BI2081 - Nature, Environment and Sustainability


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: School exam
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
School exam 100/100 4 hours E

Course content

All interventions in nature and the exploitation of natural resources involve change, whether it relates to harvest/capture, food production, invasion of alien species, area use, or industry development. In this course it will be discussed how sustainable use of nature can support development that may fulfill today's requirements without destroying the capacity to fulfill the requirements of coming generations. The course will give an introduction to different terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, their structure and function, and their turnover of energy and mass. This is related to how the vulnerability of these systems affects the biodiversity and critical levels of different interventions and influences. Various terms used to explain and describe sustainability will be introduced, such as ecosystem services, possible tools for evaluation of ecosystem limits, ecological footprints due to exploitation, production of food and goods, and life-cycle-analysis and corporate responsibility. An overview of the most important national and international institutions working with the UN sustainability goals and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (Nature agreement) will be offered. Students will work with the the different UN reports related to environmental sustainability, and how these are related to more local situations and political processes for possible change. The student group work will mostly focus on specific topics of NTNU's research activity that are related to the UN sustainability goals.

Learning outcome


After the course, the student should be able to:

  • give an account of the different types ecosystems, and how various interventions can change the biodiversity and critical intervention levels.
  • give a general understanding of sustainability in relation to the use of natural resources
  • understand and explain important concepts used to explain sustainability in relation to the use of natural resources
  • have a general understanding and be able to explain how the most important tools and methods are used for evaluation of sustainability
  • be able to explain the development of the UN sustainability goals and the Nature agreemet, and how they can be applied locally and globally
  • understand and explain how the consideration of sustainability can affect the development of technology and society (knowledge for a better world)
  • understand how your own field of science can contribute to achieve the UN sustainability goals


After the course, the student should be able to:

  • assess the consequences of different choices in a sustainability perspective
  • reflect over different ways to evaluate sustainability
  • understand available environmental data for sustainability models

General competence:

After the course, the student should be able to:

  • participate and understand discussions related to problem solving and analyses/evaluation of sustainability
  • reflect on multidisciplinary challenges related to achieving the UN sustainability goals
  • understand the principles and the significance of sustainability models
  • consider own field of science and own role in a global sustainability perspective

Learning methods and activities

Learning methods and activities

Lectures: 40 hours

Group work/øvinger: 40 hours

Obligatory project work in groups

The teaching is based on lectures and student activities such as group based work and excercises. Learning outcome should be similar for all campuses, with responsible teachers at different campuses for possible geographical adaptations and local student activities. The course consists of two modules:

1: Theoretical introduction to ecosystems and tools for evaluation of sustainability

2: Case based teaching (excercises, student projects) Estimated mean work load for a week through the semester: 2-3 hours lectures, 2-3 hours group work, and 7 hours self-study.

Compulsory assignments: Student excercises and group work

Compulsory assignments

  • Project assessment
  • Mandatory attendance

Further on evaluation

Obligatory activities in this course includes both 75% obligatory attendance and a project. Both must be approved in the same term for the student to be allowed to do the final exam.

In the case of 'fail' or 'retake', the final written examination needs to be taken again. Appeals for reassessment apply to the final written examination. The written exam can be changed to an oral exam in the semester when the course is not taught.

Course materials

Will be announced at the beginning of the course

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
TIØ4300 4.0 AUTUMN 2020
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Intermediate course, level II


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2024

Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2025

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Ålesund , Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Biology
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Biology


Examination arrangement: School exam

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD School exam 100/100 E INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD School exam 100/100 E INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

More on examinations at NTNU