Course plan

Syllabus Environmental Science BA (B), Ecosystem Services, 15 Credits

General data

  • Code: MX019G
  • Subject/Main field: Miljövetenskap
  • Cycle: First cycle
  • Progression: (B)
  • Credits: 15
  • Progressive specialization: G1F - First cycle, has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
  • Answerable department: Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering
  • Answerable faculty: Faculty of Science, Technology and Media
  • Established: 1/1/0001
  • Date of change: 6/20/2013
  • Version valid from: 9/1/2013


Ecosystem Services is an increasingly used concept to appreciate and interpret the value of the natural environment. The purpose of the course is to understand the concept of Ecosystem Services and its relation to sustainable development, especially in the contrast of ecosystems and economics. Special focus is placed on applying the concept of Ecosystem Services on Swedish alpine ecosystems and on boreal forest ecosystems.

Additional goals are to give the student a general understanding of concepts in environmental science, to master basic scientific methodology and to practice environmental systems thinking.

The teaching style is problem oriented.

Course objectives

After the course the student should be able to:
- describe and discuss basic ecology, ecosystem diversity and main driving forces for ecosystem change
- illustrate how human actions might interfere with ecosystem resilience and biodiversity.
- explain ecosystem services and discuss their significance for the human society.
- demonstrate and discuss the relation of ecosystem services and sustainable development.
-analyze the impacts on ecosystem services by human development and resource use with focus on the Swedish alpine mountain areas and the boreal forest region.


This course deals with Ecosystem Services. It introduces the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity report and other international efforts to describe, understand, implement and utilize the concept of Ecosystem Services.
In student projects, regional applications of ecosystem services are made for Swedish Alpine Ecosystems, Water Sheds / Water Basins and Boreal Forest Ecosystems.

Entry requirements

Previous studies in an environmental science related subject of at least 15 credits at undergraduate level.

Selection rules and procedures

The selectionprocess is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance and the local order of admission.

Teaching form

Lectures, seminars, excursions and assignments. Computer application may occur. The students are supposed to work thematically and problem oriented in project groups with assignments of increasing difficulty.

Examination form

Written examination and approved project reports.

Grading criteria for the subject can be found at

Grading system

The grades A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F are given on the course. On this scale the grades A through E represent pass levels, whereas Fx and F represent fail levels.

Course reading

Required literature

  • Author: TEEB
  • Title: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for National and International Policy Makers – Summary: Responding to the Value of Nature
  • Publisher: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)
  • Edition: 2009
  • :
  • Author: TEEB
  • Title: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature: A synthesis of the approach, conclusions and recommendations of TEEB
  • Publisher: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)
  • Edition: 2010
  • :
  • Author: Pauli, Gunter
  • Title: The Blue Economy -10 years, 100 innovations, 100 million jobs, Report to the Club of Rome.
  • Edition: 2010
  • ISBN: 978-3-942276-96-2
  • Author: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
  • Title: Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Synthesis
  • Ort: Connecticut, Washington, DC, USA
  • Publisher: Island press
  • Edition: 2005
  • :
  • ISBN: 978-1597260404
  • Author: Costanza et al.
  • Title: The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital
  • Publisher: Nature 387:253-260
  • Edition: 1997

Reference literature

  • Author: McNeely, J.A, R.A. Mittermeier, T.M. Brooks, and F. Boltz
  • Title: The Wealth of Nature: Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, and Human Well-being
  • Ort: Arlington, California, USA
  • Publisher: International League of Conservation Photographers
  • Edition: 2009
  • ISBN: 978-0984168606
Additional scientific articles and reports may be listed during the course.
(for example The Stern Review)
Other information
Examination according to this syllabus is limited to a year after the final exam on the course. Students who have not passed within this time frame are recommended to contact the examinator.