Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2016

Environmental Sciences Master Information
Minor in Biogeochemistry
701-1346-00LCarbon Mitigation Information W3 credits2GN. Gruber
AbstractFuture climate change can only kept within reasonable bounds when CO2 emissions are drastically reduced. In this course, we will discuss a portfolio of options involving the alteration of natural carbon sinks and carbon sequestration. The course includes introductory lectures, presentations from guest speakers from industry and the public sector, and final presentations by the students.
ObjectiveThe goal of this course is to investigate, as a group, a particular set of carbon mitigation/sequestration options and to evaluate their potential, their cost, and their consequences.
ContentFrom the large number of carbon sequestration/mitigation options, a few options will be selected and then investigated in detail by the students. The results of this research will then be presented to the other students, the involved faculty, and discussed in detail by the whole group.
Lecture notesNone
LiteratureWill be identified based on the chosen topic.
Prerequisites / NoticeExam: No final exam. Pass/No-Pass is assigned based on the quality of the presentation and ensuing discussion.
102-0337-00LLandfilling, Contaminated Sites and Radioactive Waste Repositories Restricted registration - show details W3 credits2GW. Hummel, M. Plötze
AbstractPractices of landfilling and remediation of contaminated sites and disposal of radioactive waste are based on the same concepts that aim to protect the environment. The assessment of contaminants that may leach into the environment as a function of time and how to reduce the rate of their release is key to the design of chemical, technical and geological barriers.
ObjectiveUpon successful completion of this course students are able to:
- assess the risk posed to the environment of landfills, contaminated sites and radioactive waste repositories in terms of fate and transport of contaminants
- describe technologies available to minimize environmental contamination
- describe the principles in handling of contaminated sites and to propose and evaluate suitable remediation techniques
- explain the concepts that underlie radioactive waste disposal practices
ContentThis lecture course comprises of lectures with exercises and guided case studies.
- A short overview of the principles of environmental protection in waste management and how this is applied in legislation.
- A overview of the chemistry underlying the release and transport of contaminants from the landfilled/contaminated material/radioactive waste repository focusing on processes that control redox state and pH buffer capacity; mobility of heavy metals and organic compounds
- Technical barrier design and function. Clay as a barrier.
- Contaminated site remediation: Site evaluation, remediation technologies
- Concepts and safety in radioactive waste management
- Role of the geological and engineered barriers and radionuclide transport in geological media.
Lecture notesShort script plus copies of overheads
LiteratureLiterature will be made available.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis is an interdisciplinary course aimed at environmental scientists and environmental engineers.
Minor in Physical Glaciology
101-0289-00LApplied Glaciology Information W3 credits2GM. Funk, A. Bauder, D. Farinotti
AbstractWe will explain the fundamentals of physics of glaciers which are necessary for treating applied problems. We will go into climate-glacier interactions, flow of glaciers, lake ice and hydrology of glaciers.
ObjectiveTo understand the fundamental physical processes in glaciology.
To learn some basic numerical modelling techniques for glacier flow.
To identify glaciological hazards and to learn some assessment and mitigation possibilities.
ContentBasics in physical glaciology
Dynamics of glaciers: deformation of glacier ice, role of water in glacier motion, reaction of glaciers to climate changes, glacier calving, surges
Ice falls, ice avalanches
Glacier floods
Lake ice and bearing capacity
Lecture notesHandouts are available
LiteratureRelevante Literatur wird während der Vorlesung angegeben.
Prerequisites / NoticeFür aktuelle Fallbeispiele werden risikobasierte Massnahmen bei glaziologischen Naturgefahren diskutiert.

