Title of the symposium:

Innovating teaching and learning landscape ecology to address the challenges of the Anthropocene



Detail of organizer(s):




Name: Veerle
Surname: Van Eetvelde
Organisation/Affiliation: University of Ghent, Department of Geography, Landscape Research Unit
Telephone: + 32 9 2644707
Country: Belgium
Address: Krijgslaan 281-S8, 9000 Ghent








Name: Simona
Surname: Grădinaru
Organisation/Affiliation: University of Bucharest
Address: 1 Nicolae Balcescu Blvd., Sector 1, Bucharest, CP 010041, Romania
Country: Romania





Name: Wenche
Surname: Dramstad
Organisation/Affiliation: NIBIO
Address: P.O. Box 115, NO-1431 Ås, Norway
Country: Norway





Name: Werner
Surname: Rolf
Organisation/Affiliation: Chair for Strategic Landscape Planning and Management, Technical University of Munich
Address: Emil-Ramann-Str. 6 D-85354 Freising
Country: Germany





Name: Ileana
Surname: Stupariu
Organisation/Affiliation: University of Bucharest
Address: Splaiul Independentei no. 91-95, 050095, Bucharest, Romania
Country: Romania




Symposium abstract

Living in a fast-changing environment and society is challenging, for all species. Especially in the era of the Anthropocene, with an almost irreversible human influence on the environment, societal responses to environmental change are crucial. Worldwide in different geographical contexts (from urban to rural areas, from areas specialised in agriculture or densely populated to remote areas), there is an urgent need for a more sustainable attitude to environment and society. The interest in the topic of the Anthropocene is also increasing in different disciplines. Central to the different approaches is the coupling of the human and biophysical system in one holistic system, which is in line with the core of the discipline of landscape ecology.

Dealing with the changes and challenges of the Anthropocene is also demanding different exceptions of the current and future researchers, policy makers, teachers, practitioners, among others. They have an important task in the raising awareness of the need for a more sustainable way of dealing with space and people. Hence, landscape ecology research, education and teaching in the era of the Anthropocene are challenging for both teachers and students and important to formulate solutions to the challenges ahead.

This symposium is questioning how teaching and learning landscape ecology can address these challenges. What do we have to teach? Are we using the appropriate concepts and teaching methods? How can we get students more interested in landscape ecological related topics? What are the societal demands towards landscape ecology teaching? What kind of teaching innovations can contribute to building up the knowledge and competencies of the future generations? We aim to assemble talks that bring to discussion the way teaching and learning landscape ecology could be innovated and improved.
We particularly encourage submissions about:
–           how to develop learning lines for teaching landscape ecology in the curricula of students;
–           how to cross the bridges between different levels of education;
–           how to go beyond traditional teaching methods from different perspectives;
–           how to integrating different approaches to understanding the holistic landscape;
–           how to integrate different knowledge on real-life examples;
–           how to use innovative technologies that contribute to the understanding of the socio-ecological relations in the landscape;
–           how landscape can be used as a living lab to build up the social skills of students;
–           how to evaluate the landscape ecological knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to understand and tackle the fast-changing environment and society;
–           how to prepare the future teachers to teach landscape ecology.

Of particular interest are approaches that bring together different disciplines and promote interaction within those disciplines as well as with the ‘real world’, the society. Also encouraged are educational approaches that arise from the different landscape ecology perspectives such as the more holistic, humanistic, and society-centred views, grounded approaches as well as the more analytical and biological ecology-centred approaches.

Both presentation of landscape education (as the continuous process of learning about the landscape, environment and society) and teaching (as the formal, planned and organised activity to transfer knowledge, skills and attitudes with a specific purpose in mind) are welcomed.

To enhance the coherence of the symposium, the submitted papers will be organised according to subthemes such as (1) level of teaching – from to schools over under- and graduate level to PhD level, (2) didactic and pedagogical aspects of teaching and learning landscape ecology, (3) teaching methods, (4) exchange of good practices among others.  This symposium will be organised by IALE-Europe working group ‘Education in landscape ecology’ in collaboration with the working group ‘Landscape Ecology in Schools’ of IALE International.



How your symposia will improve landscape ecology science?

The future of landscape ecology science is founded in a well-thought education with clear goals and teaching methods. The symposium will contribute to landscape ecology science by serving as an arena for presenting creative and innovative methods for teaching landscape ecology. We consider landscape ecology teaching and learning as a fundamental contribution to the education of future researchers and also to develop the scientific and research skills of students. As such this symposium will also link research with education on all levels, how research can stimulate education and teaching but also how teaching experiences can give input to a future landscape ecology research agenda. The speakers and participants are expected to engage in discussions and exchange ideas.

The outcomes of the symposium, also contributing to the development of landscape ecology science are:
Outcomes of symposium
–           A possible output of the symposium will be a discussion paper or a joint paper in a journal specified in education and didactics (for example what is the position of landscape ecology in the geography and/or biology curricula).
–           Reinforcing the Working Group ‘Education in landscape ecology – Sharing knowledge and experience’ of IALE-Europe and the Working Group ‘Landscape Ecology in Schools’ from IALE International and IALE-Europe and stimulate closer collaboration.
–           Strengthen the network of landscape ecologists within the IALE community that are involved in university education and encourage them to exchange of their good practices



Broad thematic areas


Broad thematic areas 1st choice: Education & citizen science



Free Keywords

Landscape ecology education and teaching, geography, biology, teaching methods




The list of speakers and titles is tentative and gives an idea about possible topics that could be addressed by the author. All speakers will be invited to submit an abstract. Regarding teaching in schools and didactical approaches, we will balance the different subjects of geography and biology. We will also invite possible contributions from other fields that are involved in teaching landscape (for example authors from the Routledge Handbook of Teaching Landscape).