SK12. Planning, including evaluation of hazards and environmental effects.
  • SK13. Making oral presentations and writing reports, including critical evaluation.
  • SK16. Recording of data and their critical analysis.


Courses including this module