Coastal and Marine Management: Practical Applications and Challenges

Core Course | 4 ECTS | Course: CMM 04

Instructor: Anne Mette and Zoi Konstantinou

Course Catalog Description

About the Course

In this course we aim at wrapping up your lessons from your Masters and enter one more time the complex relationships developing in the coastal and marine social-ecological systems, work and consequently discuss key integrated approaches and work towards developing alternative management frameworks. This being the last core course of the masters programme, is about providing an opportunity to put together the knowledge and skills the students have acquired through the year, in a practical and in parts very explorative manner. The content is divided between inputs (redundancy with other courses deliberately included!) on theoretical and practical aspects of management and team work in groups – groups which will work together in a step-wise methodology throughout the entire course.

In these group works, we will run through and very practically work with multiple aspects of coastal and marine management, starting from basics, methodologies and legal considerations to more elaborate aspects related to community-based management, co-management, scenario building and – of course - stakeholders’ involvement.

Our quest can be summarized in answering one key question: What are the knowledge, skills, competences and qualities a coastal and marine management must have in order to be efficient and effective on her/his work aimingto design a pathway towards a rapid social-ecological transformation?

In terms of assessment and assignments the course may differ from other courses quite a lot. In class and mainly in the group works, there will never be a ‘right or wrong’, since practical applications is not about this bout about grasping and understanding the social-ecological system. This reflection is the essence of the course.

Also there will not be a final scientific paper as such but a rather scientific storytelling related assignment and a short more analytical one at half time of the course.

Regarding the hours: be aware that our course will have longer face-to-face obligations due to group works and presentations especially in week one. However, there is no readings to be done in the free time, since we apply practically. In week two, days will get shorter at the UW Centre but work load for individual and group assignments may increase in the afternoons.


Zoi Konstantinou: I am a Marine Scientist MSc-PhD, specialised in Integrated Coastal Management. I am currently working as a Policy officer with the European Commission, Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. My work is focused on issues related to marine observations and data, ocean literacy, International Ocean Governance, aquaculture and algae, as well as other issues related to marine knowledge and research. Before joining the EC I worked in marine research, in science-policy interface and science communication and in higher education.

Zoi on Linkedin.

Anne Mette: I work for a private non-profit research and educational institute since 2005, called KMGNE (sorry, …. our English version of the website is not really up to date) and have specialized in sustainability and climate communications and facilitation in any kind of settings for social-ecological issues. I also work a lot in ESD – Education for Sustainable Development and have trained a lot of international groups on methods, approaches, visions, and aspects of new pedagogies for transformation.

My heart is split between my hometown Berlin, my life at our farm office in very rural Germany where we are trying to be self-sufficient between seminars and projects and Latin America. I lived in Ecuador and Chile and ever since worked there in our projects. Well, and by now, a part of my professional and personal heart of course also belongs to Iceland.

Teaching in UW is for us a reforming learning experience: Every year we learn from one another, exchanging on our different expertise (a Greek scientist working at the European Commission and a German practitioner working very locally and internationally) and distilling this to the course. You will notice our interdisciplinary, inter-professional and intercultural teaming as of day one.

But a very essential aspect: We also learn immensely from every new group of students. Interaction, group works and presentations, after-course questions and reflections, and support for your thesis writing is pure learning for us and we appreciate this very much and always carry it back with us to our own jobs and activities.


The course explores the complex interrelationships between coastal and marine natural resources and humans and communities. In recent years, there has been an increasing recognition that the marine environment cannot be managed effectively without the cooperation and participation of resource user groups and coastal stakeholders. Co-management and community-based management are two related, yet different approaches wherein cooperation and partnership are paramount and responsibility is shared, formally or informally, between state and user groups and/or communities of place and interest. The focus of this course will be to critically examine the extent to which co-management and other alternative community-based strategies provide a viable approach to marine management. Studies of such efforts from around the world, in different social and cultural contexts, will be critically examined to determine costs and benefits, the opportunities for and barriers to their implementation, and the conditions necessary for the development for sustainable, community-based coastal management systems.

On completion of the course, a student:

  • has gained a systematic understanding of the most recent knowledge of the complex interrelationships inherent in human use and interaction with coastal and marine natural resources and systems.
  • can accurately define a problem, think about it in a critical manner, assess information at hand and draw inferences about how to approach a resolution.
  • has an understanding of the complementary and competing interests that influence the design, implementation and outcome of community-based management processes.
  • has strengthened abilities in aspects of organizational behaviour, facilitation and power-sharing dynamics in collaborative management arrangements.