ENS4710EN - Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Course description

Consider the socio-ecological consequences of flawed human value systems and different ways humans relate to the natural environment. Appreciate the interconnectedness of humans and nature, and the role of ecosystem services in human well-being. Identify the stakeholders associated with real-world natural resource management challenges and their conflicting perspectives. Discuss approaches for collaborative decision-making.

How this course benefits students

Most natural resource management challenges are a result of conflicting human value systems. Learners gain an understanding of different stakeholder perspectives and tools for meaningful stakeholder engagement.

Why this course is important

Stakeholders relate to each other and the natural environment in different, often conflicting ways. In the era of collaborative decision-making, stakeholders must be engaged in a way that is appropriate to their value set in order to arrive at clear management objectives. This course is fundamental to anyone seeking a career in, or adjacent to, natural resource management.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Environmental Studies
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Abigail Harding, Professor of Environmental Mission

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

The Bible instructs us to be stewards of nature (Gen. 1:26-28, Gen. 2:15), love our neighbors (Matt 7:12), and promote peace (Rom 12).

Missionally driven

This course prepares missional students to be better-informed stewards of creation and peace-makers through recognition of the value-systems of different stakeholders.

Contextually informed

Learners are exposed to different human value systems and ways in which contextual realities in different parts of the world underpin stakeholder behavior.

Interculturally focused

Learners consider the motivations of cross-cultural stakeholder groups.

Practically minded

Learners are exposed to real stakeholder perspectives and practical tools for stakeholder engagement and collaborative decision-making.

Experientially transformed

Real-world examples challenge learners to confront their own values and to consider the perspectives of different stakeholder groups.