Voraussetzungen: Es werden Grundkenntnisse in Mechanik und Physik vorausgesetzt.
651-1581-00LSeminar in GlaciologyW3 credits2SA. Bauder
AbstractStudium aktueller und klassischer Arbeiten der glaziologischen Forschung
ObjectiveVertiefte Kenntnisse in ausgewählten Bereichen der glaziologischen Forschung erarbeiten. Kennenlernen von Formen der wissenschaftlicher Präsentation und Verbessern der eigenen Fähigkeit in der Disskussion von wissenschaftlichen Themen.
ContentStudium aktueller und klassischer Arbeiten der glaziologischen Forschung
Lecture notesbenötigte Unterlagen werden im Verlauf der Veranstaltung abgegeben
651-4101-00LPhysics of Glaciers Information W3 credits3GM. Lüthi, G. Jouvet, F. T. Walter, M. Werder
AbstractUnderstanding glaciers and ice sheets with simple physical concepts. Topics include the reaction of glaciers to the climate, ice rheology, temperature in glaciers and ice sheets, glacier hydrology, glacier seismology, basal motion and calving glaciers. A special focus is the current development of Greenland and Antarctica.
ObjectiveAfter the course the students are able understand and interpret measurements of ice flow, subglacial water pressure and ice temperature. They will have an understanding of glaciology-related physical concepts sufficient to understand most of the contemporary literature on the topic. The students will be well equipped to work on glacier-related problems by numerical modeling, remote sensing, and field work.
ContentThe dynamics of glaciers and polar ice sheets is the key requisite to understand their history and their future evolution. We will take a closer look at ice deformation, basal motion, heat flow and glacier hydraulics. The specific dynamics of tide water and calving glaciers is investigated, as is the reaction of glaciers to changes in mass balance (and therefore climate).
Lecture notes
LiteratureA list of relevant literature is available on the class web site.
Prerequisites / NoticeGood high school mathematics and physics knowledge required.
651-4077-00LQuantification and Modeling of the Cryosphere: Dynamic Processes (University of Zurich)
No enrolment to this course at ETH Zurich. Book the corresponding module directly at UZH.
UZH Module Code: GEO815

Mind the enrolment deadlines at UZH:
W3 credits1VUniversity lecturers
AbstractOverview of the most important earth surface processes and landforms in cold regions (regions with glaciers and intense frost) with emphasis on high-mountain aspects. Discussion of present research challenges.
ObjectiveKnowledge of the most prominent climate-related geomorphological processes and phenomena in high-mountain regions, understanding of primary research challenges.
ContentErosion and sedimentation by glaciers as a function of topography, englacial temperature, sediment balance, sliding and melt water runoff. Processes and landforms in regions of seasonal and perennial frost (frost weathering, rock falls, debris cones/talus, solifluction, permafrost creep/rock glaciers, debris flows).
Lecture notesGlacial and periglacial geomorphodynamics in high-mountain regions. Ca. 100 pages.
Literaturereferences in skript
Prerequisites / NoticeBasic knowledge about geomorphology and glaciers/permafrost from corresponding courses at ETH/UZH or from the related lecture notes
Minor in Catchment Management and Natural Hazards
Additionally, the module GEO231 Physische Geographie III für die Erdwissenschaften can be taken at the UZH for this Minor.
No enrolment to this course at ETH Zurich. Book the module directly at UZH.
Mind the enrolment deadlines at UZH:
701-0565-00LFundamentals of Natural Hazards ManagementW3 credits3GH. R. Heinimann, B. Krummenacher, S. Löw
AbstractRisks to life and human assets result when settlement areas and infrastructure overlap regions where natural hazard processes occur. This course utilizes case studies to teach how a future natural hazards-specialist should analyze, assess and manage risks.
ObjectiveConcepts will be explained step-by-step through a set of case studies, and applied in lab by the students. The following principal steps are used when coping with natural hazard-risks. At each step, students will learn and apply the following skills:
Risk analysis - What can happen?
-Characterize the processes and environmental measures that lead to a natural hazard and integrate modeling results of these processes.
- Identify threats to human life and assets exposed to natural hazards and estimate possible drawbacks or damages.
Risk assessment - What are the acceptable levels of risk?
- Apply principles to determine acceptable risks to human life and assets in order to identify locations which should receive added protection.
- Explain causes for conflicts between risk perception and risk analysis.
Risk management - What steps should be taken to manage risks?
- Explain how various hazard mitigation approaches reduce risk.
- Describe hazard scenarios as a base for adequate dimensioning of control measures.
- Identify the best alternative from a set of thinkable measures based on an evaluation scheme.
- Explain the principles of risk-governance.
ContentDie Vorlesung besteht aus folgenden Blöcken:
1) Einführung ins Vorgehenskonzept (1W)
2) Risikoanalyse (6W + Exkursion) mit:
- Systemabgrenzung
- Gefahrenbeurteilung
- Expositions- und Folgenanalyse
3) Risikobewertung (2W)
4) Risikomanagement (2W + Exkursion)
5) Abschlussbesprechung (1W)
102-0293-00LHydrology Information W3 credits2GP. Burlando
AbstractThe course introduces the students to engineering hydrology. It covers first physical hydrology, that is the description and the measurement of hydrological processes (precipitation, interception, evapotranspiration, runoff, erosion, snow), and it introduces then the basic mathematical models of the single processes and of the rainfall-runoff transformation, thereby including flood analysis.
ObjectiveKnow the main features of engineering hydrology. Apply methods to estimate hydrological variables for dimensioning hydraulic structures and managing water ressources.
ContentDer hydrologische Kreislauf: globale Wasserressourcen, Wasserbilanz, räumliche und zeitliche Dimension der hydrologischen Prozesse.

