Assessment, Modelling and Scenarios for Ecosystems Management

(Course Code: ENV540 – ‘ECOSYS’)

Semester: Spring Teaching Period: 4 weeks ECTS Credits: 6 Type:


Coordinator: Andreas TROUMBIS Instructors:


The course aims at developing in-depth understanding of interactions of Ecological Modernization Theory (EMT) and concrete applications of Ecosystem Management (EM) concepts, through field experience and lectures on a problem-solving approach. The 2019 AMSEM project refers to the adaptation potential of the regional/insular economy sectors to sustainability transition(s) of Lesvos Island social-economic system (LSES) to mainstream global strategies such as Aichi 2020 targets, SDGs and IPCC scenarios. Student groups will be in charge of developing scenarios in semi-natural ecosystems and traditional landscapes and biodiversity preservation, wise use and equitable distribution of profits. Lesvos island encapsulates versions of the EM problem especially concerning multiple/overlapping scales of problem-definition; further, data bases are available and local networks of collaborators are clearly identified. 2019 research program deals with innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and command  in the olive oil production system of Lesvos island.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to understand and master epistemology and techniques regarding:

(1) conservation culturomics –theory, concepts and techniques;

(2) ecological modernization theory –theory and concepts;

(3) the conceptual frameworks of major environmental strategies, i.e. SMART/Aichi 2020, UN/SDGs 2030, IPCC 2060 scenarios as well as the difficulties and opportunities for implementation at local scale.

(4) ecological systems theory/modelling

(5) field research practice

(6) team work and integrated report writing

The Research Seminar will evolve along four consecutive stages:

  • Preliminary Stage 0/ Individual Work: Introductory Courses and Allocation of Students into Thematic Groups: Students should write/propose an adequate partitioning within specific/thematic work-teams (up to 300 words); they should be able to explain publically, if asked, the reasons of their decision. The final allocation rests with the UoAeg team.
    Evaluation criteria: Leadership, team spirit, personal choices/attitudes, ….
    Marking: 10% of the final individual score


  • Stage 1/Team work 1: Thematic Assessment(s) of Public Interest in ecological modernization flag-areas (e.g. biodiversity, climate change/energy, sustainability, circular economy …) towards a low-carbon international economy. Linguistic, cultural or technological determinants of information integration should be examined through conservation culturomics techniques in the actual world-scale.
    Evaluation criteria: Adaptability to new concepts/techniques, ability to personally enhance team work efficiency, willingness to investigate new areas of problem-solving, …
    Marking: 30%  of the final individual score.


  •  Stage 2/Team work 2: Local scale (Lesbos Island) real-life qualitative/quantitative investigation of the response of public/stakeholders regarding economic modernization transitions in the different sectors of interest. Data will be provided by the respective team tutor; they will be complemented through interviews in situ of selected stakeholders. Targeted field trips will allow students to better perceive the actual conditions of the Island.
    Evaluation criteria: Scientific quality, innovative spirit, teamwork potential, personal interference…
    Marking: 30% of the final individual score


  • Stage 3/Individual work: Overall synthesis report writing at an Individual level. Each student should compile his/her own understanding of the entire process in a short essay of 2000 words (max). S/he may use all sources, data, literature, ideas and conclusions made publically available during the course.
    Evaluation criteria: Scientific quality, originality spirit, scientific writing, work effort, quality of presentation…
    Marking: 30% of the final individual score


All Stages will be tutored/mentored by UoA faculty members.

Activity Workload (hours)

Reading assignment

Class discussion

Field Trip

Group Assignment

Public presentation









150 hours

Notes provided:  —
Basic Textbook:  —
Bibliography:  Introductory reading concerning core literature on EMT, CE and LSES is proposed here below. Detailed and specific literature (per EMT sector of interest) is attached in the individual sheets of the five sectors (e.g. circular economy, agri-food transition, etc.).

EMT, Buttel, F.H., (2000). Ecological modernization as social theory. Geoforum, 31, 57-65.

CE, Michel, J-B., et al. (2011). Quantitative analysis of culture using millions of digitized books. Science, 331, 176-182.

Ladle, R.J. et al. (2016). Conservation culturomics. Front Ecol Environ 2016; 14(5): 269–275, doi:10.1002/fee.1260

LSES, Haslett, J.R., et al. (2010). Changing conservation strategies in Europe: a framework integrating ecosystem services and dynamics Biodivers Conserv, 19, 2963–2977. DOI 10.1007/s10531-009-9743-y

Anastasopoulou, S., et al. (2003). Identifying and assessing socio-economic and environmental drivers that affect ecosystems and their services. RUBICODE EU-Project 036890.

Language: English
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