Nature Interpretation - concepts_ theories and qualitative

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					International 6 ECT’s PhD-course May 11-15 2009:

Nature Interpretation
- concepts, theories and qualitative methodologies of investigation
Course abstract:
Perceptions of nature vary among groups of people and individuals over time. They are expressed differently
in scientific theories and religious creation myths, in land-use practices from public planning and
management over farming and outdoor recreation to gardening, as well as in the visual arts and texts from
literature to laws. To acknowledge such differences is crucial for many studies particularly those related to
use of the countryside. Because perceptions of nature consist of combinations of individual potentials, social
practices and cultural norms their study can be approached by methodologies from a range of scientific
fields. In this course important theoretical and conceptual distinctions and qualitative methodologies for
studies of nature perception are presented.

The goal of the course is to provide students with skills based on theoretically sound qualitative
methodologies for investigating, analyzing and comparing similarities and differences of perceptions of
nature as expressed in land-use planning and management, forestry, farming, outdoor recreation, literature

Target groups:
PhD-students within countryside management and landscape planning and design, forestry, outdoor
recreation, cultural geography, biology, landscape architecture and the like.

Preliminary program and lecturers:
Overview of historical development of philosophies of nature/cosmologies in relation to land-use in the
   Western countries. Asc. Prof., PhD Finn Arler, Aalborg University
Renaissance cartography and the new cosmography of mapping in Scandinavia, Professor Michael Jones,
   Norges Teknisk Naturvidenskabelige Universitet, Trondheim, Norway.
Place attachment, ‘place identity’, ‘rootedness’, ‘sense of belonging’. Content and applicability of concepts
   and methods from studies of outdoor recreation to other land use practices. Research Social Scientist
   Dan Williams, U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.
Natursyns model - A conceptual framework for investigation and comparison of perceptions of nature based
   on eco-semiotics. Asc. Prof., Dr., Landscape Architect, Jette Hansen-Møller, LIFE, Univ. of Copenhagen,
Identification of typologies of landowners, farmers and foresters. Asc. Prof., PhD Tove Enggrob Boon, Life,
   Copenhagen University, Denmark.
Identities and differences in women and men’s relations to landscape. Førsteamanuensis, PhD Kirsti
   Pedersen Gurholt, Norges Idrettshøgskole, Oslo, Norway.

Course structure and teaching methods:
Students will prepare themselves for active participation in the on-campus part of the course through the
required literature.
   Each course day will be dedicated to a specific methodology for investigating perceptions of nature.
Through lectures, working groups and plenary sessions, the theoretical context and content will be
presented and problems and shortcomings discussed.
   After the assembly the students write a paper in which they suggest the theory and methodology they will
use in relation to their personal project. The papers will be commented by other students on the internet in its
progress and finally handed in for evaluation by the course responsible.

Type of evaluation:
Pass/fail evaluation of theory-methodology paper

Sign up Deadline: March 15 2009 to

Work load:
1 week of preparation, 1 week of lectures, 2 weeks of writing
Course preparation: literature studies: 40 h; Confrontation: 40h.; Homework: supplementary literature studies
and writing of paper in relation to personal project using the theories and methodologies presented: 80 h.
Sum: 160 h.

Credits: 6 ECTS

Course period: May 11-15, 2009

Skovskolen Nødebo. ¾ h’s drive north of Copenhagen.
Pick up in the airport and transportation will be provided if it is possible.

Online literature list will be provided.

Room and board at Skovskolen for 5 days: Dkr. 5.000
Travel costs
Course fee: None

Maximum number of participants: 30

Course responsible:
Asc. Prof. Fil. Dr. Jette Hansen-Møller
Danish Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning
Faculty if LIFE
University of Copenhagen
Rolighedsvej 23
1958 Frederiksberg C

Refolana Research School, Faculty of LIFE, Copenhagen University