The teaching aims to provide students with the knowledge about the main environemntal issues caused by human activities, including the impacts on natural ecosystems, also listing the methods and the procedures currently available to reduce these impacts.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the teaching the student will be able to have a critical view of the main environmental problems caused by human activities, and will have acquired the knowledge on methods and solutions currently available to reduce the impacts caused by human activities towards ecosystems.
The course deals with the main issues related to adverse effects of anthropic activities on ecosystem functions and biotic communities, describing the approaches and methods currently available for monitoring, reducing and/or managing such effects. For simplicity, these issues will be addressed separately for aerial, aquatic and terrestrial environments.
Aerial environments: Effects of natural emissions and anthropic activity on atmosphere composition and dynamics that regulate its components. Methods of monitorning air pollution, and techniques to assess emission, diffusion, transport and deposition of airborne pollutants. Effects of air pollution at the local and global scale: acid rain, smog, greenhouse effect alterations, thinning of the ozone layer. Methods of monitoring and control of emissions. Indoor pollution.
Aquatic environments: Sources and processes that regulate the distribution of contaminants in aquatic environments. Eutrophication and chemical pollution. Methods for the monitoring of contamination and effects of aquatic contaminants. Techniques of wastewater treatment, phytodepuration, biofiltration and biomanipulation of eutrophic ecosystems. Overexploitation of aquatic resources: fisheries and aquaculture, overfishing, and principles of fisheries management. Aquaculture and approaches towards a sustainable aquacuture.
Terrestrial environments: Sources of degradation and pollution of soils, including erosion, deforestation and chemical contamination. Green Revolution and agroecosystems. Alternative methods to reduce the use of pesticides: biological pest control methods. Principles of solid waste and their management.
Prerequisites for admission
Basics of ecology are 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.