TEP4220 - Understanding and Quantifying Environmental Impacts on Ecosystems
The course addresses environmental impacts and their assessment. The course shall familiarize the students with different tools for quantifying these environmental impacts with a main focus on impact pathways damaging ecosystems. Methodologically, the stress is on Life Cycle Impact Assessment and its methods to assess impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human health. Following environmental impacts will be covered: Climate change, toxicity, acidification, eutrophication, particulate matter formation, land and water use. The course will also introduce the student to related methods such as risk assessment and integrated assessment modelling.The spatial differentiation of impacts and the assessment of their uncertainty will be introduced.
The student will gain knowledge and understanding
- of the dominant problems for biodiversity and ecosystems
- in the definition of ecosystem services
- in different assessment methodologies
- in a variety of LCIA impact categories (such as toxicity,
acidification, particulate matter emissions, eutrophication and
water use), including methodological development, spatial
differentiation and uncertainties
- of climate change mechanisms
The course should give the student:
- In-depth knowledge about the major environmental problems mainly related to ecosystems and biodiversity.
- Familiarisation with the development of life cycle impact assessment methodologies for ecosystems with all their strengths and weaknesses.
- The ability to perform a complete LCA study and critically interpret the results.
- Knowledge about the background and execution of other assessment approaches.
- The ability to set up models and solve them for each of the tools accordingly.
- Knowledge about the application possibilities and limits of a variety of tools for assessing environmental impacts with a focus on ecosystems and biodiversity.
Learning methods and activities
The course consists of lectures and discussions, as well as exercises. The course includes compulsory reading (mainly from the scientific literature). Lectures and exercises will be in English.
2/3 of the exercises/group work needs to be approved to be allowed to the exam.
The exam will be in English. Students are free to choose Norwegian or English for written assessments.
If there is a re-sit examination, the examination form may be changed from written to oral.
Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester, or that compulsory activities are approved in a previous semester.
Recommended previous knowledge
University-level mathematics, Life cycle assessment (LCA), e.g. through TEP4223.
Course material, consisting of reports and scientific literature will be posted via its learning.
Examination arrangement: Written examination/Midterm
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