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Prospectus

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Biodiversity in the City

Course
2019-2020

Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA Urban Studies programme.

Description

Biodiversity is the diversity of life on earth and one of the most important resources for human society. Habitat destruction by agriculture and urbanization is the major cause of decline of biodiversity nowadays worldwide. An increasing part of Earth’s terrestrial surface is becoming urbanized, making it also increasingly important to look, besides the negative effects of urbanization on biodiversity, into the chances for biodiversity and novel ecosystems and the importance of biodiversity for the urban society through its ecosystem services.

In this course we will introduce these aspects through ecological “glasses”, so studying:

  • the interrelationships between biotic (native and introduced plants and animals, as well as humans) elements themselves, between biotic and abiotic (buildings, pavements, walls, soils, water, climate etc.) elements and the major ecological processes within the urban ecosystem (e.g. nutrient cycles and evolution);

  • how to manage all these elements to get an optimal green urban environment for both biodiversity and society.

A proper understanding of biodiversity in the urban areas is needed to optimize diversity and profit as much as possible from its natural values and ecosystem services. An adequate management include attention to existing values, green corridors, green walls and roofs, nature inclusive building, proper spatial planning and management (mowing etc.) and good (psychological) communication with companies and public.

Teaching materials and methods includes short lectures, field excursions in The Hague, reading books and articles, assignments including some field work.

This is the Sustainable City Thematic Elective.

Course objectives

The student has acquired:

  • 1) Deepening knowledge on urban landscapes, biodiversity, ecology and evolution

  • 2) Basic skills a.o. biodiversity identification, monitoring and data

  • 3) Basic building blocks solutions e.g. : green services, psychology, building with nature

Timetable

The timetable is available on the Urban Studies website

Mode of instruction

  • Work group (compulsory attendance)
    This means that students have to attend every session of the course. If a student is unable to attend a workgroup, they should inform the lecturer in advance, providing a valid reason for absence. The teacher will determine if and how the missed session can be compensated by an additional assignment. If they are absent from a workgroup without a valid reason, they can be excluded from the final exam in the course.

  • Excursion

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 10 EC (1 EC equals 28 hours), which equals 280 hours, broken down by:

  • Attending lectures: 12

  • Practical work: 90

  • Attending work groups: 12

  • Study of compulsory literature: 100

  • Completing assignment(s), preparing for classes and exams: 62

  • Assessment hours (exams): 4

Assessment method

Assessment

  • Mid-term exam
    Written exam consisting of short open questions and closed questions (e.g. multiple choice)

  • Final exam
    Written exam consisting of short open questions and closed questions (e.g. multiple choice)

  • Abstract and oral presentation

Weighing

Partial grade Weighing
Work group grade: abstract and presentation 40
Mid term exam 30
Final exam 30

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:

  • The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of the work group grade, midterm exam grade, and final exam grade.

  • The weighted average of the midterm exam grade and the final exam grade needs to be 5.50 or higher.

  • This means that failing exam grades cannot be compensated with a high work group grade.

Resit

If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or the final exam grade is lower than 5,50, there is a possibility of retaking the written examination material, replacing the previous exam grade(s). No resit for the work group grade is possible.

Faculty regulations concerning participation in resits are listed in article 4.1 of the Faculty Course and Examination Regulations.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used for:

  • programme

  • announcements (excursions)

  • feedback on assignments

  • .pdfs of introductory lectures

Reading list

  • Vink. J. et al, 2017, Making urban nature/Stadsnatuur maken, nai010 uitgeverij, Rotterdam

  • Schilthuizen, M., Darwin comes to town

The additional reading list for the course will be contained in the course syllabus which will be posted on Blackboard before the start of the course.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Contact

W.L.M. Tamis

Remarks

None.