Module DXX-4505:
Natural Resource Management

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

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 8 core lectures:

  • Ecosystem services and the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment
  • Systems concepts and the sustainable livelihoods framework
  • NRM at landscapescales
  • NRM in degraded systems
  • 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. Critically evaluate the value of participatory research methods, with a focus on local knowledge, for characterising socio-ecological systems

  2. Demonstrate an awareness of how spatial and temporal data can be used effectively to target natural resource management interventions at landscape scales

  3. Show a critical understanding of the key concepts in systems theory and the livelihoods framework and be able to apply these to practical resource management issues using a participatory modelling approach;

  4. Assess how people impact the rural environment through an understanding of the concepts and theories underlying natural resource management

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
local knowledge report 10
Elwy Group Report 30
Essay 40
Paricipatory modelling prac 20

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Private and guided self-study

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

Field visit to the Elwy Valley


8*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

  • Develop and identify research question(s) and/or hypotheses as the basis for investigation.
  • Conduct fieldwork and/or laboratory work competently with awareness of appropriate risk assessment and ethical considerations
  • Recognize and apply appropriate theories and concepts from a range of disciplines.
  • Consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
  • Apply subject knowledge to the understanding and addressing of problems.
  • Collect, analyse and interpret primary and/or secondary data using appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative techniques.
  • Awareness of the concepts of spatial and temporal scale in understanding processes and relationships.
  • Appreciation of the reciprocal nature of human-environmental relationships.
  • Apply appropriate techniques for presenting spatial and/or temporal trends in data.
  • Employ appropriate social-survey methods.
  • Preparation of effective maps, diagrams and visualizations.
  • Engage in debate and/or discussion with specialists and non-specialists using appropriate language.
  • Undertake field and/or laboratory studies of living systems.
  • Understand the provisional nature of information and appreciate competing and alternative explanations.
  • Recognize the moral, ethical and social issues relating to the subject.
  • Collect and record data generated by a diverse range of methods.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the importance of risk assessment and relevant legislation

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: