The teaching aims to provide to students the basics to evaluate the main problems related to anthropic pollution and the potential critical issues regarding natural ecosystems. The focus will be mainly on the problems of the main compartments that characterize natural ecosystems.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the teaching the student will be able to learn about the main issues related to contamination and environmental pollution, the main methodological and instrumental approaches for the correct management of environmental contamination and critical skills to face environmental problems related to pollution.
Atmosphere: Effects of natural emissions and anthropic activity on the atmosphere composition and the dynamics that regulate its components. Detailed study of air pollution, diffusion, transport and deposition of airborne pollutants. Effects of air pollution at the global scale: acid rain, smog, greenhouse effect alteration and global warming, thinning of the ozone layer. Urban pollution and effects on humans and living organisms. Indoor pollution. Hydrosphere: Water pollution, sources and processes that regulate the distribution of contaminants. Eutrophication and chemical pollution, emerging contaminants (pharmaceutical and personal care products, drugs of abuse). Effects of contaminants on aquatic organisms (Extended biotic index, ecotoxicological tests, biomarkers). Techniques of wastewater treatment, phytodepuration and biofiltration. Biomanipulation of eutrophic ecosystems. Marine pollution (oil spills, plastics and warfare residual). Lithosphere: Factors and processes of pedogenesis. Sources of degradation and pollution of the soil. Green Revolution and Sustainable Agriculture. Biological pest control. The problem of solid waste. Biosphere and biodiversity conservation: Biodiversity, alien species and loss of biodiversity.
Prerequisites for admission
Good knowledge of ecology is required.
Course delivery methods will be based on interactive lectures supported by projected material (Slides). The slides will be provided on the ARIEL website of the teaching. The students will be involved in the discussion of the topics of the teaching to improve their critical skills, reworking the concepts acquired and communicating the concepts appropriately.
Verification of student preparation consists of an oral exam structured as follow. First, students have to identify a scientific article related to one of the topics covered in class and present its contents through a short oral presentation of 5 minutes, in which they will discuss the rationale of the work, the methods used and the obtained results. The discussion of the contents of the scientific article will be supported by a PowerPoint presentation to be shown at the time of the oral examination. The discussion of the article will be then followed by some questions related to the topic covered by the article mentioned above and by other questions on the diverse topics covered during the teaching course.