Florian Knaus: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2018

NameMr Florian Knaus
Inst. f. Terrestrische Oekosysteme
ETH Zürich, CHN G 75.1
Universitätstrasse 16
8092 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 632 39 87
DepartmentEnvironmental Systems Science

701-0310-00LConservation Biology Information 2 credits2GF. Knaus
AbstractIn this course, the students explore ecological approaches, philosophical foundations, and practical implementations of conservation activities. Based on case studies, they are introduced to different views, values and ideals inherent in these activities.
ObjectiveStudents of this course are able to:
- understand the historical development and the current state of biodiversity and estimate possible future trends
- explain the economic legal, political and philosophical foundations of conservation activities
- define different possibilities of how conservation can be implemented in practice
- identify and critically appraise normative elements in conservation
- analyse and evaluate a nature conservation project from conception to successful completion.
ContentThe course covers the following content:
- Describe and analyse the past, current and future human impacts on biodiversity.
- Explore alternative approaches to nature conservation and their implementation for example species or habitat protection, restorations, parks, etc.
- Discuss the ethical, moral, legal, and economic reasons for conservation.
- Understand the main theories relevant to conservation such as the vulnerability of small populations, ecosystem services, biodiversity, etc.
- Explore practical examples during excursions and provide an analysis and evaluation of concrete case studies.
Lecture notesKein Skript
LiteratureKüster H. 1999: Geschichte der Landschaft in Mitteleuropa. Von der Eiszeit bis zur Gegenwart. Beck, München, Germany. 424p.
Piechocki R. 2010: Landschaft, Heimat, Wildnis. Schutz der Natur - aber welcher und warum? Beck'sche Reihe, Beck, München, Germany. 266p.
Primack R.B. 2008: A primer of Conservation Biology. Fourth Edition. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland MA, USA. 349p.
Prerequisites / NoticeKenntnisse aus den folgenden LV sind vorausgesetzt:
- Allgemeine Biologie I
- Allgemeine Biologie II
- Biologie III: Ökologie
- Biologie IV: Diversität der Pflanzen und Tiere
701-1456-00LApplied Ecosystem Management (Field Course in Serbia) Information Restricted registration - show details 2 credits4PF. Knaus
AbstractThis course introduces students to a socio-ecological system that combines high depopulation rates and corruption with extraordinary cultural and biological diversity that are at risk of loss. This system is explored with local stakeholders and in the field, analysed by a conceptual model and measures are identified that support both conservation and development goals for the region.
ObjectiveBy visiting this course, the students are able to:
a) Use a conceptual model to analyse an unfamiliar socio-ecological system with regards to its main drivers and their interrelatedness.
b) Establish basic strategic elements of a development plan.
c) Identify realistic measures towards sustainability respecting system-inherent limitations.
d) Apply, contextualize and integrate subject-specific knowledge on an interdisciplinary real world problem.
e) Critically appraise conservation policies taken in Switzerland and abroad.
ContentEastern Serbia offers economic, ecological and social characteristics that are greatly distinct to the ones predominant in Central European socio-ecological systems: Following epochs of communism and war, Eastern Serbia faces some of the highest rural depopulation rates in Europe and consequently suffers from land abandonment. The still rich rural culture and many traditional agricultural practices are expected to be lost if no measures are taken. At the same time, the region still holds a high biodiversity with a high number of endemic species and many species which have long been extinct in other parts of Central Europe. These ecological values are under high threat of being lost as a consequence of the depopulation processes.

In the course, the multiple facets of this unfamiliar socio-ecological system are investigated based on interviews with local stakeholders and experts. In short excursions, land-use activities, biodiversity as well as cultural and touristic assets are explored. The gathered information is used to identify the most prevalent drivers of the socio-ecological system with the help of a simple conceptual model. Based on this model and on additional strategic analyses, goals and measures can be deduced that span the competing fields of conservation and development and aim at developing the region towards sustainability. These measures are evaluated, elaborated and discussed with local people. Finally, the results are summarized in a report for the local stakeholders.
Lecture notesIvanov S. & F. Knaus 2012: Stara Planina. A brief introduction. Unpublished. 24p.
LiteratureAdams W.M. et al. 2004: Biodiversity Conservation and the Eradication of Poverty. Science 306: 1146-1149.

Chan K.M.A. et al. 2007: When agendas collide: Human welfare and biological conservation. Conservation Biology 21(1): 59-68.

FOS 2009: Using Conceptual Models to Document a Situation Analysis: An FOS How-To Guide. Foundations of Success, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. 21p.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course is limited to 12 students. Preference is given to Master students and students fulfilling the prerequisites. A mixture of students from different Majors is sought to contribute to the integration of skills and approaches. Travels to Serbia and Bulgaria require a valid passport.

Prerequisites for attending this course are skills and knowledge equivalent to those taught in the following ETH courses:
- Foundations of Ecosystem Management
- Naturschutz und Naturschutzbiologie
- Land Use History and Historical Ecology
701-1692-00LInterdisciplinary Project Restricted registration - show details 5 credits8PF. Knaus, H. Bugmann, H. R. Heinimann, S. Tobias
AbstractCapstone course in which students solve complex real-world land-use problems, for which there is no single correct solution. Students work in project teams and take the role of consultants. They integrate the knowledge acquired during their previous studies and deepen their analysis, judgment and writing skills.
ObjectiveThe project-based learning context aims at developing and sharpening the following skills:
- to autonomously solve a real-world problem from the project assignment to the presentation of results,
- to autonomously develop a suitable approach to solve the questions of the project
- to apply, integrate and adapt knowledge and skills from different disciplines,
- to adequately use methods and tools to manage spatial and scalar data,
- to work in a project team and to solve possible team-conflicts.
ContentEach student group is working on a case-study, which is based on a specific problem, defined by cantonal authorities. Students are searching information from literature, developing appropriate approaches, gathering own data, analyzing (geo)data and write a coherent report. Original plans and source documents are available in their original language. Students follow and adapt a systematic problem solving cycle, consisting of:
- capturing and formulation of the problem, goal and scope definition
- capturing of the actual system state
- developing a methodological approach that delivers the results required to solve the problems or questions
- evaluating possible solutions and/or scenarios
- solution proposal and recommendation to decision-makers