Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2016

Environmental Sciences Bachelor Information
Bachelor Studies (Programme Regulations 2016)
Basic Courses I
First Year Examinations
529-2001-02LChemistry I Information O4 credits2V + 2UW. Uhlig, J. E. E. Buschmann, S. Canonica, P. Funck, E. C. Meister, R. Verel
AbstractGeneral Chemistry I: Chemical bond and molecular structure, chemical thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium.
ObjectiveIntroduction to general and inorganic chemistry. Basics of the composition and the change of the material world. Introduction to the thermodynamically controlled physico-chemical processes. Macroscopic phenomena and their explanation through atomic and molecular properties. Using the theories to solve qualitatively and quantitatively chemical and ecologically relevant problems.
Content1. Stoichiometry

2. Atoms and Elements (Quantenmechanical Model of the Atom)

3. Chemical Bonding

4. Thermodynamics

5. Chemical Kinetics

6. Chemical Equilibrium (Acids and Bases, Solubility Equilibria)
Lecture notesOnline-Skript mit durchgerechneten Beispielen.
Literature- Charles E. Mortimer, Chemie - Das Basiswissen der Chemie. 12. Auflage, Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart, 2015.

Weiterführende Literatur:
Brown, LeMay, Bursten CHEMIE (deutsch)
Housecroft and Constable, CHEMISTRY (englisch)
Oxtoby, Gillis, Nachtrieb, MODERN CHEMISTRY (englisch)
401-0251-00LMathematics I Information O6 credits4V + 2UA. Cannas da Silva
AbstractThis course covers mathematical concepts and techniques necessary to model, solve and discuss scientific problems - notably through ordinary differential equations.
ObjectiveMathematics is of ever increasing importance to the Natural Sciences and Engineering. The key is the so-called mathematical modelling cycle, i.e. the translation of problems from outside of mathematics into mathematics, the study of the mathematical problems (often with the help of high level mathematical software packages) and the interpretation of the results in the original environment.

The goal of Mathematics I and II is to provide the mathematical foundations relevant for this paradigm. Differential equations are by far the most important tool for modelling and are therefore a main focus of both of these courses.
Content1. Single-Variable Calculus:
review of differentiation, linearisation, Taylor polynomials, maxima and minima, antiderivative, fundamental theorem of calculus, integration methods, improper integrals.

2. Linear Algebra and Complex Numbers:
systems of linear equations, Gauss-Jordan elimination, matrices, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, cartesian and polar forms for complex numbers, complex powers, complex roots, fundamental theorem of algebra.

3. Ordinary Differential Equations:
separable ordinary differential equations (ODEs), integration by substitution, 1st and 2nd order linear ODEs, homogeneous systems of linear ODEs with constant coefficients, introduction to 2-dimensional dynamical systems.
Literature- Thomas, G. B.: Thomas' Calculus, Part 1 (Pearson Addison-Wesley).
- Bretscher, O.: Linear Algebra with Applications (Pearson Prentice Hall).
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisites: familiarity with the basic notions from Calculus, in particular those of function and derivative.

Mathe-Lab (Assistance):
Mondays 12-14, Tuesdays 17-19, Wednesdays 17-19, in Room HG E 41.
701-0007-00LTackling Environmental Problems I Restricted registration - show details
Only for Environmental Sciences BSc.
O5 credits4GC. E. Pohl, P. Krütli, B. B. Pearce
AbstractEach year in the case study we analyse a different problem from the field of sustainable development and develop solutions to it.
ObjectiveStudents are able:
- to compile a case study dossier for a given topic. The dossier presents (a) the state of knowledge and (b) the need for further knowledge and action.
- to integrate knowledge of diverse perspectives in a qualitative systems model, to identify problems within the system and to suggest possible solutions from a specific stakeholder's perspective.
- to make an inquiry on a given subject, structure the results, interpret the results in relation to the research question, write a report and present the results.
- name the different roles within a group, explain the role(s) they are suited for, self-organise in groups, identify problems of collaboration and constructively address the problems.
ContentIn the first semester the students compile what is known about the problem, its causes and possible solutions. Each group of students makes an inquiry to a given part of the overall problem. The inquiry includes a thematic as well as stakeholder analysis.

