Laboratory of environmental change and global sustainability

A.A. 2021/2022
9
Crediti massimi
144
Ore totali
Lingua
Inglese
Obiettivi formativi
The course aims at introducing students, by means of one of the four monographic and multidisciplinary experiences, to the main issues concerning:
1) analysis of meteorological data, or
2) analysis of satellite environmental data, or
3) modelling the response of cropping systems to current and projected weather data, or
4) circular resources: waste and biomasses recycling and valorization by means of green chemistry principles and technologies.
Risultati apprendimento attesi
The expected learning outcomes depend on the monographic experience selected by the student.
At the end of the experience concerning meteorological data, students must be able to perform an analysis of long series of meteorological data. Specifically they must be able to face data organization; quality checks; homogeneity checks and data homogenization; data analysis, with particular focus on spatial patterns and temporal trends.
At the end of the experience concerning satellite environmental data, students must be able to perform an analysis of satellite environmental data such as solar radiation, cloud cover or snow data. Specifically they must be able to face data organization; Data download; data analysis, with particular focus on spatial patterns and temporal trends.
At the end of the experience concerning cropping systems, students must be able to generate downscaled future projections of daily weather data and to use modelling tools able to predict the effect of genotype × environment × management interactions on the productivity of key food crops. This will allow performing predictions of how near-real time weather data affect crops productivity as well as analysing climate change impacts on food availability in the coming decades.
At the end of the experience concerning waste valorisation, students will become aware of how the current technologies can support the environmental sustainability. This will be achieved through practical demonstration on supercritical fluid extraction of added-value compounds from agri-food wastes. The extracts will be then characterized by advanced analytical techniques to identify and quantify the compounds of interest. Finally, the use of the extracts in applications of industrial interest will be assessed and subjected to group discussion.
Programma e organizzazione didattica

Edizione unica

Responsabile
Periodo
Secondo semestre
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.
Programma
The monographic experience on the records of meteorological data will start with some lectures aiming at introducing the main issues that it is necessary to consider for the analysis of long series of meteorological (data organization, quality checking, homogeneity checking and homogenization, time series analysis, investigation of the underlying physical mechanism). Then the software packages R and Rstudio will be briefly presented.
After these lectures, the laboratory activities will focus on an issue selected in agreement with students. The issue will be selected in order to allow addressing all the main issue that an activity of analysis of long series of meteorological data has usually to consider. Examples of possible issues are:
· analysis of the spatial distribution of precipitation normal values over a selected geographical region;
· analysis of the spatial distribution of temperature normal values over a selected geographical region;
· analysis of the spatial distribution of solar radiation normal values over a selected geographical region;
· analysis of the temporal evolution of these variables over the selected geographical region.

The monographic experience on the records of satellite environmental data will start with some lectures aiming at introducing the main issues that it is necessary to consider for the analysis of satellite environmental data (data search, choice of the suitable satellite product, data download, data organization, quality checking, data analysis with particular focus on spatial patterns and temporal trends, development of thematic maps). Then the GIS software packages will be briefly presented.
After these lectures, the laboratory activities will focus on an issue selected in agreement with students. The issue will be selected in order to allow addressing all the main issue that an activity of analysis of satellite environmental data has usually to consider. Examples of possible issues are:
· analysis of the spatial pattern and temporal trend of incoming solar radiation over the selected geographical region;
· analysis of the spatial pattern and temporal trend of albedo over the selected geographical region;
· analysis of the spatial pattern and temporal trend of cloud cover over the selected geographical region;
· analysis of the spatial pattern and temporal trend of snow cover over the selected geographical region.

The monographic experience related with the quantification of climate change impact on food production and with the identification of adaptation strategies will start with some lectures on the development of mathematical models and on the simulation of the interactions between plants and environmental/management conditions. Case studies will be presented that will allow analyzing aspects related with the identification of the most suitable simulator for the specific objectives and with restrictions to the implementation of adaptation strategies due to specific contexts.
After the lectures, one or more issues will be identified among those of particular interest for the students, on which the practical part of the laboratory will focus. Examples of possible issues are:
· downscaling of future climate projections and management of the uncertainty in systems for quantifying climate change impacts;
· quantification of the impact of climate change on the productivity of cereals in different agro-climatic contexts;
· identification of adaptation strategies based on crop management;
· identification of adaptation strategies based on genetics.

The monographic experience on circular resources and their valorisation will include some preliminary lectures aiming at introducing the different classes of added value compounds and their relative industrial, cosmetic and nutraceutical potentialities, the green strategies for their extraction from the biomass waste, the advanced analytical techniques enabling the extract characterization (high performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, thin layer chromatography, etc.) and finally the testing methodologies depending on the targeted applications. A brief recall of data elaboration and interpretation will follow.
After these preliminary lectures, the practical laboratory activities will take place in the research labs of the Department, and students will select a topic from a list provided by the reference teacher. Possible topics will include:
· Corrosion inhibition activities of cardoon waste extract
· Evaluation of the antioxidant activity of coffee by-products extracts
· Biochar production from secondary biomass waste and evaluation of its physico-chemical properties
· Supercritical fluid extraction of oils from waste biomass and evaluation of their lubricant potentialities
Prerequisiti
The competences that are usually acquired in the first year of Environmental Change and Global Sustainability Master are sufficient to attend the course.
Metodi didattici
Teaching method consists in starting the course with lectures on theoretical topics (to provide students with the bases for understanding and developing the projects). Then the software for data analysis will be introduced. After these lectures, the experience of project development will start. Students will be divided into 4 groups and each group will have to face a different monographic and multidisciplinary experience. Each group will have one or more reference teachers for the review of the projects developed by the students. The frequency to the course is obligatory.
Materiale di riferimento
Slides of the lectures available at the ARIEL web site, videos of the lectures available at the ARIEL website
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
The exam will take place in oral form. The students present their own original work they developed during the course. After this presentation, the teachers make a list of questions with the aim of evaluating how much of the used methodologies have been assimilated by the student and how much the student is able to critically approach the investigated problem.
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