Bernhard Wehrli: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2018

Name Prof. em. Dr. Bernhard Wehrli
FieldAquatische Chemie
Prof.f. Aquatische Chemie
Seestrasse 79
6047 Kastanienbaum
Telephone+41 41 361 18 56
DepartmentEnvironmental Systems Science
RelationshipProfessor emeritus

529-0030-00LLaboratory Course: Elementary Chemical Techniques3 credits6PN. Kobert, A. de Mello, M. H. Schroth, B. Wehrli
AbstractThis practical course provides an introduction to elementary laboratory techniques.
The experiments cover a wide range of techniques, including analytical and synthetic techniques (e. g. investigation of soil and water samples or the preparation of simple compunds). Furthermore, the handling of gaseous substances is practised.
ObjectiveThis course is intended to provide an overview of experimental chemical methods.
The handling of chemicals and proper laboratory techniques represent the main
learning targets. Furthermore, the description and recording of laboratory processes is an essential part of this course.
ContentThe classification and analysis of natural and artificial compounds is a key subject of this
course. It provides an introduction to elementary laboratory techniques, and the experiments cover a wide range of analytic and synthetic tasks:
Selected samples (e.g. soil and water) will be analysed with various methods, such as titrations,
spectroscopy or ion chromatography. The chemistry of aqeous solutions (acid-base equilibria and solvatation or precipitation processes) is studied.
The synthesis of simple inorganic complexes or organic molecules is practised.
Furthermore, the preparation and handling of environmentally relevant gaseous species like carbon dioxide or nitrogen oxides is a central subject of the Praktikum.
Lecture notesThe script will be published on the web.
Details will be provided on the first day of the semester.
LiteratureA thorough study of all script materials is requested before the course starts.
701-0029-00LEnvironmental Systems II3 credits2VB. Wehrli, C. Garcia, M. Sonnevelt
AbstractThe lecture provides a science-based exploration of three important environmental systems: Inland waters, forest, and of food systems.
ObjectiveThe students are able to explain important functions of the three environmental systems, to discuss critical drivers, trends and conflicts of their use and to compare potential solutions.
ContentAquatic ecosystems and their function, water use and its impact, water pollution and water treatment, water and health, water technologies, water & energy.

Forests and agroforest systems, trends and drivers of land use changes, sustainable forest management.

The main functions, trends and challenges of agricultural and food systems are discussed based on the four dimensions of food security (availability, access, utilization of food and stability of the food systems).
Lecture notesLecture notes or other documentation are provided by instructors and accessible via moodle.
701-0216-00LBiogeochemical Cycles3 credits2GB. Wehrli
AbstractBiogeochemical cycles are discussed from global or regional perspectives, important methods to determine reaction rates and pathways are introduced and typical reaction mechansims are discussed at a molecular level.
ObjectiveThe students will be able to
* explain how molecular processes govern global biogeochemical cycles;
* apply simple numerical models of biogeochemical processes (equilibrium-, mass-balance, transport-reaction models);
* interpret concentration changes in time and space and deduce rates of biogeochemical processes.
ContentBiogeochemical cycles in aquatic systems will be discussed from three perspectives: 1) Case studies with a gloabal or regional point of view will document the relevant background information on rates, time-scales and reservoirs of selected element cycles such as C, N, P, S, Fe, Mn Cd, Cu, Mo and As. 2) From a practical perspective we will compare the potential and limits of different methods to quantify biogeochemical processes in aquatic systems. 3) On a molecular level we will discuss mechanisms and pathways of relevant reactions.
Lecture notesLecture notes and assignments will be available in German
LiteratureSimilar coverage of some topics: Steven R. Emerson, John I. Hedges: Chemical Oceanography and the Marine Carbon Cycle. Cambridge University Press 2008.
Prerequisites / NoticeBasic knowledge in chemistry and systems analysis
701-1302-00LTerm Paper 2: Seminar
Prerequisite: Term Paper 1: Writing (701-1303-00L).
2 credits1SM. Ackermann, L. Winkel, N. Gruber, J. Hering, R. Kretzschmar, M. Lever, K. McNeill, D. Or, M. H. Schroth, B. Wehrli
AbstractThis class is the 2nd part of a series and participation is conditional on the successful completion of the Term paper Writing class (701-1303-00L). The results from the term paper written during the winter term are presented to the other students and advisors and discussed.
ObjectiveThe goal of the term paper Seminars is to train the student's ability to communicate the results to a wider audience and the ability to respond to questions and comments.
ContentEach student presents the results of the term paper to the other students and advisors and responds to questions and comments from the audience.
Lecture notesNone
LiteratureTerm paper
Prerequisites / NoticeThe term papers will be made publically available after each student had the opportunity to make revisions.

There is no final exam. Grade is assigned based on the quality of the presentation and ensuing discussion.
701-1303-00LTerm Paper 1: Writing Restricted registration - show details 5 credits6AL. Winkel, N. Gruber, J. Hering, R. Kretzschmar, M. Lever, K. McNeill, D. Or, B. Wehrli
AbstractThe ability to critically evaluate original (scientific) literature and to summarize the information in a succinct manner is an important skill for any student. This course aims to practise this ability, requiring each student to write a term paper on a topic of relevance for research in the areas of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics.
ObjectiveThe goal of the term paper is to train the student's ability to
critically evaluate a well-defined set of research subjects, and to
summarize the findings concisely in a paper of scientific quality. The
paper will be evaluated based on its ability to communicate an
understanding of a topic, and to identify key outstanding questions.
Results from this term paper will be presented to the fellow students and
involved faculty in the following term (Term paper seminars class)
ContentEach student is expected to write a paper with a length of approximately 15 pages. The students can choose from a list of topics prepared by the supervisors, but the final topic will be determined based on a balance of choice and availability. The students will be guided and advised by their advisors throughout the term. The paper itself should contain the following elements: Motivation and context of the given topic (25%), Concise presentation of the state of the science (50%), Identification of open questions and perhaps outline of opportunities for research (25).
In addition, the accurate use of citations, attribution of ideas, and the judicious use of figures, tables, equations and references are critical components of a successful paper. Specialized knowledge is not expected, nor required, neither is new research.
Lecture notesGuidelines and supplementary material will be handed out at the beginning of the class.
LiteratureWill be identified based on the chosen topic.
Prerequisites / NoticeEach term paper will be reviewed by one fellow student and one faculty. The submission of a written review is a prerequisite for obtaining the credit points.
There is no final exam. Grade is assigned based on the quality of the term paper and the submission of another student's review.

Students are expected to take Term Paper Writing and Term Paper Seminar classes in sequence.
701-1504-00LWinter School "Perspectives on Daylight for the Environment, Health and Architecture"1 credit2GC. Bratrich, B. Wehrli
AbstractThe ETH Winter Schools provide young researchers with the opportunity to work on current and sustainability-related topics in interdisciplinary and intercultural teams. Focus is given not only to teaching theoretical knowledge but also to solving specific case studies.
ObjectiveWithin the ETH Zurich's new Critical Thinking Initiative (CTI), students are being guided to become critical and independently thinking individuals. During the course of their studies, they will acquire the following key skills and qualifications: the capability to analyse and reflect critically, to form an independent opinion and develop a point of view, as well as to communicate, argue and act in a responsible manner.

Based on this concept, the ETH Sustainability Winter School is providing its students with the following qualifications and learning outcomes:

- Improved scientific competence: Students gain basic knowledge in different scientific disciplines that goes beyond their selected study discipline.

- Methodological competence: Students gain basic knowledge in different scientific methods that goes beyond of their selected study discipline.

- Reflection competence: Students will learn how to work in interdisciplinary and intercultural teams to critically reflect their own way of thinking, their own research approaches, and how the academic world influences society.

- Implementation skills: Students will apply creative technologies in solution finding processes to gain knowledge and prototyping-skills to increase hands on experience by applying knowledge in concrete cases.
Literaturefurther information:
Prerequisites / NoticeThe Winter School 2019 by ETH Sustainability will invite 30 Bachelor, Master and PhD students from a wide range of nationalities and disciplines. The course aims to ensure a well-balanced mixture between science and technology.

Candidates will be selected from all relevant disciplines (e.g. Architecture, Environmental Engineering, Science, Environmental and Social Science, Business, Communication). Applicants will be evaluated on their academic strength, creativity, technical-related expertise, and their dedication to solving humanity's grand challenges.

The call for applications will be launched in autumn 2018.