Sustainable Use of Natural Resources

Last changed: 21 May 2021
Woman in the mountains. Photo

How can we use natural resources in a sustainable way? What are the conflicts that can arise when different interests collide? Explore this with us in this course!


PLEASE NOTE! In the summer of 2021, the course is given entirely as an online course. The study trip is canceled.


In the summer of 2021 the course is given as an online course during July. The last week we hope to be able to carry out a study trip with you from Umeå to Ammarnäs, with many exciting stops along the way.

We of course follow current recommendations and if the trip can not be made, the entire course will be given as an online course.

The focus of the course is natural resource utilization with all the exciting questions that can be linked to this. The study trip will go through the Vindelriver-Juhtatdahka biospherereserve. Juhtatdahka is sami for migration route and during the course we hope to migrate along the river - from the estuaries in the Bothnian bay to its source in Ammarnäs and the Vindel mountains. Along the way we learn about natural resource use in the area and the potential conflicts between different land use interests.

Historical perspective

In the course we focus on different aspects of sustainability and give an introduction to how natural resources have been utilized throughout history.

It can be about reindeer husbandry, sustainable use of watercourses, sustainable fishing and sustainability aspects of game management.

We also discuss various aspects of sustainable use of forest resources including forest management for sustainable yield and bioenergy, wildlife management and biodiversity conservation. Hopefully we can visit Vindeln and Skatan's ecopark and experience modern silviculture, historical land use and examples of ecological restauration (prescribed burning) and conservation in nature reserves.

When different interests collide

Conflicts and trade-offs between different interests will also be addressed during the course; Blaiken mountainous forest show how the northern boreal forest looked like before large scale human impact, but the neighbouring abandoned mining site and the wind power plants on the adjacent mountain gives an excellent opportunity to discuss how different interests compete in the landscape.

At Mårdseleforsarna we can see structures from the timber floating era
and discuss cultural and natural values in a river protected from hydropower

The final destination for the study trip will be Ammarnäs where mountains and arctic environments are in focus. We will discuss how climate change will change the prerequisites for humans, animals and plants.

 The backs of two people who have taken a break up on a mountain. Photo.
Have a coffee break and enjoy the magnificent view. Photo: Emelie Fredriksson

International course

The course is usually a study trip given in collaboration with Purdue University and NC State University, USA. Due to the current pandemic, we have changed the course this year and only accept applications within Sweden. We still have an international focus on the course, and international students in Sweden are very welcome to apply.

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