Course ObjectiveIn this course students learn about the environment’s pivotal role in
achieving sustainable solutions for human development, mainly focused on
global environmental problems. After this course, students:
1. can explain key concepts from the natural sciences relevant for the
study of sustainability;
2. can characterize key components of the environment, namely water,
land and atmosphere, and can explain key processes affecting their
3. can explain the role of the environment in socio-environmental
4. can identify methods to quantify the state of the environment, and
analyze environmental change;
5. can perform SWOT derived from the environmental conditions for
specific sustainability challenges.
Course ContentThe environment plays a crucial role in supporting societies, for
example by providing materials, energy, food, clean air, and clean
water. Environmental conditions change over space and time, influenced
by both natural and human factors. In this course students learn about
the environment’s pivotal role in achieving sustainable solutions for
human development. Starting from the key environmental components water,
land and atmosphere, we characterize environmental change and how that
leads to other environmental and societal changes. Methods to assess
environmental change are addressed and students identify for their
specific case studies what strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and
threats are associated to the ‘planet dimension’. The course comprises
interactive lectures and exercises and is evaluated through an
assignment and a written exam.
Teaching MethodsThe course is organized in thematic weeks, which provide students with
an understanding of the specifics of the dimensions water, land and
atmosphere, how these can be studied and how they interact. Each week
has 1 to 2 lectures, in parallel to which students develop their
assignment. Lectures and assignment are supported by in-class
discussions, reading material, and exercises.
Method of AssessmentThe course will be evaluated through
1) A poster assignment within which you describe and quantify the
relevant environmental conditions and the rate of change for your
specific sustainability challenge (30% of final grade)
2) A closed-book written exam (70% of final grade).
- An overall minimum grade of 5.5 is required to pass the course.
- A minimum grade of 5.0 for the exam is required to pass the course.
- There is one resit opportunity for the exam (typically in April).
- Assignments with a grade lower than 5.5 can be improved once, after
which the maximum grade that can be obtained for the assignment is 6.0.
LiteratureThe course builds on a series of selected articles, relative to the
lecture content. Required and recommended readings are listed at the
Moreover we make use of:
- Open data sources, educational software packages, websites, videos etc
Target AudienceThe course is primarly aimed at students following the minor
Sustainability: Global Challenges,
Interdisciplinary Solutions, but is open to all 3rd year BSc students.
Additional InformationThe course is coordinated by Dr. Ted Veldkamp
- Dr. Ted Veldkamp
- Dr. Ziga Malek
- Prof. Guido van der Werf
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||Faculty of Science|
|Course Coordinator||T.I.E. Veldkamp MSc|
|Examiner||T.I.E. Veldkamp MSc|
dr. A.J.A. van Teeffelen
prof. dr. J.C.J.H. Aerts
prof. dr. G.R. van der Werf
prof. dr. ir. P.H. Verburg
T.I.E. Veldkamp MSc
You need to register for this course yourself
Last-minute registration is available for this course.
|Teaching Methods||Seminar, Lecture|
This course is also available as: