Natural Resources and Sustainable Development

Research on natural resources, their exploitation and usage encompasses the development of humanity and its impact on the global ecosystems.

The Programme has two overarching research themes: Environment, Nature and Society and Global Energy Systems

Our Research

Natural Resources and Sustainable Development Programme research focuses on the different dimensions of sustainable development. We consider the environment and its natural resources and ecosystem services as an overarching foundation for society and economy and aim at providing knowledge on how to utilize natural resources in a sustainable way. Our work involves considerations of both natural and social systems and their interactions, often adopting transdisciplinary approaches

Research themes:

The Environment, Nature and Society research theme focuses on understanding interactions between the living components of nature and society that are of relevance to management and policy for a more sustainable future. Some focal areas in our work include fisheries, ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation often in aquatic and coastal contexts, as well as remediation of contaminated sediments.

Global Energy Systems. Within the Global Energy Systems Group we analyze the world's energy systems from a multidisciplinary perspective. Geological research is intertwined with technical, economic and social research to describe, understand and model how energy systems change over time and how they interact with economy, environment and society. 

Educational Programmes

Master Programme in Sustainable Development - An i­nterdisciplinary programme covering a wide range of issues that concern sustainable development from a variety of perspectives – from basic economic to very concrete aspects, such as how sufficient drinking water can be made available to everyone on our planet.

Master Programme in Sustainable Destination Development - An interdisciplinary programme given by the Department of Engineering Sciences. The programme focuses on issues relating to sustainable development of tourist destinations from many different perspectives for use in your future occupation, encompassing supervision, community planning, education, research, communication, management of natural resources or decision-making.

Bachelor's Programme in Energy Transition - Sustainability and Leadership - The interdisciplinary character of the programme trains you to understand and integrate knowledge from different disciplines in order to handle the complex topics of energy, energy transition processes and sustainability. Here you will practice critical analysis and evaluation of different approaches from different perspectives where active student participation plays an important role. The programme is taught at Uppsala University's Gotland Campus which offers a well-coordinated education environment and a profile towards sustainability.

Bachelor Programme in Environmental Science - A programme that is building on knowledge from a natural science foundation (biology, ecology and geoscience) focuses on the consequences of human use of nature and natural resources. It also covers ethical, economic, legal and cultural positions as the prerequisites for solving the environmental problems.


Anna Apler, NRHU industrial PhD student and employee of the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU), investigates the spread of environmental toxins along the Swedish coast and works within the TREASURE project. The picture shows how Anna and one of SGU's crew handle a sample of contaminated sediments taken from Angermanälven (picture taken by Ian Snowball).

The research subject of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development aims to deepen the knowledge of natural resources´ geological and geographical existence, ecological conditions, technical and socioeconomic terms and conditions, as well as environmental and social consequences of their use. Trans-disciplinary approaches are encouraged to identify and manage the flow of natural resource to society for a long term sustainable development. The research study subject offers specialization in two areas -  Global Energy Systems and Environment, Nature and Society.”

Read more about the PhD studies 

Uppsala University initiatives under NRHU

Baltic University Programme - A network of about 230 universities and other institutes of higher learning in the Baltic Sea region that aims at enhancing strong local and international educational communities.

Blue Centre Gotland - Collaboration project between Uppsala University, the County Administrative Board of Gotland and Region Gotland focusing on the research and development questions regarding water

Climate Change Leadership Research Node - As a catalyst for public debate, research, and education, the goal of the CCL Node is to actively shape an inter- and transdisciplinary intellectual environment that combines education, research, and outreach in innovative ways and applies knowledge into equitable climate action