Ecologically-Based Solutions in Landscapes 

Managing productive landscapes to minimize non-point pollution of waterways

"A major problem facing agriculture around the world are the negative externalities from nutrients in run-off, particularly nitrates, and pesticides. Though nitrogen is a key element in plant growth and thus crop production, over-nitrification has led to a host of environmental problems. Employing the water filtering services of natural vegetation is as yet a little-used ecosystem service that could conceivably help to address these issues, if applied strategically to a landscape, especially forested areas within agriculture. Diverse forested and agricultural landscapes can also function in disease control, of both trees and crops in certain instances, and in aspects of public health as well. Students will be guided to discuss with partners and stakeholders the outlines of ecological-based pollution and disease mitigation (McVittie et al. 2015, Qui 2010) through landscape-level management, as a starting point for local policy discussions.”

-Barbara Gemmill-Herren and Robin Currey


Learning Outcomes

Different Types of Ecosystem Services

Learn about the kinds of ecosystem services (water filtration, water provisioning, erosion prevention, flood prevention, coastal protection, disease regulation, etc.), and how communities can support these over a landscape scale.

Rapid Assessments

Identify biodiversity and ecosystem services resources in a particular landscape or seascape, and the processes that communities may follow to support these services.

Measuring Ecosystem Services

Develop competency on understanding and assessing ecosystems services related to biodiversity, nitrogen retention, disease regulation (landscape genomics) and/or other metrics.

Local Food and Agriculture Policy

Introduction of the skills needed to develop policy briefs for local communities and policy makers.