Climate, Land-Use and Ecosystem Services (acronym: CLUES) is a new Master of Sciences programme offered as of September 2015 by AgroParisTech, as part of the upcoming Paris-Saclay University in France. Its overarching objective is to provide students with the scientific knowledge, know-how and skills necessary to understand the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems in response to major drivers such as climate change, land-use change patterns and ecosystem management technologies.
Terrestrial ecosystems are a core component of the climate system and a key provider of services to human societies via their production of biomass for food and fuels or their regulation of environmental resources. As the demand for these services is rapidly growing, these ecosystems have been manipulated and managed to an unprecedented extent, via changes in land occupation and use worldwide, in particular for agricultural and forestry purposes.
Facing up to the current ecological challenges thus requires a careful understanding of ecosystem processes and services to design and implement management strategies that enhance ecosystem services in a changing global environment. The economic sectors targeted include agriculture and forestry but also the agri-food sector, energy and the bio-economy in general, while the programme will also be relevant to policy-making in the area of environmental regulation and natural resources management, from local to global scales.
The overarching objective of this new MSc programme is to provide students with the scientific knowledge, know-how and skills necessary to understand the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems in response to major drivers such as climate change, land-use change patterns and ecosystem management technologies. Graduates from this programme will be possess in-depth knowledge of biosphere-climate interactions, acquire methods to assess ecosystem services, and be fully aware of the panel of technological options available in terms of land-use planning management to promote the sustainable development in rural and semi-urban areas.
Courses will promote integrated approaches through a multi-disciplinary curriculum combining natural sciences (climatology, bioclimatology, soil science, ecology), social and economic sciences and advanced courses in data management, analysis and modelling. The capacities of students to synthesize and integrate information from a range of sources and knowledge from these different disciplines will be fostered through the development of projects related to climate and ecosystems in case-study areas, based on state-of-the-art methodologies to involve local stakeholders and proponents.