IES: Introduction to Environmental Sciences

Course Description: 

The course aims to develop an understanding of the functioning of ecosystems and the environmental challenges which arise at the interface between them and human societies, including in particular the problems of serving global demands in energy and other natural resources. At the end of the course a successful student should be able to:

  1. Understand basic concepts, principles and laws of ecology; be aware of the main ecological theories; understanding ecological processes including the flow of energy, and materials in ecosystems, ecological succession and evolution.
  2. Understand the key concepts of environmental impact at different scales and associated ecological issues at global, regional and local levels;
  3. Know the purpose and key elements of environmental indicator frameworks, the ways indicators and indices can be used;
  4. Identify key environmental issues associated with agriculture and food security issues and human health.
Learning Outcomes: 
  • Understanding of basic laws, principles and concepts of ecology
  • Understanding of energy and material flows in ecosystems
  • Understanding key human-induced processes affecting the biosphere
  • Understanding main factors of population dynamics and related consumption and environmental issues
  • Ability to work with environmental indicators and knowledge of main indicator frameworks
  • Identify key environmental issues associated with agriculture
Assessment: 

Exam consisting of two essay questions (50% + 50%)

Prerequisites: 

none