The Blue Economy and Coastal Communities

CRD22 Core 4 ECTS
Period 2 weeks 30.11.2020 - 11.12.2020
Instructor Dr Patrick Heidkamp


In this course, different approaches to achieve the sustainable use and conservation of ocean resources for improved wellbeing, social equity, and healthy aquatic ecosystems will be discussed. The course focuses on the blue economy paradigm, which connects environmental, social, and economic sustainability by promoting the improvement of human wellbeing and social equity. The Blue Economy has gained attention among government organizations, development agencies, politicians, academics, entrepreneurs and businesses as being a new integrated approach to community and regional development. Different economic sectors that play an important role in coastal community development will be examined, such as aquaculture, marine biotechnology, energy, trade, tourism, construction, and marine services. This course shifts the attention from traditional economic analysis to alternative economic models and measures.


On completion of the course, a student:

  • understands the interdependency of ocean industries, marine ecosystems, and societies who depend on them
  • can identify and interpret challenges that come with the increase in the economic value of the oceans and the increasing threats on the oceans
  • can describe alternative economic approaches in addition to traditional economic analysis
  • has the understanding of different economic actors and stakeholder groups in ocean-based industries
  • can participate in and lead group discussions about sustainable economic development in coastal communities
  • can implement an inter-disciplinary analysis of value chains in the ocean related industries


Dr. Patrick Heidkamp is a Professor in the Department of the Environment, Geography and Marine Sciences at SCSU and a visiting Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK. He is also a co-director of the Connecticut State University Center for Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Education and an affiliate of the Economic Rights Research Group at the University of Connecticut. His current research focuses on transdisciplinary engagement with the blue economy and just sustainability transitions in the coastal zone. Patrick has international teaching and/or research experience in Africa, Central America, and Europe. His work has been published in leading journals such as the Annals of Regional ScienceApplied GeographyGeography CompassGeoforumGeoHumanitiesPolitical Science Quarterly, and Urban Geography. In addition, Patrick is a co-editor with Dr. John Morrissey of Towards Coastal Resilience and Sustainability (Routledge: 2019).