Welcome to Karlstad University

Landscape Ecology, 15 HP

Introductory information for students admitted to Karlstad University.
It is important that you read all the information.

Before you begin your studies, you need to:

1. Create KauID
2. Register for your course

1. Create KauID

What is KauID? KauID is your digital identity at Karlstad University that allows you to log in to our digital services.

If you have studied at Kau before you do not have to create a new KauID, you can use the same KauID as last time.

2. Register for your course

You need to register on time, not to risk losing your place on the course.
Registration period: 2023-01-09 - 2023-01-16
Log in to My Kau using your KauID to register.

What is My Kau? My Kau is a personal digital service for students at Karlstad University.

It is important that you decline your admission offer if you do not wish to attend the course.

If you have been admitted late, and therefore can´t register on time, contact the administrator.

Course handbook – studiehandledning


In the following, we want to give you some information concerning the structure, schedule and examination of the course as well as our expectations.


Landscape Ecology is a course for students at the higher Bachelor or the Masters Level, so we expect you to have good study abilities and show a high degree of dedication to this course. The group project will make extensive use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Therefore, one important requirement for the course is good computer skills and the availability of a GIS-compatible computer. Since the software used (ESRI ArcGIS) works best for PCs, we recommend a Windows computer. Licenses for ESRI ArcGIS are available through Karlstad University and installation of the program can be done at course start. Students using a Mac may work with the free software Q-GIS but this software will not be introduced/supervised by us.


Structure and schedule

This 10-weeks course (calendar week 3-12) consists of lectures, seminars, an individual essay, an obligatory week at KaU with GIS-exercises, and a group project.

Lectures – these will summarize and illustrate the most important points in the respective chapters of the course book. They will give you some input to stimulate further individual work and group discussions on the chapter. Lectures will be interwoven with seminars during course week 1 to 4. Course book – Turner, M.G. & Gardner, R.H. Landscape ecology in theory and practice. Latest Edition.

Seminars – there will be one seminar related to each chapter (or sometimes pairs of chapters), in which we will discuss different landscape ecological topics and theories using scientific papers. Students must read and prepare these mandatory papers before the seminars. Students will be divided into smaller groups for the seminars. Depending on group size, one to two students will be responsible for each seminar, i.e. introduce the paper(s) (max 15 min) and lead the discussion using questions supplied by the course teachers or own questions. We will grade the performance as a seminar leader with respect to the degree of preparation and the handling of questions. Additionally, active participation and preparation to answer questions in each of the seminars will be graded for each student.

Individual essay – Each student will work during the course (especially during course week 5) on an obligatory individual essay dealing with a landscape ecological question that will be handed out at course start. The essay should be elaborated but concise and not longer than three pages (A4, line-space 1.5, size 12, Times New Roman)

GIS-exercises– There will be an obligatory GIS-laboratory (4.5 days) for all students on campus at KaU during course week 6 (20 – 24 February 2023). During these days, we will introduce you to geographic information systems (GIS) and you will have the possibility to train the GIS skills needed for the following group project. Additionally, you will learn about the use of drones in landscape ecology. Students will start working on the planning of their group project and discuss their group project outline for the course.

Group project – Students will work in groups on different landscape ecological datasets. The project is planned independently in the group, supported and supervised by the teachers. The timeframe for the group project is three weeks (course week 7-9). During this period, students will upload the data set, develop questions and hypotheses, plan the workflow, digitize and analyse data in GIS and summarize their results. The juridical aspects presented in a lecture (laws, regulations, responsibilities of different authorities) should also be addressed in the project report. We plan for mandatory supervision meetings during the group project, in which each group presents the status and progress of the project work. In course week 10, students prepare a digital presentation of their project results for the course. During the group project, each student will write a project diary containing the work plan and achievements for each day. Furthermore, each student will evaluate the participation and achievements of his/her group members and themselves.



The final grade of this 15-hp course (U, G, VG) is based on the weighted achievements with respect to the exercises during the GIS-laboratory (2 hp), active participation in all seminars (4 hp), the individual essay (3 hp), and the final presentation of the group project together with the completion of the project diary and peer assessment (6 hp).



If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me, preferentially by e-mail (or via Canvas).

Lutz Eckstein – lutz.eckstein@kau.se

New student

There is a lot to think about when you start university, we know! We have gathered some useful information to help you, don’t forget to read the checklist!

Go to Canvas

In the course, we use the learning platform Canvas. Canvas is a tool that offers a digital learning environment.
Once you have registered for your course in My Kau, you can log in to Canvas and access important course information.

Finding your way around the University

Use the campus map MazeMap to locate buildings and rooms Go to MazeMap

Reading List

View reading list
Please note that the reading list may be revised until six weeks before the start of the course.


View schedule
Please note that the schedule may change up to two weeks before the course starts. Check the schedule on a regular basis to get the latest information on locations and times as there may be changes during the course as well.

Can we help you?

ADMINISTRATOR: Kristina Oskarsson  

COURSE CONVENOR: Lutz Eckstein