This is an introduction to the field of Environmental Science, with a focus on Ecosystems and Biodiversity. We will focus on how human disturbances affect individuals, populations, communities and even entire ecosystems. We will also learn which mechanisms organisms have developed to deal with these stressors.
In addition, we will discuss the key methods which are available to study environmental impacts (e.g. field, modelling and lab studies), to better understand the advantages and disadvantages of these tools when assessing environmental impacts.
Students will conduct a group research project, which includes data collection in the field. Students will conduct some basic analyses on the collected data and will discuss the results. This way students receive both theory in the classroom, and apply this knowledge during a research project.
Content: *Discuss and define important concepts in the field of environmental sciences; *Briefly describe major environmental processes related to ecosystems and biodiversity, and how these processes can be affected by human activity;
List and discuss human impacts on the environment, and describe how organisms and ecosystems can be affected by these impacts;
Describe and discuss different methods used in environmental science to determine impacts.
Develop a basic population model, and discuss strengths and shortcomings of the model;
Conduct a field study, write a report and give a presentation on the outcomes of the experiment.
Once available, timetables will be published here.
Mode of instruction
The main mode of instruction will centre around lectures and discussions on current topics on environmental sciences. In addition, students are required to complete individual and group assignments. To facilitate completion of these assignments, there will be some time set aside during lectures to discuss and work on assignments (the remainder of the work is conducted outside class hours). Attendance is compulsory for students.
Assessment will occur through one final exam, one individual assignment (modelling report), and a group assignment (field study). In addition, participation in class will determine part of the final grade.
Modelling Assignment: 35%
Group Assignment: 30%
Course Participation: 5%
Final Exam: 30%
Exam: The exam will consist of a combination of short-answer and essay questions based on the content covered in class.
Modelling assignment: You will hand in a short individual assignment in which you model the impacts of human disturbances on a population of organisms.
Group assignment: This group project consists of a field component in which data is collected, a data-analysis, and a group presentation/discussion in class.
Course participation: You will be assessed throughout the block on your class participation
There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.
Will be made available prior to the start of the class. No textbook required
This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Thijs Bosker, email@example.com
Dr. Ellen Cieraad, firstname.lastname@example.org