Ecological Integration: Energy/Water/Food (Ecology)

natural ecosystems and human society. Central to the challenge is the need to mitigate climate change risk, by reducing carbon emissions, while continuing to supply energy and water to a growing population. In coming decades these three issues will influence human behavior in new ways, as the world and Australia face the twenty-first century challenge of sharing a finite planet with limited resources. The course will not only consider the challenges ahead, but also the opportunities available for an effective and productive response. Those studying this course will appreciate that energy; water and food are deeply connected in nature and so also in society. Energy (sunlight), water and carbon (dioxide) are the key elements required for photosynthesis which is necessary for production of our food and a healthy ecosystem. Climate strongly influences these connections. Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, primarily through human use of fossil energy sources, are considered by the scientific community as the key drivers of current and future climate change, which affects the water availability for human and ecosystem use. The challenge is to implement integrative land-use practices that optimize carbon (greenhouse gas), water and energy budgets, can resolve energywater- carbon tensions and  rovide more options in an uncertain future.

This course will consider in a holistic manner Energy (Carbon), Water and Food that underpin the functioning of