Niederschlag: Niederschlagsmechanismen, Regenmessung, räumliche/zeitliche Verteilung des Regens, Niederschlagsregime, Punktniederschlag/Gebietsniederschlag, Isohyeten, Thiessenpolygon, Extremniederschlag, Dimensionierungsniederschlag.

Interzeption: Messung und Schätzung.

Evaporation und Evapotranspiration: Prozesse, Messung und Schätzung, potentielle und effektive Evapotranspiration, Energiebilanzmethode, empirische Methode.

Infiltration: Messung, Horton-Gleichung, empirische und konzeptionelle Methoden, F-index und Prozentuale Methode, SCS-CN Methode.

Einzugsgebietscharakteristik: Morphologie der Einzugsgebiets, topografische und unterirdische Wasserscheide, hypsometrische Kurve, Gefälle, Dichte des Entwässerungsnetzes.

Oberflächlicher und oberflächennaher Abfluss: Hortonischer Oberflächenabfluss, gesättigter Oberflächenabfluss, Abflussmessung, hydrologische Regimes, Jahresganglinien, Abflussganglinie von Extremereignissen, Abtrennung des Basisabflusses, Direktabfluss, Schneeschmelze, Abflussregimes, Abflussdauerkurve.

Stoffabtrag und Stofftransport: Erosion im Einzugsgebiet, Bodenerosion durch Wasser, Berechnung der Bodenerosion, Grundlagen des Sedimenttransports.

Schnee und Eis: Scnheeeigenschaften und -messungen Schätzung des Scnheeschmelzprozesses durch die Energiebilanzmethode, Abfluss aus Schneeschmelze, Temperatur-Index- und Grad-Tag-Verfahren.

Niederschlag-Abfluss-Modelle (N-A): Grundlagen der N-A Modelle, Lineare Modelle und das Instantaneous Unit Hydrograph (IUH) Konzept, linearer Speicher, Nash Modell.

Hochwasserabschätzung: empirische Formeln, Hochwasserfrequenzanalyse, Regionalisierungtechniken,
indirekte Hochwasserabschätzung mit N-A Modellen, Rational Method.
Lecture notesEin internes Skript steht zur Verfügung (kostenpflichtig, nur Herstellungskosten)

