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Specialized Module Courses

Area
Environmental Transformation

  • face-to-face: students attend on campus
  • hybrid: T4EU students attend online, home students attend on campus
  • blended: the course is largely online (for all students), but there may be face-to-face elements, for instance for project work, at the mobility week or a final exam
  • basic course (BC): knowledge in area of expertise
  • application course (BC): students apply knowledge to gain experience and generate societal transformative impact in limited scope

subject title

Environmental Sciences 

The course is designed to acquire knowledge of human – environment relations from the point of sustainability. Variety and structures of ecosystems, interaction of population growth, resources depletion and environmental pollution (air, water, and soil), main environmental problems and trends on the local, regional and global scale are presented and discussed with focus on rational and sustainable use of natural resources and their protection.

More at: https://www.vdu.lt/lt/study/subject/375/ 

Vytautas Magnus University | ECTS: 4 | BCModality: online | Language: English
Start date: February 1, 2023

subject title

Ecology

In this subject, the theoretical foundations that explain the determinants of life in terrestrial and aquatic environments, the adaptations of organisms to their characteristics, as well, as the functioning of ecosystems, will be established.

This subject addresses the study of the structure of ecosystems and how they vary in space and time. It studies the transfer of matter and energy in the ecosystem as well as at higher levels of organization. Finally, the effects of humans in the environment are analysed, discussing possible strategies to seek the sustainable exploitation of ecosystems.

These theoretical concepts will be illustrated with case studies and current topics.

This knowledge constitutes the basis of professional disciplines, such as land conservation, restoration of ecosystems, forestry, management of natural areas, environmental impact assessment, etc.

University of Alicante | ECTS: 6 | BCModality: face-to-face | Language: English
Start date: January 30, 2023

For Erasmus students:

subject title

Modelling Ecological Systems

Modelling Ecological Systems is a training course in the Supplementary Compulsory module type that is taught in the 3rd year (sixth semester) Grade Biology. Its main objective is to understand the functioning of ecological systems, with special emphasis on biogeochemical cycles. This subject is related to other subjects such as ecology, oceanography, geology, and plant physiology, and it provides a framework for facilitating student approach to other areas as soil science, toxicology, or agrobiology. Knowledge of the philosophy and practice of modelling will be an invaluable tool during later courses and along student’s professional careers.

This subject will be especially interesting for training future biologists for three reasons. (1) It provides fundamental knowledge on nutrient cycling, carbon, and water. (2) It promotes a systemic vision of ecosystems, landscapes, and the planet. (3) It provides practical information on models and modelling.

University of Alicante | ECTS: 6 | ACModality: face-to-face | Language: English
Start date: January 30, 2023

For Erasmus students:

subject title

Conservation and Management of Marine Ecosystems

The course explores current issues of global change and their impact on the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems, and their implications for management and conservation of marine biodiversity.

For a detailed description of thi course, please see: a64e0cf8113b5bab89c0af636d053ce8.pdf (units.it). The presentation is in Italian and English.

University of Trieste | ECTS: 6 | Modality: hybrid | Language: English
Start date: February 27, 2023 (Mon. 3 pm. – 5 pm.; Tue. 2 pm. – 5 pm.)

subject title

Geographic Information Systems for Ecological and Economical Studies 

The primary goal of the module is to educate students in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), providing opportunities to analyze data, explore issues, problem solve, and evaluate situations in a geographic and spatial context. Specific examples will be devoted to the analysis of ecological and economic problems and how to propose practical solutions for their optimization and solution, through GIS analyses. 

Students will acquire the basics of GIS and will use GIS to: 

– Explore mapped data, 

– Relate GIS with remote sensing technologies, 

– Analyze spatial data, using GIS analysis tools, 

– Manage geodatabases, 

– Create maps, images and apps to communicate spatial data in a meaningful way to others. 

At the end of the module, students will be able to perform targeted GIS operations on case studies concerning ecology and economics. 

