Environmental Science and Policy laboratory

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The laboratory has the primary objective to provide students with methods and techniques to apply in a multidisciplinary perspective the theoretical knowledge and operational skills learnt during the course of study. These skills will enable them to operationally interpret and explain phenomena and processes concerning the environment, in order to address and solve complex problems that arise in this field.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the lab, students will be able to:
- use the best practices and operational skills of the scientific method to analyze, interpret and explain issues and processes concerning the environment;
- read and interpret environmental issues at different levels, using an interdisciplinary approach;
- work both independently and in multidisciplinary groups to address and solve problems related to the environment;
- have cognitive tools that allow the immediate integration in operative working contexts;
- communicate and transmit the results of their work in a fashion suitable to the context in which they are working
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/2022 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
The course aims at providing students with the skills and tools necessary to tackle complex projects related to environmental issues, through the use of a quantitative and multidisciplinary approach. The student can choose among four monographic experiences which consist of lectures, seminars, practical experiences and group work:
i) Laboratory of quantitative analysis of the impact of pollutants on human health: computational and experimental methods.
ii) Laboratory of mixed agriculture systems and territory.
iii) Ecological Planning Laboratory.
iv) Civil and industrial wastewater management laboratory: regulatory, technical and economic aspects.

The Laboratory of quantitative analysis of the impact of pollutants on human health, provides students with the basic notions on how to analyze human health data in a quantitative way and with a statistical approach that allows to extract most of the significant information.
The students will be provided with quantitative computational tools and biological and biomedical data interpretation tools. The overall training objective of the course is to lay the foundations for understanding the main risks to human health in their complexity and to provide quantitative tools for monitoring. In silico and laboratory tools will also be provided to design possible risk prevention strategies.

The Laboratory of Systems of Mixed Agriculture and Territory, intends to provide useful information to an environmental manager on the interactions between livestock, agricultural activities, technologies and the environment. The student will be asked to apply the acquired knowledge to:
- understand the fundamental principles of mixed agricultural systems in different territorial scenarios;
- provide optimal solutions for sustainable livestock production linked to the territory;
- meet animal welfare requirements;
- use in vitro methodologies for the evaluation of contaminants;
- identify the appropriate technologies for the enhancement of food products of animal origin and the minimization of waste;
- address specific sector problems.

The Ecological Planning Laboratory, thanks to the integration of disciplines belonging to urban planning and ecology, provides operational skills in the field of environmental planning and landscape design. In particular:
- Identification of ecological and / or ecosystem services performed by natural and / or anthropogenic elements;
- Evaluation and quantification of the benefits of ecological and / or ecosystem services for human beings;
- Planning of interventions on the environment based on an approach that is not only ecological, but also economic and historical-cultural;
- Measurement of the incidence of territorial governance processes on agri-environmental systems.

The civil and industrial wastewater management laboratory intends to provide the student with the basic knowledge and tools necessary for a complete and integrated management of the water cycle in production processes, in accordance with the current environmental legislation. Notions will be provided on sources and on the estimation of polluting loads (organic component, phosphorus, nitrogen and metal species).
Both conventional methods and innovative technologies for the removal of specific pollutants such as oxidation processes, chemical precipitation, adsorption, ion exchange, electrochemical technologies will be the subject of experiments.
Students attending the activities of the laboratory will also be provided with basic notions regarding, for example:
- the use of "field" probes for the measurement of pH, dissolved oxygen and electrical conductivity;
- the measurement of total suspended solids and COD;
- the performance of "Sludge Volume Index" tests;
- simulation of chemical-physical treatment tests using flocculators;
- simulation of activated sludge processes.
Prerequisites for admission
The competences that are usually acquired in the first two years of the Bachelr degree programme in Environmental Science and Policy are considered adequate to attend lessons and practical experiences of the Laboratory.
Teaching methods
The course includes a series of lectures in which the theoretical basis for understanding and developing projects will be provided. Some thematic seminars will be held by external experts. Following these lessons, it will also be possible to carry out some practical experiences preparatory to the project development activities. Depending on the number of enrolled students, students will be divided into groups that will deal with a different monographic and multidisciplinary experience. Each group will have one or more teachers to refer to in the review phases of the developed projects. The attendance is compulsory.
Teaching Resources
The reference material consists of the teacher's lecture notes and any video lessons that will be made available on the ARIEL platform.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The assessment procedure of students' learning consists in the presentation of their own project developed during the course which will be discussed in front of the teaching staff with the aim of assessing how well the student has assimilated the methodologies he applied and to verify how much he is able to think critically.
After appointment
DEFENS - Science and Technology of Agro-Environmental Systems
Tuesday 10-12 am by appointment to be requested via email a few days before
tower C, 6th floor, Via Celoria 26
Every Monday, hours to be agreed by email
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