autumn 2020
BIO-8006 Environmental systems: integrating monitoring, research and management - 10 ECTS

Last changed 29.09.2020

Application deadline

Registration deadline for PhD students at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway who has got the course approved in their instruction component: September 1st (for autumn semester) / February 1st (for spring semester).

Application deadline for other applicants: June 1st (for autumn semester/December 1st (for spring)

Type of course

A course for PhD students in environmental sciences.

Admission requirements

Who can appy:

  • UiT PhD students who wants to take a course that is not approved in their instruction component
  • PhD student enrolled at another institution than UiT
  • Applicants who have completed a Master degree

PhD students or holders of a Norwegian master´s degree of five years or 3+2 years (or equivalent) may be admitted. PhD students must upload a document from their university stating that there are registered PhD students. This group of applicants does not have to prove English proficiency and are exempt from semester fee.

PhD students at UiT register for the course through StudentWeb. The registration for spring semester starts in the middle of December, and for autumn semester in the middle of June.

Other applicants apply for admission through SøknadsWeb. Application code 9301.

Holders of a Master´s degree must upload a Master´s Diploma with Diploma Supplement / English translation of the diploma. Applicants from listed countries must document proficiency in English. To find out if this applies to you, see the following list: Proficiency in English must be documented - list of countries.
For more information on accepted English proficiency tests and scores, as well as exemptions from the English proficiency tests, please see the following document:  Proficiency in english - PhD level studies

PhD students enrolled at PhD programmes a UiT can contact Ingjerd Gauslaa Nilsen at the BFE-faculty  for questions regarding registration to the course. Singular course applicants must contact regarding questions to their application.

Course content

Two important challenges in environmental sciences are to assess how human drivers impact on environmental systems and the effectiveness of management policies to adapt or mitigate these impacts. Answering these challenges implies we need to set up multidisciplinary monitoring systems that can efficiently measure changes and identify causes of changes for entities that, more often than not, are monitored on incongruent scales. The course therefore aims at integrating monitoring, research and management around three themes:

For climate systems, the course will, with an emphasis on the Arctic region, utilize local, regional and global examples of utilizing data and models in combination to assess monitoring systems ability to detect and attribute climate change. The examples will be utilized for conceptual discussions of strategies for designing climate monitoring systems on a cascade of scales.

For ecological systems, the course will illustrate the basic concepts of ecosystem functioning and management, and how climate interacts with other drivers to affect ecosystem dynamics, with the use of case studies from terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems.

For the relationships between society, climate and ecological systems, the course will in particular focus on how society involvements can be made operational within adaptive monitoring/management framework.

For each theme, the course will rely on concrete case studies from northern regions, as well as presentations of general principles, such as adaptive management and monitoring.

Objectives of the course

After the course the students should have knowledge about:

  • principles of adaptive management
  • principles of adaptive monitoring
  • examples of monitoring systems of northern climate systems
  • examples of monitoring systems of northern marine environments
  • examples of monitoring systems of northern freshwater environments
  • examples of monitoring systems of northern terrestrial environments


  • Identification of relevant scales and design of climate monitoring systems
  • Identification of relevant scales and design of ecosystem monitoring program
  • Multidisciplinary dialogue between climate, ecosystem and social sciences

General competence:

  • Be able to critically assess monitoring programs
  • Evaluate the integration of monitoring objectives and design
  • Assess societal involvement in monitoring programs
  • Knowledge of northern social-ecological systems

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

Lectures: 30 hours, seminars: 30 hours.


Report and Oral exam. Grade: Pass/fail.

Re-sit exam:

There will not be arranged a re-sit exam for this course.


  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: BIO-8006