Course name: Applied Ecology
Course code: 064029
Degree course: Ingegneria per l'Ambiente e il Territorio
Disciplinary field of science: BIO/07
L'insegnamento è caratterizzante per: Ingegneria per l'Ambiente e il Territorio
University credits: CFU 6
Course website: n.d.
Specific course objectives
Complements Applied Ecology is a Master Level course targeted to provide the students with the capability to maximize the effectiveness of environmental engineering projects. Thus the course has a very practical and operational approach, aiming since the beginning to involve the student in an active role, guiding the acquisition of autonomous capacity to analyse an environmental problem and to prepare an environmental study for the optimization of a project, by the environmental point of view. The basic knowledge taught include: characterization of the ecosystem under consideration, the identification of environmental risk, the quantitative assessment of the effects of pollution and/or habitat alteration. The skills gained include: the method of selecting the problem environmental research documentation, critical analysis of material found, data processing, ability to set up a simulation model of the evolution of the system environment-action, consistent with the project and capable to be used as a project DSS. The method learned by students attending this course is: the conceptualization of the environmental problem and then development of an ad hoc simulation model to simulate the case study, its use as decision support to environmental projecting on a real case study, environmental reporting and effective presentation.
The course approach is, necessarily, collaborative. In fact, the course is based on students-teacher teamwork, developing the attitude to exchange and integrate the various pieces of work individually implemented within a shared environmental study.
Lectures and exercises proceed in synchrony in timing and content. The ongoing tests have a seminar approach.
Characterization of ecosystems, with particular reference to inland and coastal waters.
Simulation models of ecosystems and ecological processes.
Application examples of calculations of forecast dynamics induced by environmental pollution and habitat deterioration.
Several aspects of environmental risk:
- ecological balance, biodiversity, resource availability
- the concept of maximum acceptable pollutant load
- Fundamentals of Ecotoxicology
- the relationship between ecosystems and health risk
Analysis, evaluation and management of ecological functionality of an environment
Operational procedure and methods of conducting an environmental study, applied to a work of engineering
Elements of finding, collecting, processing and presentation of environmental data
Course entry requirements
There are no prerequisites, but knowledge of English (reading of technical and scientific texts) is useful, since most of the reference material is in English.
Having passed the exam of Applied Ecology (Graduate) itís definitely very beneficial from a training point of view, though not essential, since the two courses are independent as regards the acquisition of specific skills.
Course structure and teaching
Lectures (hours/year in lecture theatre): 30
Practical class (hours/year in lecture theatre): 30
Practicals / Workshops (hours/year in lecture theatre): 0
Suggested reading materials
Is provided by the teacher during a CD containing the complete track of the lessons, as files in PowerPoint slides are hyperlinks to dynamic simulation models and all the material necessary depth provided in the CD itself and to which access is contextually given a guide. This reference material is not only useful exam preparation but oriented to the first professional applications. At the end of each lesson is quoted a bibliography, traditional and online, which is indicated for use as appropriate (at training and / or professional).
Testing and exams
The assessment of student performance is based on:
- Application and return to exercises (which the attendance is compulsory).
- Participation in meetings tutorial discussions and results in teamwork.
The seminars are valuable evidence in the pipeline. Those who follow the course gets a score composed during the conduct of exercises and seminars, based on participation and performance.
For those who have not attended the lessons and / or seminars, the evaluation will, instead, based on a written test (of whether knowledge of the topics of the program) and a subsequent examination preparatory to the practical (using the software Stella, provided the documentation CD) and a discussion about a case study previously agreed between teacher and candidate.