Skip to Content

The Value of a Wetland

A Case Study in Renewable Resource Management


Thomas T. Yates
Soil Science
University of Saskatchewan


This case study introduces students to the elements of a renewable resource management project. The issue of wetland drainage, for the purpose of increasing land available for annual crop production, is used to deliver the learning outcomes. Angela, a recent graduate who studied renewable resource management, is opposed to her uncle’s plan to drain the wetlands on his farm so that he can farm more acres. Angela wants to find a way to translate the environmental and social benefits of wetlands into economic benefits to show her uncle the true value of a wetland. The case is discussed in terms of what Angela needs to do to prepare and execute the project and achieve her objectives. This case also introduces the role of environmental modeling in the development of environmental policy. A detailed discussion guide is included in the teaching notes. Written for third-year undergraduate students pursuing a degree in renewable resource management, this case is relevant to upper-year students in any environmental-type degree program.


  • Understand the basic components of a project.
  • Get practice in developing a problem statement, identifying areas for a literature search, defining objects and scope, and identifying stakeholders.
  • Think about resources required for similar projects and specific sources of data required.
  • Understand the role of environmental models in the development of policy.
  • Consider how decisions about land management balance social, environmental and economic needs.


Wetlands; wetland drainage; economic benefits; project management; environmental benefits; environmental modeling; proposal; deliverables; social benefits; stakeholders; problem statement; objectives; scope; literature review; Prairie Pothole Region

Topical Areas

Policy issues

Educational Level

Undergraduate upper division


PDF, PowerPoint

Type / Methods

Directed, Discussion



Subject Headings

Agriculture  |   Business / Management Science  |   Earth Science  |   Ecology  |   Environmental Science  |   Geography  |   Interdisciplinary Sciences  |   Natural Resource Management  |  

Date Posted


Teaching Notes

Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

Supplemental Materials

A brief presentation introducing wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region.

  Introductory PowerPoint

Answer Key

Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.