737320 Guided reading: Long-term socio-ecological research and environmental history

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Offered in
Sommersemester 2023
Languages of instruction


How did this river look like in the past? How did people shelter from its floods, and how can we, centuries later, know that? What kind of forest was this, who used it for what, and why was this crucial for the cycling of nutrients in agriculture? When did our ancestors start to burn fossil fuels and why, and did they have any clue about the risks for later, for our and future generations?
A long-term perspective is indispensable for understanding current sustainability challenges. Many of the current environmental problems are the result of long-term processes in the past. In addition, efforts at sustainable development today need to consider the long-term effects and potential unintended side-effects of current decisions. In this course we take such a long-term and historical perspective. We read and intensively discuss articles from international scholars working in the fields of environmental history and/or long-term socio-ecological research (LTSER).

Previous knowledge expected

Some proficiency in English in necessary.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

With completion of that course, students
•achieve an overview of important ways to address society-nature interactions and sustainability problems from a historical and long-term perspective
•get orientation in the fields of environmental history and long-term socio-ecological research (LTSER)
•learn to critically read literature and to argue their position in an academic discussion
•strengthen their ability to read scholarly literature for the use of one's own writing,
•practice speaking English
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.