Adaptive Management of Natural Resources and Agricultural Systems

Academic year
2023/2024 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Adaptive Management of Natural Resources and Agricultural Systems
Course code
PHD044 (AF:471190 AR:258153)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Corso di Dottorato (D.M.45)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The course is designed to introduce the students to the principles of natural resources management and the challenges of designing and implementing operational approaches in the real – changing – world. The focus is on the interactions between the natural and human components within the socio-ecosystems, with a focus on agro-ecosystems. The notions of sustainability and sustainable development are a common inspiration of the course.
Spatial and temporal dynamics are explored with concrete examples and case studies, with a common approach based upon techniques of system analysis, modelling and management of geographical information.
An indivisdual assignment is proposed to students to allow them to deal practically with a relevant issue and to consolidate skills for individual and team work.
1. Knowledge and understanding
1.1 Understand and recognize the relationships of interdependence that link economic activities - in particular those related to the primary sector - and natural resources in a changing climate
1.2 Know the main tools for analysis and territorial assessment to support planning
1.3 Understand the links between human activities and-natural resources.
1.4 Know how to define adaptive management strategies
2 Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
2.1 Use analysis tools such as indicators and evaluation indices in a territorial context
2.2 Apply simple dynamic and integrated models to agro-ecosystems
2.3 Apply evaluation methods to support decisions
3 Ability to judge
3.1 Reflect on the relationships between economic activities and the environment with integrated analysis tools
3.2 Choose between different approaches for sustainability measurement and environmental assessment
3.3 Reflecting on sustainability as a criterion for territorial economic development
Basic knowledge of ecology, economics, statistics and computer science
• Introduction to Natural Resources Management (NRM) in the context of global change
• Seminar on the introduction to system analysis and modelling of agro-ecosystems
• Seminar on the concepts of vulnerability, adaptation, resilience
• Seminar on adaptation strategies in agriculture
• Seminar on climate and land use change on rural lanscapes and effect on biodiversity
• Seminar on oprationalizing the sustainability concept for socio-ecosystem management
• Seminar on students' assignments and collection of feedback for writing the final report
Teaching materials made available by the instructor through the Moodle web platform
Students are required to write one paper on topics proposed by the professor.
An oral presentation of the student work is organised at the end of the class.
Each individual oral presentation will be followed by discussion in class with the other students and the instructor.
The final version of the paper should be uploaded on Moodle by the agreed deadline.
Usually, a medium or high grade can be obtained by:
• Attending and participating in class
• Studying course materials during the attendance
• Studying in depth the various topics on recommended texts
The course foresees a series of lectures making use of powerpoint presentations made available to students since the beginning of the course, seminars (given also by external experts), and individual and group works conducted by students and reported back to the class at the end of the course.
The blog functionality provided by the Moodle platform is used for on-line communication with students.
Course materials (powerpoint slides, homework, forum, etc.) can be found in the Ca' Foscari Moodle web site: . Therefore, students’ registration in Moodle is needed since the start of the class

Accessibility, Disability and Inclusion. Accommodation and support services for students with disabilities and students with specific learning impairments
Ca' Foscari abides by Italian Law (Law 17/1999; Law 170/2010) regarding support services and accommodation available to students with disabilities. This includes students with mobility, visual, hearing and other disabilities (Law 17/1999), and specific learning impairments (Law 170/2010). If you have a disability or impairment that requires accommodations (i.e., alternate testing, readers, note takers or interpreters) please contact the Disability and Accessibility Offices in Student Services:
written and oral

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Natural capital and environmental quality" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 05/03/2023