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Environmental Processes and Biodiversity (EBC)


Admission requirements



The focus in this course is on chains of causes and consequences in a (semi-) natural environment. Human activities and economical sectors causing the environmental problems and societal reaction on these problems, will get only brief attention.
The course is structured around the four main environmental themes: climate change, soil and water processes and biotic processes. Within the themes attention is paid to many processes and mechanisms such as acidification, eutrophication, hydrological change, pollution and ecotoxicology, exotic species, human disturbance and habitat fragmentation. Main focus in all topics is the impact of the processes on biodiversity.

Learning goals

Course objectives:
The objective of the Course on Environmental Processes is to make the student acquainted with the physical, chemical and biological processes that play an important role in current environmental problems.

Final qualifications:
After successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Recognize and identify the main biophysical and chemical proccesses that impact on our environment

  • Qualify the impact and consequences of human activities on these processes and be able to participate in debates on these and related issues

  • Comprehend, summarize and present relevant information on environmental processes found in the literature and scientific journal articles

After successful completion of the course, students will know:

  • The characteristics of processes controlling the main components of our environment, i.e., climate, soil, water and biota.

  • The impact of human activities and societal mechanisms on these processes

  • Various approaches leading towards more sustainable management of natural resources and associated processes.


In the mornings, the environmental themes and related topics are discussed based on presentations by internal and external experts and selected literature. A number of excursions is part of the program. The excursions take the whole day.
The afternoons are preserved for assignments, mainly writing a short paper, preparing for exams, or preparing a symposium.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, excursions, assignments, and presentations.

Assessment method



Blackboard will be used.

Reading list

Reader and lecture hand outs



Also enrollen in Blackboard

Contact information M.G. (Martina) Vijver

Dr. C.J.M. (Kees) Musters


Costs: to be decided