Crafting Interdisciplinarity in
Teaching Natural Resource
Natural resource management (NRM) and sustainable agriculture rest on principles of ecosystem dynamics, adequate legal frameworks and property rights arrangements, and respect for customs and traditions governing resource access and use. It also involves understanding economic behavior, resource use and constraints, the costs and benefits of different resource use arrangements and information flows, and the effect of policies at the macro level. NRM centers around people, institutions, land and nature, giving rise to environment and development issues that require complex theoretical, conceptual and practical knowledge from diverse sources.
Students of NRM cannot, in our experience, adequately address a particular environmental management problem without having insight in both natural and social sciences. Likewise, educators need a genuinely interdisciplinary perspective and a substantial problem-based approach to meet the challenge of educating “environmental experts”.
This paper discusses the experience and challenges of designing and implementing an educational program in NRM and sustainable agriculture in the Agricultural University of Norway (NLH) where interdisciplinarity is an important ambition.
Vedeld, P. 2004. Crafting Interdisciplinarity
in Teaching Management of Natural
Resources and Sustainable Agriculture:
Experiences from the M.Sc. Program in
Management of Natural Resources and
Sustainable Agriculture, NLH. Noragric
Working Paper No. 33. Noragric: Agricultural
University of Norway.