TEP4220 - Understanding and Quantifying Environmental Impacts on Ecosystems


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Home examination
Grade: Letters

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Home examination 70/100 4 hours
Hjemmeeksamen (semesterprøve) 30/100 2 hours

Course content

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 and human health. The following environmental impacts will be covered: Climate change, toxicity, acidification, eutrophication, particulate matter formation, land and water use. Novel developments within life cycle impact assessment will be discussed. The course will also introduce the student to related methods such as risk assessment and simple multimedia modeling.The spatial differentiation of impacts and the consideration of their uncertainty will be introduced.

Learning outcome

The student will gain knowledge and understanding
- of the dominant problems for biodiversity and ecosystems
- in the definition of ecosystem services
- of the differences, strenghts and weaknesses of different impact assessment methodologies
- of a variety of LCIA impact categories (such as toxicity,
acidification, particulate matter emissions, eutrophication and
water use), including the background of the methodological development, the importance of spatial differentiation and uncertainties

At the end of the term, students should:
- Have gained an thorough overview of the major environmental stressors that are affecting ecosystems and biodiversity
- Be familiar with the principles for the development of life cycle impact assessment methodologies for ecosystems with all their strengths and weaknesses.
-Have the ability to set up and solve multimedia mass balance models (steady-state),
-Have the ability to define system boundaries for LCA applications and footprinting
-Have the ability to critically interpret outcomes of LCAs and perform simple LCA assessments
- Have gained knowledge about the background and execution of other assessment approaches (such as risk assessment).
- Be able to judge the limits of different tools such as LCA, risk assessment and footprinting
-Be able to judge the application possibilities of the above-mentioned tools

The main focus will be on impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity, but important impact categories for human health will be included as well.

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.

Compulsory assignments

  • Exercises

Further on evaluation

Portofolio assessment is the basis for the grade in the course. The portofolio includes a final written exam (70%) and written midterm exam (30%). The result for the parts are given in %-scores, while the entire portofolio is assigned a letter grade.

If there is a re-sit examination, the examination form may be changed from written to oral.

For at re-take of an examination, all assessments during the course must be re-taken, the mid-term exam has to be taken a second time as well.
Exercises do not need to be handed in a second time.

Course materials

Course material, consisting of reports and scientific literature will be posted via It’s learning.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SIO4065 7.5
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2021

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Environmental and Resource Engineering
  • Energy and Process Engineering
  • Industrial Ecology
  • Technological subjects
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Energy and Process Engineering


Examination arrangement: Home examination

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD Hjemme-eksamen (semesterprøve) (1) 30/100





Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Home examination (2) 70/100





Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS Hjemme-eksamen (semesterprøve) 30/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS Home examination 70/100 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.
  • 1) Merk at eksamensform er endret som et smittevernstiltak i den pågående koronasituasjonen. Please note that the exam form has changed as a preventive measure in the ongoing corona situation
  • 2) Merk at eksamensform er endret som et smittevernstiltak i den pågående koronasituasjonen. Please note that the exam form has changed as a preventive measure in the ongoing corona situation

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

More on examinations at NTNU