During synthesis week, which takes place during semester break, the results of the different part inquiries are integrated in a qualitative system model. The students identify specific problems within the system and develop solutions.

Most of the time students work independently in groups. Tutors support the students in key steps. Introductions are given for:
- The overall topic of the case study,
- Inquiry, scientific writing and managing references (by experts of ETH library),
- Role behaviour and collaboration in groups,
- Preparing reports, posters and presentations,
- Qualitative system modelling (Systaim),
- Developing solutions (design thinking, Checklands' soft systems methodology).
Lecture notesStudents will compile the case study dossier.
LiteratureLiterature on methods will be provided during the case study course.
551-0001-00LGeneral Biology I Restricted registration - show details O3 credits3VU. Sauer, O. Y. Martin, A. Widmer
AbstractOrganismic biology to teach the basic principles of classical and molecular genetics, evolutionary biology and phylogeny.
First in a series of two lectures given over two semesters for students of agricultural and food sciences, as well as of environmental sciences.
ObjectiveThe understanding of some basic principles of biology (inheritance, evolution and phylogeny) and an overview of the diversity of life.
ContentThe first semester focuses on the organismal biology aspects of genetics, evolution and diversity of life in the Campbell chapters 12-34.

Week 1-7 by Alex Widmer, Chapters 12-25
12 Cell biology Mitosis
13 Genetics Sexual life cycles and meiosis
14 Genetics Mendelian genetics
15 Genetics Linkage and chromosomes
20 Genetics Evolution of genomes
21 Evolution How evolution works
22 Evolution Phylogentic reconstructions
23 Evolution Microevolution
24 Evolution Species and speciation
25 Evolution Macroevolution

Week 8-14 by Oliver Martin, Chapters 26-34
26 Diversity of Life Introdution to viruses
27 Diversity of Life Prokaryotes
28 Diversity of Life Origin & evolution of eukaryotes
29 Diversity of Life Nonvascular&seedless vascular plants
30 Diversity of Life Seed plants
31 Diversity of Life Introduction to fungi
32 Diversity of Life Overview of animal diversity
33 Diversity of Life Introduction to invertebrates
34 Diversity of Life Origin & evolution of vertebrates
Lecture notesno script
LiteratureCampbell et al. (2015) Biology - A Global Approach. 10th Edition (Global Edition
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lecture is the first in a series of two lectures given over two semesters for students with biology as as a basic subject.
701-0243-01LBiology III: Essentials of EcologyO3 credits2VS. Güsewell, C. Vorburger
AbstractThis lecture presents an introduction to ecology. It includes basic ecological concepts and the most important levels of complexity in ecological research. Ecological concepts are exemplified by using aquatic and terrestrial systems; corresponding methodological approaches are demonstrated. In a more applied part of the lecture threats to biodiversity and the appropriate management are discussed.
ObjectiveThe objective of this lecture is to teach basic ecological concepts and the different levels of complexity in ecological research: the individual, the population, the community and the ecosystem level.
The students should learn ecological concepts at these different levels in the context of concrete examples from terrestrial and aquatic ecology. Corresponding methods for studying the systems will be presented.
A further aim of the lecture is that students achieve an understanding of biodiversity, why it is threatened and how it can be managed.
Content- Übersicht der aquatischen und terrestrischen Lebensräume mit ihren Bewohnern
- Einfluss von Umweltfaktoren (Temperatur, Strahlung, Wasser, Nährstoffe etc.) auf Organismen; Anpassung an bestimmte Umweltbedingungen
- Populationsdynamik: Ursachen, Beschreibung, Vorhersage und Regulation
- Interaktionen zwischen Arten (Konkurrenz, Koexistenz, Prädation, Parasitismus, Nahrungsnetze)
- Lebensgemeinschaften: Struktur, Stabilität, Sukzession
- Ökosysteme: Kompartimente, Stoff- und Energieflusse
- Biodiversität: Variation, Ursachen, Gefährdung und Erhaltung
- Aktuelle Naturschutzprobleme und -massnahmen
- Evolutionäre Ökologie: Methodik, Spezialisierung, Koevolution
Lecture notesUnterlagen, Vorlesungsfolien und relevante Literatur sind in der Lehrdokumentenablage abrufbar. Die Unterlagen für die nächste Vorlesung stehen jeweils spätestens am Freitagmorgen zur Verfügung.
LiteratureGenerelle Ökologie:
Townsend, Harper, Begon 2009. Ökologie. Springer, ca. Fr. 70.-

