Thematic Course 1: Ecology and Management of Nature and Semi-Nature Areas

Course content

Thematic course comprising field work, practical exercises, lectures and interactive class room discussions of ecology and management of a specific catchment area, Gribskov and the National Park, “Kongernes Nordsjælland”. The course analyses these elements:

  • Biodiversity: Diversity and species-richness patterns and quantitative measures of nature quality of aquatic and terrestrial systems
  • Habitat Directive, Water Frame Directive and Paragraph 3 areas
  • After ice-age development of climate and communities and processes (including leaching, acidification and eutrophication) in lakes, streams, terrestrial vegetation and soils.
  • Recent 200 years development of the landscape (forest types, meadows, wetlands)
  • Quantitative regulation, rates of carbon deposition in forests and wetlands and evaluation of CO2 emissions and sustainable energy production.
  • Ecological restoration of nature habitats and natural hydrology in landscapes.
  • Conflicts of interests among users of nature and semi-nature areas.
  • Ecological sustainability of management principles of landscapes and nature habitats.

MSc Programme in Nature Management

Learning outcome

After completing the course the student must have gained the following knowledge, skills and competencies:


  • The student must obtain knowledge on the value of physical-biological indices describing the value of different types of nature habitats.
  • The student must obtain knowledge on patterns of biodiversity on international, national and local scales and the measures required for the analyses.
  • The student must obtain knowledge on the ecological foundation of different management strategies and their influence on the environmental and biological quality of different natural habitats.
  • The student must be able to evaluate the concepts and elements involved in sustainability and ecological footprints.
  • The students must obtain knowledge on the economic value of forest for biodiversity, recreation, hunting and tree production.
  • The student must obtain knowldge on how climate has been and is changing and what the couplings are to human impacts.
  • The students must obtain knowledge on carbon dynamics in relation to global climate and how human interprices and nature managements types influence the overall balance.


  • The student must be able to use abiotic-biotic methods to classify freshwater and terrestrial habitats in terms of ecological status and according to national and international directives.
  • The student must be able to analyse and graphically represent environmental and biological data, including indices of biodiversity, couple them and evaluate them by appropriate quantitative-statistical methods and tests using excel or other software.
  • The student must be able to collect samples and perform measurements of environmental key parameters in lakes and streams.
  • The student must be able to calculate and evaluate the biodiversity, the quality of nature and the economy associated with different production methods in forest types.
  • The student must be able to calculate and evaluate different types of nature management and offer guidance to the most suitable methods under the specified conditions.
  • The student must be able to quantify the retention or loss of carbon and its relation to atmospheric carbon dioxide on a national and regional scale involving towns, traffic, industry, agriculture and initiatives in different types of habitat management in nature.


  • The student must be able to work in inter-disciplinary groups aiming at developing evidence based optimal management strategies.
  • The student must be able to work interdisciplinary to offer solutions to minimize release of carbon dioxide and optimize retention of organic carbon in agricultural and nature areas.
  • The studenst must be able to communicate ecology and nature management to a broader, non-professional audience.

Thematic course including excursions, practical and theoretical exercises, interactive class room discussion, and lectures. Based on excursions and exercises mandatory reports are written. A specific catchment and region is used for integrated observations, analyses and syntheses.

See Absalon.

Relevant bachelor degree, e.g. in Biology, Geography, Geology, Natural Resources, Forest and Landscape Engineer or similar.

The course is a mandatory course in the Nature Management education.

Continuous feedback during the course
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
Type of assessment details
1) Written reports and oral presentations during the course count for 1/3 of the final grade.
2) 4-hour written examination with computer including: multiple-choice (35%), quantitative analyses of biodiversity patterns or time development of climate and ecological processes (40%) and essay on nature management (25%) counts for 2/3 of the final grade.
However, the written exam must be passed with a minimum grade 02.

The course has been selected for ITX exam
See important information about ITX-exams at Study Information, menu point: Exams -> Exam types and rules -> Written on-site exams (ITX)
Only certain aids allowed

Notes (paper format and/or electronic), calculator and these computer systems:

  • Excel
  • Maple
  • Math Type 6.8
  • R og R Studio


As the exam is an ITX-exam, the University will make computers available to students at the exam. Students are therefore not permitted to bring their own computers, tablets, or mobile phones.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

In order to obtain the grade 12 the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning Outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 48
  • Preparation
  • 226
  • Theory exercises
  • 28
  • Practical exercises
  • 28
  • E-Learning
  • 12
  • Excursions
  • 32
  • Project work
  • 30
  • Guidance
  • 4
  • Exam
  • 4
  • English
  • 412


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 1
Uden for skemastruktur
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Geosciences and Management
Contracting department
  • Department of Biology
  • Department of Food and Resource Economics
  • Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
  • The Natural History Museum of Denmark
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Dean Jacobsen   (9-676d6466726576687143656c72316e7831676e)

Karsten Raulund-Rasmussen, Kirsten S. Christoffersen, Jacob Heilmann-Clausen, Naia Morueta-Holme, Inger Kappel Schmidt, Lasse Gottlieb and others.

Saved on the 31-08-2022

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students