University of Trieste | ECTS: 3 | Modality: face-to-face and online | Language: English
Start date: tentative timeline: Class start date (online meeting): TBC (2 hours, Prof. Bacaro and Prof. Borruso) – TBC (4 hours – 2h Prof Bacaro; 2h Prof. Borruso); TBC (2 hours, Prof. Bacaro and Prof. Borruso)

Stage II: T4EU Week in Trieste: 5-9 June 2023  (a total of 10 hours, 5h Prof. Bacaro and 5h Prof. Borruso);

Stage III: Work preparation: TBC – 3 hours, Prof. Borruso; TBC – 3 hours, Prof. Bacaro

subject title

Economics of Natural Resources 

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: Know the main theoretical models 
and empirical evidence describing the relationship between economics 
and the environment. Know the basic theoretical models and 
evaluation methods used for natural resources and the environment. 
Know the main environmental policies. Understand the multidisciplinary 
notion of sustainable development and the concept of circular economy. 
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: Knowing how to understand and interpret the complexity of the relationships between the 
economic system, the environmental ecosystem and the social context, according to the multidisciplinary approach of sustainable development, with reference to different sectors and production contexts. 
MAKING JUDGEMENTS: At the end of the course, students should demonstrate their knowledge of the topics proposed during the course 
and their ability in carrying out an autonomous critical analysis of specific case studies assigned during the course. 
COMMUNICATION SKILLS: The written exam on the main topics analyzed during the course and on one of the scientific articles assigned by the teachers, aims to verify the student’s ability to communicate with the proper disciplinary lexicon the concepts learned during the course. 
LEARNING SKILLS: At the end of the course student must demonstrate that they have acquired a) the knowledge and skills described in this syllabus, and b) a critical analytical ability by taking a written exam on the topics presented during the course and on one of the scientific papers assigned by the teachers.

University of Trieste | ECTS: 6 | Modality: hybrid | Language: English
Start date: tbc

subject title

Landscape ecology – II (applied)

This course builds on the theoretical knowledge of Landscape Science and introduces students to the methodology of complex spatial analyses, with an emphasis on landscape systematization.

The main part of the course structure, and of the accompanying practical classes and seminars, is devoted to current forms of application of Landscape Ecology (approaches, methods, tools, information provision, interdisciplinary integration) in practice to solve important challenges of our time – natural, socio-cultural, economic. This includes: geoecological forecasting and the justification of long-term projections in Spatial Planning, Ecological Assessment and Strategic Planning, Landscape Multifunctionality and Ecosystem/Landscape Services, Geoecological Monitoring, the organization and management of Ecological Networks of Protected Sites.

The selection of the analytical material underlying the lecture course, as well as in the formulation of the practical exercises and seminars, is further tailored to the possibilities of integrating the landscape perspective with current concepts (and their practical solutions) such as: Nature-Based Solutions, Multifactor Solutions, Green Policies, Integrated Resource Management, Circular Economy, Ecological Engineering, etc.

This subject will be especially interesting for training future biologists for three reasons. (1) It provides fundamental knowledge on nutrient cycling, carbon, and water. (2) It promotes a systemic vision of ecosystems, landscapes, and the planet. (3) It provides practical information on models and modelling.

Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski | ECTS: 5 | BCModality: online and/or blended with some face-to-face meetings | Language: English
Start date: February 20, 2023

subject title

Mapping and assessment of ecosystem services

The course is a response to the current trends in biodiversity conservation and sustainable consumption of ecosystem services. It is focused on the basic biophysical and monetary approaches for mapping the state of ecosystems and the ecosystem services they offer. The main classes and groups of indicators applicable to different types of ecosystems are discussed and their indicative value is assessed using a rich demonstration material. The course covers the whole stage of the process of mapping and assessment of ecosystem services. Students will learn to collect and analyze data for indicators, build a database and assess the status of selected ecosystems. The course will build students’ knowledge and skills for the use of the ecosystem approach in the conservation of biological diversity and sustainable consumption of ecosystem services. lectures 30/ exercises 15.

Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski | ECTS: 4 | ACModality: online and/or blended with some face-to-face meetings | Language: English
Start date: February 20, 2023

subject title

Ecology and Environmental protection

The course presents the fundamental interactions between organisms and the natural world. It is focused on understanding the interconnections among different concepts and facts, such as the structure, function and productivity of the supra-individual biosystems – populations, communities and ecosystems. The course which include the importance of abiotic factors, competition, predation, herbivory, dispersal, diseases and harvesting strategies for fluctuations in population sizes. The course also deals with community and ecosystem theories, including structure and temporal dynamics (succession) of ecological communities, community patterns of species richness and diversity, food webs and trophic interactions, data analysis methods. The second part of the course deals with environmental protection/management presents modern population ecology as an interesting and dynamic field. The course is centered on the understanding of the abiotic and biotic mechanisms that determine the distribution and abundances of populations in nature. The course introduces central theories within population ecology and sustainable development. The class focuses on the relationships between basic ecological science and current environmental problems, such as global warming, pollution, deforestation, soil erosion, landfills, or depletion of Earth’s natural resources. The topics will introduce students to the biological effects of air, soil and water pollution, and will explore methods for minimizing pollution impacts.lectures 45/ exercises 15.

Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski | ECTS: 5 | BCModality: online and/or blended with some face-to-face meetings | Language: English
Start date: February 20, 2023

subject title

Environmental Impacts of Water Pollution

This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of water pollution and their effects on the water bodies. The course takes a broad approach. A parallel is made with the pollution of the terrestrial part of the ecosystems. Students get acquainted with a wide range of topics, including specific categories of pollutants, their sources, physical, chemical and biological transformations and impacts. An insight is given into the fundamentals of quality assessment, self-purification and the consequences of water pollutants such as inert substances, thermal pollution, nutrients, salts and oxygen demanding wastewaters, as well as the effects of hazardous pollutants: organochlorine compounds, metal ions, radionuclides and petroleum products. Attention is paid to the eutrophication and acidification of waters. It also focuses on the ways to avoid and / or reduce the impact of these pollutants on aquatic ecosystems. The course is intended for students Ecology and EP studies. lectures 30/ exercises 30.

Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski | ECTS: 5 | BCModality: online | Language: English
Start date: February 20, 2023

subject title

Ecology

The course presents the fundamental interactions between organisms and the natural world. It is focused on understanding the interconnections among different concepts and facts, such as the structure, function and productivity of populations, communities and ecosystems. Central in the course is to give an understanding of the abiotic and biotic ecological mechanisms that determine the distribution and abundances of populations in nature. The course introduces the importance of abiotic factors, competition, predation, herbivory, dispersal, diseases and harvesting strategies for fluctuations in population sizes. The course also deals with community and ecosystem theories, including structure and temporal dynamics (succession) of ecological communities, community patterns of species richness and diversity, food webs and trophic interactions. lectures 30/ exercises 15.

Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski | ECTS: 4 | BCModality: online and/or blended with some face to face meetings | Language: English
Start date: February 20, 2023

subject title

Ecological footprint

The concept of the ecological footprint is a modern and increasingly used approach to assessing the impact of man on the environment. Students will get acquainted with the direct and indirect impact of various activities on the environment. The course focuses on the different types of fingerprints, the ways to calculate them and the measures to reduce the impact on the environment. The footprints (ecological, carbon and water) will be considered in detail depending on the consumed resources and the emitted emissions and depending on the branches (plant growing, animal breeding, industrial sectors, etc.). Students will also be introduced to the footprints left by various events, the activities of companies, as well as their individual footprint. In the practical classes, students will be able to calculate the various fingerprints, make comparisons and analyzes of the data obtained. lectures 30/ exercises 15.

Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski | ECTS: 4 | ACModality: online and/or blended with some face to face meetings | Language: English
Start date: February 20, 2023

subject title

Waste Management

The course aims to introduce students to the growing worldwide problem of waste management, including all stages from collection, through temperate storage and transportation until the treatment (recovery and disposal) of waste. It is focused on the basic concepts and principles of waste management and the hierarchy of the priorities of waste treatment. Each of the priorities is discussed in detail as an opportunity for the recovery of waste, reducing the environmental risk of waste disposal, and the ability to use waste as secondary resources. It discusses also a number of alternatives to the disposal technology for waste treatment. In the course, students learn not only the most advanced options for waste treatment, but become familiar with the ecological and economic impacts of the introduction of newer technologies and approaches for waste treatment. lectures 45/ exercises 15.

Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski | ECTS: 5 | BCModality: online and/or blended with some face to face meetings | Language: English
Start date: February 20, 2023

subject title

Alternative energy sources

Theoretical and applied discipline, whose main accents systematize the technical, technological and economic bases in the development and implementation of new energy sources of alternative type. Students gain knowledge about different renewable energy resources; potential use of renewable energy technologies as a complement to and to the extent possible technologies; possibilities for combining renewable and non-renewable energy technologies in hybrid systems; strategies for enhancing the use of renewable energy resources for future demand. Time is set aside both for already established energy sources (ethanol and biogas) and for promising solutions such as hydrogen, artificial oil, biophoto batteries and more. There are considered in detail the pros and cons of every alternative energy source use. lectures 30/ exercises 15.

Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski | ECTS: 4 | BCModality: online and/or blended with some face to face meetings | Language: English
Start date: February 20, 2023