Die Kopie der Folien zur Vorlesung können auf den Webseiten der Professur für Hydrologie und Wasserwirtschaft herunterladen werden
LiteratureChow, V.T., D.R. Maidment und L.W. Mays (1988) Applied Hydrology, New York u.a., McGraw-Hill.
Dingman, S.L., (1994) Physical Hydrology, 2nd ed., Upper Saddle River, N.J., Prentice Hall
Dyck, S. und G. Peschke (1995) Grundlagen der Hydrologie, 3. Aufl., Berlin, Verlag für Bauwesen.
Maniak, U. (1997) Hydrologie und Wasserwirtschaft, eine Einführung für Ingenieure, Springer, Berlin.
Manning, J.C. (1997) Applied Principles of Hydrology, 3. Aufl., Upper Saddle River, N.J., Prentice Hall.
Prerequisites / NoticeVorbereitende zu Hydrologie I sind die Vorlesungen in Statistik. Der Inhalt, der um ein Teil der Übungen zu behandeln und um ein Teil der Vorlesungen zu verstehen notwendig ist, kann zusammengefasst werden, wie hintereinander es bescrieben wird:
Elementare Datenverarbeitung: Hydrologische Messungen und Daten, Datenreduzierung (grafische Darstellungen und numerische Kenngrössen).
Frequenzanalyse: Hydrologische Daten als Zufallsvariabeln, Wiederkehrperiode, Frequenzfaktor, Wahrscheinlichkeitspapier, Anpassen von Wahrscheinlichkeitsverteilungen, parametrische und nicht-parametrische Tests, Parameterschätzung.
651-3525-00LIntroduction to Engineering GeologyW3 credits3GS. Löw
AbstractThis introductory course starts from a descriptions of the behavior and phenomena of soils and rocks under near surface loading conditions and their key geotechnical properties. Lab and field methods for the characterization of soils, rocks and rock masses are introduced. Finally practical aspects of ground engineering, including tunneling and landslide hazards are presented.
ObjectiveUnderstanding the basic geotechnical and geomechanical properties and processes of rocks and soils. Understanding the interaction of rock and soil masses with technical systems. Understanding the fundamentals of geological hazards.
ContentRock, soil and rock mass: scale effects and fundamental geotechnical properties. Soil mechanical properties and their determination. Rock mechanical properties and their determination. Fractures: geotechnical properties and their determination. Geotechnical classification of intact rock, soils and rock masses. Natural and induced stresses in rock and soil. Interaction of soil masses with surface loads, water and excavations. Slope instability mechanisms and stability analyses. Underground excavation instability mechanisms and rock deformation. Geological mass wasting processes.
Lecture notesWritten course documentation available under "Kursunterlagen".
LiteraturePRINZ, H. & R. Strauss (2006): Abriss der Ingenieurgeologie. - 671 S., 4. Aufl., Elsevier GmbH (Spektrum Verlag).

CADUTO, D.C. (1999): Geotechnical Engineering, Principles and Practices. 759 S., 1. Aufl., (Prentice Hall)

LANG, H.-J., HUDER, J. & AMMAN, P. (1996): Bodenmechanik und Grundbau. Das Verhalten von Böden und die wichtigsten grundbaulichen Konzepte. - 320 S., 5.Aufl., Berlin, Heidelberg etc. (Springer).

HOEK, E. (2007): Practical Rock Engineering - Course Notes.

HUDSON, J.A. & HARRISON, J.P. (1997): Engineering Rock Mechanics. An Introduction to the Principles. - 444 S. (Pergamon).
Minor in Operations Eng. and Manag. for Forest and Timber Industries
Production Technology
701-1805-00LSystems Engineering LabW3 credits2PH. R. Heinimann
AbstractProduction processes are changing the properties of substances, energy and information in terms of time, location, quantity, quality, and their interactions. The learning unit aims at developing analytical and problem solving skills that are essential in engineering sciences. Case studies are characteristic examples for timber harvesting and manufacturing.
ObjectiveProzessnetzwerke werden als Material- und Informationsflüsse auf einem Graphen abgebildet, analysiert und zielgerichtet beeinflusst. Die Studierenden sollen dabei,
• Die wissenschaftlichen Grundlagen des Systems Engineering verstehen,
• Die Fertigkeiten fuer die Anwendung und den Umgang mit Tools für die Analyse von Prozessnetzwerken und Teilsystemen zu festigen,
• Die Problemlösekompetenz vertiefen,
• Ausgewählte Themen anhand von Originalliteratur vertiefen und kritisch beurteilen.
• Die Konzepte „bestmögliche Vorgehensweise“ (best practice BP) und „beste verfügbare Technik“ (best available technology BAT) auf Exkursionen und anhand von Fallstudien verstehen.
Content[1] Methodische Grundlagen
[2] Uebersicht über die weltweiten Holzflüsse
[3] Bearbeitungs-, Umformungs-, Transport- und Speicherprozesse der Rohholzbereitstellung
[4] Logistikprozesse für divergierende Material- und Informationsflüsse
[5] Systematische Analyse und Gestaltung einer Supply Chain der Forst- und Holzwirtschaft anhand eines Falles
[6] Engineering Tools (Input-Output Modelle, Prozess-Analysen); inklusive Entwickeln eigener Tools in Visual Basic for Applications (EXCEL)
101-0637-10LStructures of Wood and Function Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 15.

Remark: Replaces 701-1801-00L
Thus, Students having already assigned to 701-1801-00 are not allowed to assign to 101-0637-10.
W3 credits2GI. Burgert, E. R. Zürcher
AbstractThe lecture Wood structure and function conveys basic knowledge on the microstructure of softwoods and hardwoods as well as general and species-specific relationships between growth processes, wood properties and wood function in the living tree.
ObjectiveLearning target is a basic understanding of the anatomy of wood and the related impact of endogenous and exogenous factors. The students can learn how to distinguish common central European wood species at the macroscopic and microscopic level. A deeper insight will be given by wood identification exercises for softwood species. Further the students will gain insight into the relationships between tree growth and wood properties with a specific focus on the wood function in the living tree.
ContentIn an introduction to wood anatomy, the general structural features of softwoods and hardwoods will be explained and factors of diversity and variability will be discussed. A specific focus is laid on common central European tree species with relevance in the wood sector, which will be studied in macro-and microstructural investigations. For softwoods, exercises for the identification of species will be conducted. In the following, relationships between wood structure, properties and function in the living tree will be in the focus of the lecture. Topics covered are mechanical stability and water transport, branches, reaction wood formation (compression wood, tension wood), spiral growth, growth stresses as well as adaptive growth of trees.
101-0637-20LFundamentals of Wood Elaboration and Woodmachining
Remark: Replaces 701-1803-00. Thus, students having already assigned to 701-1803-00 are not allowed to assign to 101-0637-20.
W3 credits2GI. Burgert, O. F. Kläusler
AbstractThe lecture Wood processing conveys knowledge on technological properties of wood and wood-based materials as well as on industrial processes for the fabrication of a vast variety of wood products.
ObjectiveLearning target is a fundamental understanding of the dominating wood machining processes, which are applied to fabricate common wood products. Students will be introduced to the economic relevance of the renewable resource wood and are trained in its technological properties. The students will learn to identify the relationships between wood species and their properties as well as the suitable wood machining processes to fabricate targeted wood products.
ContentThe general introduction shows the economic relevance of the resource wood in a global, European and Swiss context and reflects aspects of sustainability in wood production and certification. In terms of bulk wood products a specific focus in laid on sawn timber production and drying processes. With regard to wood veneer production, steaming, veneer cutting and assembly to veneer lumber products are presented. Further the common technologies for the production of particle boards and fibre boards as well as paper will be discussed. In the following, the topics are related to wood gluing and wood protection as well as potentials and limitations in the application of wood and wood-based products. At the end of the lecture an excursion to a Swiss wood manufacturer is planned, in order to facilitate practical experience.
Production Management
363-0445-00LProduction and Operations ManagementW3 credits2GT. Netland, P. Schönsleben
AbstractThis core course on Production and Operations Management provides the students insights into the basic theories, principles, concepts, and techniques used to design, analyze, and improve the operational capabilities of an organization.
ObjectiveStudents learn why and how operations can be a competitive weapon; how to design, plan, control, and manage production and service processes; how to improve effectiveness and efficiency in operations; how to take advantage of new technological advancements; and how environmental and social concerns affect decisions in global production networks.
ContentThe course covers the most fundamental strategic and tactical concepts in production and operations management. The lectures cover: Introduction to POM; Operations strategy; Capacity management; Production planning and control; Production philosophies; Lean management; Performance measurement; Problem solving; Service operations; New technologies in POM; Servitization; Global production; and Triple-bottom line.
LiteraturePaton, S.; Clegg, B.; Hsuan, J.; Pilkington, A. (2011) Operations Management, 1st ed., McGraw Hill.
363-0445-02LProduction and Operations Management (Additional Cases)W1 credit2AT. Netland, P. Schönsleben
AbstractExtension to course 363-0445-00 Production and Operations Management.
ObjectiveExtension to course 363-0445-00 Production and Operations Management.
ContentAdditional cases to course 363-0445-00 Production and Operations Management.
Environmental Management
102-0317-00LAdvanced Environmental Assessments Information
Master students in Environmental Engineering choosing module Ecological Systems Design are not allowed to enrol 102-0317-00 Advanced Environmental Assessments (3KP) as already included in 102-0307-01 Advanced Environmental, Social and Economic Assessments (5KP).
W3 credits2GS. Hellweg, R. Frischknecht
AbstractThis course deepens students' knowledge of the environmental assessment methodologies and their various applications.
ObjectiveThis course has the aim of deepening students' knowledge of the environmental assessment methodologies and their various applications. In particular, students completing the course should have the
- Ability to judge the scientific quality and reliability of environmental assessment studies, the appropriateness of inventory data and modelling, and the adequacy of life cycle impact assessment models and factors
- Knowledge about the current state of the scientific discussion and new research developments
- Ability to properly plan, conduct and interpret environmental assessment studies
- Knowledge of how to use LCA as a decision support tool for companies, public authorities, and consumers
Content- Inventory developments, transparency, data quality, data completeness, and data exchange formats
- Allocation (multioutput processes and recycling)
- Hybrid LCA methods.
- Consequential and marginal analysis
- Recent development in impact assessment
- Spatial differentiation in Life Cycle Assessment
- Workplace and indoor exposure in Risk and Life Cycle Assessment
- Uncertainty analysis
- Subjectivity in environmental assessments
- Multicriteria analysis
- Case Studies
Lecture notesNo script. Lecture slides and literature will be made available on the lecture homepage.
LiteratureLiterature will be made available on the lecture homepage.
Prerequisites / NoticeBasic knowledge of environmental assessment tools is a prerequisite for this class. Students that have not done classwork in this topic before are required to read an appropriate textbook before or at the beginning of this course (e.g. Jolliet, O et al. 2016: Environmental Life Cycle Assessment. CRC Press, Boca Raton - London - New York. ISBN 978-1-4398-8766-0 (Chapters 2-5.2)).
102-0317-03LAdvanced Environmental Assessment (Computer Lab I)W1 credit1US. Pfister
AbstractDifferent tools and software used for environmental assessments, such as LCA are introduced. The students will have hands-on exercises in the computer rooms and will gain basic knowledge on how to apply the software and other resources in practice
ObjectiveBecome acquainted with various software programs for environmental assessment including Life Cycle Assessment, Environmental Risk Assessment, Probabilistic Modeling, Material Flow Analysis.
102-0317-04LAdvanced Environmental Assessment (Computer Lab II) Restricted registration - show details
Not for master students in Environmental Engineering choosing module Ecological System Design as already included in Environment and Computer Laboratory I (Year Course): 102-0527-00 and 102-0528-00.
W2 credits2PS. Pfister
AbstractTechnical systems are investigated in projects, based on the software and tools introduced in the course 102-0317-03L Advanced Env. Assessment (Computer Lab I). The projects are created around a complete but simplified LCA study, where the students will learn how to answer a given question with target oriented methodologies using various software programs and data sources for env. assessment
ObjectiveBecome acquainted with utilizing various software programs for environmental assessment to perform a Life Cycle Assessment and learn how to address the challenges when analyzing a complex system with available data and software limitations.
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisite is enrolment of 102-0317-00 Advanced Environmental Assessments and of 102-0317-03 Advanced Environmental Assessments (Computer Lab I) in parallel or in advance (both courses in HS).
Minor in Soil-Plant Relations and Land Use
701-1681-00LElement Balancing and Soil Functions in Managed EcosystemsW3 credits2GA. Keller
AbstractApplying element balances of agricultural soils and the assessment of soil functions for real applications in computer exercises to design preventive strategies against soil pollution and to support sustainable management of regional agroecosystems also in the context of spatial planning procedures.
ObjectiveThe students learn to critical assess changes in land use management on element cycles in agro-ecosystems and to assess soil services (soil functions). You design solutions for chemical problems in soil protection at the regional scale and learn to assess soil functions using different methods.
ContentThe students apply a regional balance model for Swiss regions in computer exercises and assess major soil functions of agricultural soils. You assess the sustainability of current land use and analyse management options improving nutrient and metal cycling in agro-ecosystems. The students will have the opportunity to calculate specific scenarios regarding land use management and environmental changes. Special focus we be paid on the soil services such as regulation-, production function and soil as habitat, and the assessment of these functions based on soil mapping data.
Lecture notesLiterature and Exercises for a case study
LiteratureLiterature will be provided.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course consists of lectures and computer exercises. The course take place every 2 weeks à 4 hours.
recommended prerequisites for attending this course:
- Bodenschutz und Landnutzung
- Biochemistry of Trace Elements
- Angewandte Bodenökologie
751-3405-00LRadio-Isotopes in Plant NutritionW3 credits2GE. Frossard
AbstractThe course will present the principles underlying the use of radioisotopes in soil/plant systems. It will present how the introduction of an isotope into a system can be done to get some information on the structure of the system. Case studies will be presented to determine element availability. Finally, published studies from other groups will be analyzed and presented by the students.
ObjectiveAt the end of this course the students are familiar with the principles on which radioisotope works are based and they have learned from case studies how radioisotopes can be used to obtain meaningful data. They are aware of the advantages of using radioisotopes in element cycling studies, but also of the risks and open questions related to isotope work.
ContentRadio-isotopes are extensively used at the soil/plant or ecosystem level to quantify the fluxes of elements (phosphorus (P), heavy metals, radionuclides) within a given system and to assess the importance of processes controlling these fluxes (e.g. exchange reactions between the soil solution and the soil solid phase, element turnover through the microbial biomass, organic matter mineralization etc.).
The course will first present the principles, the basic assumptions and the theoretical framework that underlay the work with radioisotopes. It will present how the introduction of an isotope into a system can be done so as to get information on the structure of the system (e.g. number and size of compartments). Secondly, case studies on isotopic dilution and tracer work will be presented for instance on the isotopic exchange kinetics method to determine nutrients or pollutants availability. The case studies will be adapted to the ongoing research of the group of plant nutrition and will thus give an insight into our current research. In addition, published studies will be analyzed and presented by the students. Finally, the advantages and disadvantages of work with radioisotopes will be analyzed and discussed critically.
Lecture notesDocuments will be distributed during the lecture
LiteratureWill be given during the lecture
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lecture will take place at the ETH experimental station in Eschikon Lindau. See the location of the station at:
751-5101-00LBiogeochemistry and Sustainable Management Information W2 credits2GN. Buchmann, L. Hörtnagl
AbstractThis course focuses on the interactions between ecology, biogeochemistry and management of agro- and forest ecosystems, thus, coupled human-environmental systems. Students learn how human impacts on ecosystems via management or global change are mainly driven by effects on biogeochemical cycles and thus ecosystem functioning, but also about feedback mechanisms of terrestrial ecosystems.
ObjectiveStudents will know and understand the complex and interacting processes of ecology, biogeochemistry and management of agro- and forest ecosystems, be able to analyze and evaluate the various impacts of different management practices under different environmental conditions, search literature, write and evaluate scientific reports, and be able to coordinate and work successfully in small (interdisciplinary) teams.
ContentAgroecosystems and forest ecosystems play a major role in all landscapes, either for production purposes, ecological areas or for recreation. The human impact of any management on the environment is mainly driven by effects on biogeochemical cycles. Effects of global change impacts will also act via biogeochemistry at the soil-biosphere-atmosphere-interface. Thus, ecosystem functioning, i.e., the interactions between ecology, biogeochemistry and management of terrestrial systems, is the science topic for this course.

Students will gain profound knowledge about nutrient cycles and population dynamics in managed and unmanaged grassland, cropland and forest ecosystems in the field and in the lab. Responses of agro- and forest ecosystems to the environment, e.g., to climate, anthropogenic deposition, major disturbances, soil nutrients or competition of plants (including invasives) and microorganisms, but also feedback mechanisms of ecosystems on (micro)climate, soils or vegetation patterns will be studied. Different management practices will be investigated and assessed in terms of production and quality of yield (ecosystem goods and services), but also in regard to environmental regulations (including subsidies) and their effect on the environment, e.g., greenhouse gas budgets. Thus, students will learn about the complex interactions of a coupled human-environmental system.
Lecture notesHandouts will be available on the webpage of the course.
LiteratureWill be discussed in class.
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisites: Attendance of introductory courses in plant ecophysiology, ecology, and grassland or forest sciences. Course will be taught in English.
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