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Communities and Ecosystem Management (NRMT90007)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeNRMT90007
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

In this subject, ideas and theories from the social sciences are applied to people’s involvement in social-ecological systems. Subject teaching includes lectures, group exercises and case studies, including at least one full day field trip. The subject covers the following areas:

  • Philosophy and approaches in participation and community management in social-ecological systems in Australia and other countries;
  • Participation by landowners, volunteer groups, indigenous people and others in planning or management of forests, waterways, fisheries, conservation areas, revegetation projects and other ecosystems;
  • Communities and stakeholders, including their values, knowledge, networks and practices in relation to ecosystems;
  • Interactions between community members and governments, businesses and non-government organisations, including issues such as level of engagement, power, knowledge, policy environments, institutions and social licence;
  • Processes and techniques for relationship building, engagement planning, group facilitation, conflict management, evaluation and reflective practice;

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Discuss different theories and models that underpin community participation in the management of land and natural resources;
  • Identify which people should be involved in situations of ecosystem management, why and how;
  • Critically analyse interactions between community members, governments, businesses and non-government organisations;
  • Develop a plan for engagement, including selecting the appropriate participatory or community based approaches for ecosystem management situations and linking engagement with decision-making;
  • Apply techniques to engage with, and manage relationships with, a wide range of stakeholders in social-ecological systems;

Generic skills

Students will develop skills in:


  • practical aspects of public and stakeholder engagement;
  • interdisciplinary thinking through the application of theory in the social sciences to complex issues;
  • research, critical analysis and critical reflection through class exercises and assessment.

Last updated: 19 July 2019