Problemáticas em Ecologia Humana


It is intended that students acquire autonomous and critical thinking skills to analyze the problems that contemporary society faces as well as sensitivity to the diversity of “readings”.
The aim is to prepare students to work in complex contexts in a perspective of problem solving strongly supported by a critical reflection emphasizing hands-on attitude.
It aims to assess if the student demonstrate ability to apply the conceptual basis to the \"real world.\"

It is expected that students acquire and/or develop ability to:
a) mobilize the knowledge acquired to propose solutions for contemporary social problems;
b) value an interdisciplinary perspective in the understanding of those problems;
c) develop applied studies in human ecology involving the exploration of different methodologies applied to a case study in a simulated and/or real environment using social data and environmental conditions;
d) further develop their scientific research project

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Sónia Alexandra de Barros Rito Nunes Nobre


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 280

Teaching language



Available soon


Bates, D; Tucker, J. (Ed) (2010). Human Ecology, Contemporary Research and Practice. Springer.
Benton TG and Bailey R, 2019. The paradox of productivity: how agricultural productivity promotes food system inefficiency. Global Sustainability, 2, e6.
Borden, R. (2014). Ecology and Experience. California: North Atlantic Books.
Cook, E; Lara, J. (Ed.) (2012) Remaking Metropolis: Global Challenges of the Urban Landscape. USA: Routledge.
Kirschke, S.; Newig, J. (2017). Addressing complexity in environmental management and governance. Sustainability, 9, 983.
Lawson, H; Caringi, J; Pyles, L; Jurkowski, J; Bozlak, C. (2015) Participatory Action Research, Oxford University Press.
Robinson S; Toulmin C; Whiteley R (2010). The future of the global food system. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 365: 2769-2777
Springmann M, et al (2018). Options for keeping the food system within environmental limits. Nature, 562, 519–525

Teaching method

In the first part classes will be theoretical-practical with the presentation and discussion of the proposed topics in which students are encouraged to actively participate. Approaches at different spatial (local, regional, national, global) and time scales will be favored.
In the second part students will be stimulated to understand the world and to try to change it, resorting to the analysis/interpretation of a real case study using PAR methodologies, namely collective inquiry and experimentation in the field strongly supported in social history to extract lessons learned. The classes will turn into active collective space of debate of ideas and proposals encouraging critical constructive reflection.

Evaluation method

Evaluation Methodologies - Elaboration of an essay to be written throughout the term, exposing the problem, the methodologies used, possible solutions and lessons learned(80%), Oral presentation and debate in the classroom(20%)

Subject matter

This course is organized in two parts. In the first, professors and researchers will be invited according to their areas of research, to expose different types of problems to which, due to their complexity and the need for an integrated approach Human Ecology can respond: "crises" (environmental, social, cultural) and possible ways to overcome them; urban ecology and the problems related to large cities; patterns of production and consumption; risks and desertification.
The second part (hands on seminar) introduces a method for researchers oriented to concreate solutions with people and for the people. In this academic year, the food system will be chosen as the subject of analysis. The concepts of system and food system, identification of satekeholders, governance models, identification of the main problems and challenges that it faces in the near future will be worked on, before discussing possible solutions


Programs where the course is taught: