Objectives and Content
While there exists much relevant knowledge about natural resources, they are frequently mismanaged, often with dramatic consequences for those involved. One aim of the course is to build solid understanding of how natural resources develop without and with human harvesting. A second aim is to help students develop the skills and competencies needed for proper management of water reservoirs, fisheries, animal herds, and climate, and for proper dealing with product- and quota markets. In other words, how to avoid widespread mismanagement.
For resources management, central topics are system descriptions, dynamics, economics, uncertainty and policy design. For management of commons problems, central topics are competitive games, regulation, and market-based institutions.
Express knowledge and understanding
Students know about cause and effect relationships of importance for resource management and are able to express this knowledge in 'stock and flow diagrams'. They understand how cause and effect give rise to developments over time such as equilibrium, growth, goal seeking, cycles, and overshoots. They understand the basics of markets for products and quotas.
Apply knowledge and understanding
Students are able to apply knowledge and understanding to manage natural resources and to operate in markets for products and quotas.
Students know how to distinguish between resources and their specific needs for policies or management strategies. They know about implementation problems and the need to consider second best solutions.
Students are aware of likely misperceptions. They can use analogies, narratives, and illuminating historical data to communicate. Based on their own experience with challenging management tasks, they understand the need for proper simplification.
Develop learning skills
In particular, students develop learning skills to deal with dynamic problems. They know and can apply concepts such as stocks and flows, nonlinearity, feedback, delays, and policy in new situations. After the course, interactive learning invironments (ILEs) such as simulation models, simulators, animations and games remain available for the students for future use.
Level of Study
Semester of Instruction
Spring and autumn
Click on this link for information about how to sign up for the MOOC
Place of Instruction
Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
Teaching and learning methods
The MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) utilizes a number of new online teaching tools to help students develop deep understanding. Study at your own speed, answer questions, solve problems, and watch videos. To build deep knowledge and to develop skills, students have to finish each and every task to make progress. Immediate feedback helps to correct your understanding step by step and is an important part of the teaching material. This reduces the chance that students become overconfident in material that is misperceived.
This short video gives you some more hints about what the course is about (the learning environments in the video have been updated to new and better versions): www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbXcxDK6RaY
The course is organized in six chapters, four concerning resource management and two dealing with markets and policies to deal with commons problems. Each chapter has three main parts: Challenges, Learning-by-doing, and Applications.
In Challenges students either answer questions or make decision in simulators. In Learning-by-doing sessions, students are led by questions and hints to develop understanding on their own. Answers prompt immediate feedback. Debriefing videos summarize and generalize what has been learnt. Early chapters make extensive use of animated analogies to build experience/intuition before using formal simulation models. Later chapters rely on simulation models and interactive learning environments to explore policies, including situations with uncertainty. In Applications, students make use of what they have learnt in realistic case studies, where own decisions in some cases can be compared to historical decisions. Most students tend to do much better than the historical managers.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Forms of Assessment
Spring and autumn
From spring 2024 there will be no credit giving assessment.