Aquatische Ökologie:
Lampert & Sommer 1999. Limnoökologie. Thieme, 2. Aufl., ca. Fr. 55.-;
Bohle 1995. Limnische Systeme. Springer, ca. Fr. 50.-

Baur B. et al. 2004. Biodiversität in der Schweiz. Haupt, Bern, 237 S.
Primack R.B. 2004. A primer of conservation biology. 3rd ed. Sinauer, Mass. USA, 320 pp.
701-0027-00LEnvironmental Systems IO2 credits2VC. Schär, S. Bonhoeffer, N. Dubois
AbstractThe lecture provides a science-based exploration of environmental aspects from three research fields: earth, climate, and health sciences.
ObjectiveThe students are able to explain important properties of the three environmental systems, to discuss critical drivers, trends and conflicts of their use, and to compare potential solutions.
ContentThe lecture discusses the role of the environmental systems based on selected environmental problems, among these the exploration of raw materials and fossil fuels, climate change and its impacts on man and environment, and the spread and control of infectious diseases in the human population and agricultural systems.
Lecture notesSlides are provided by instructors and are accessible via moodle.
701-0029-00LEnvironmental Systems IIO3 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, coping with floods and water scarcity.

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.
Additional First Year Compulsory Courses
252-0839-00LInformatics Information O2 credits2GL. E. Fässler, M. Dahinden
AbstractStudents learn to apply selected concepts and tools from computer science for working on interdisciplinary projects. The following topics are covered: modeling and simulations, visualizing multi-dimensional data, managing data with lists and tables and with relational databases, introduction to programming, universal methods for algorithm design.
ObjectiveThe students learn to

- choose and apply appropriate tools from computer science,
- process and analyze real-world data from their subject of study,
- handle the complexity of real-world data,
- know universal methods for algorithm design.
Content1. Modeling and simulations
2. Visualizing multidimensional data
3. Data management with lists and tables
4. Data management with a relational database
5. Introduction to macro programming
6. Introduction to programming with Python
Lecture notesAll materials for the lecture are available at
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course is based on application-oriented learning. The students spend most of their time working through projects with data from natural science and discussing their results with teaching assistants. To learn the computer science basics there are electronic tutorials available.
529-0030-00LLaboratory Course: Elementary Chemical TechniquesO3 credits6PN. Kobert, M. Morbidelli, 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.
751-0801-00LBiology I: Laboratory Exercises Information O1 credit2UE. B. Truernit
AbstractPrinciples and methods of light microscopy. Preparation of specimen for microscopy; documentation. Anatomy of seed plants: From cells to organs. Special features of plant cells. Anatomy and function of plant organs. Anatomical adaptations to different environments.
ObjectiveCapability of preparing biological specimen, microscopy and documentation. Understanding the correlation between plant structure and function at the level of organs, tissues and cells.
Awareness of the link between plant anatomy, systematics, physiology, ecology, and development.
ContentBasics of optics. Principles of light microscopy. Microscope parts and their function. Köhler illumination. Optical contrasting methods. Measuring object sizes with the microscope. Preparation of specimen for light microscopy. Plant tissue staining techniques.
Special features of plant cells: Plastids, vacuole, cell wall. Anatomy of seed plants: From cells to organs. Anatomy and function of various plant tissues (epidermis, vascular tissue, wood, etc.). Anatomy and function of different plant organs (root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit, seed). Anatomical adaptations to different environments.
Lecture notesHandouts
LiteratureFor further reading (not obligatory):
Gerhard Wanner: Mikroskopisch-Botanisches Praktikum, Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart.
Prerequisites / NoticeGroups of a maximum of 30 students.
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