Ecosystem services are the conditions and processes through which forest ecosystems, including their component soils and species, sustain and fulfill human life. These services include carbon sequestration, biodiversity, stabilization of hydrologic cycles, removal of air pollutants, aesthetic beauty, moderation of weather extremes and mitigation of natural disasters. Academic interest in ecosystem services was first evident in the refereed literature in the early 1980s but has gained significant stature only in the past decade and a half. Likewise, policymakers have increasingly focused on ecosystem services, developing new incentive schemes for production and payment of these services.
This course will provide a systematic overview and basic understanding of the concept of forest and soil ecosystems services from an interdisciplinary perspective. Because of the web-based nature, this course is offered in a rather unique environment where students from both universities are expected to participate with each other via a discussion board.
Credits: 3 Semesters Offered: Fall Prerequisites: A basic course in Soil Science is helpful but not required.
Textbook: No assigned textbook. Readings will be available through the course site.