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 Bachelor Information
Bachelor Studies (Programme Regulations 2011)
Social Sciences and Humanities Module
Module Individual Sciences
Core Courses
701-0771-00LEnvironmental Conciousness and Public Relations Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 60.

Sign in until 29.09.2016.

Please describe your expectations. Why do want to attend this special topic? Do you have any pre-information about the integral model? Do you have any practical experience in environmental communication?
W2 credits2GR. Locher
Abstract"Environmental Conciousness and Public Relations" shows how to communicate about environment and sustainability successfully. We look at campaigns, exhibitions and other public relations measures to learn, how to design and realize good communication.
ObjectiveYou learn how to handle tools and concepts in environmental communication. And you can evaluate communication projects. We also discuss the evolution of consciousness.
Content- Methods and tools in environmental communication.
- Marketing mix
- Examples of campaigns, events, print products, media relations.
- Integral sustainability
Lecture notesHandouts
Literature- Integral Vision; Ken Wilber, 2005
Prerequisites / NoticeWe will discuss new trends in environmental communication with the focus on integral solutions.
701-0785-00LEnvironmental and Science Communication Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 120.
60 ETH students and 60 UZH students. The time (date and exact time) of enrolment is decisive.
If there are less than 60 enrolments of one group either ETH or UZH students then the available spaces will be given to the other group.
ATTENTION: Enrolment of this course unit is only possible from August 31 until September 14, 2016.

Information for UZH students:
Enrolment to this course unit is only possible at ETH. No enrolment to module 251359 at UZH.
Please mind the ETH enrolment deadlines for UZH students: Link
W4 credits2VM. Schäfer
AbstractThe course gives an introductionary overview in research questions, theoretical perspectives and empirical results of science communication and environmental communication. They will be illustrated by concrete examples and via lectures from external guests. .
ObjectiveGoals: Learning to understand structures and processes of environmental and science communication, becoming more sensitive for problems of science public relations, getting an insight into public debates about environmental issues.
Methods: invitation of media practitioners and experts, discussions, lectures on key theoretical concepts of communication.
Topics: Concrete communication instruments like media conferences, theoretical perspectives of public relations, basic principles and examples of information campaigns, environment and science as media topics, functions and structures of science communication, relations between science, media and politics.
ContentI. Introduction
- Topics: Environment, Science, Risks, Media
- Forms, Functions, Effects of Public and Mass Communication

II. Stakeholders and their Public Relations Efforts
- Public Relations and Science PR: Theoretical Perspectives, Instruments

III. Science and Environmental Issues in the Media
- Forms and Functions of Science Journalism
- Problems of Selection, Interpretation, Quality
- Media Content Analysis
- Online Communication

IV. Uses and Effects of Science and Environmental Communication
- Extent of Media Use
- Effects on Knowledge, Risk Perceptions, Environmental Attitudes
- Effects on Science itself
Lecture notesLiterature and powerpoint presentations will be provided on the OLAT platform.
LiteratureBoykoff, Maxwell T. (2011): Who Speaks for the Climate? Making Sense of Media Reporting on Climate Change. Cambridge, New York.

Brossard, Dominique / Scheufele, Dietram A. (2013): Science, New Media, and the Public. In: Science 339, H. 6115, S. 40-41.

Bubela, Tania / Nisbet, Matthew C. / Borchelt, Rick / Brunger, Fern / Critchley, Cristine / Einsiedel, Edna et al. (2009): Science Communication Reconsidered. In: Nature Biotechnology 27, H. 6, S. 514-518.

Göpfert, Winfried (2007): The Strength of PR and the Weakness of Science Journalism. In: Bauer, Martin / Bucchi, Massimiano (Hg.): Journalism, Science and Society. Science Communication Between News and Public Relations. New York, S. 215-226.

Gregory, Jane / Miller, Steve (1998): Science in Public. Communication, Culture, and Credibility. New York.

Hansen, Anders (2011): Communication, Media and Environment: Towards Reconnecting Research on the Production, Content and Social Implications of Environmental Communication. In: International Communication Gazette 73, H. 1-2, S. 7-25.

Renn, Ortwin (2008): Concepts of Risk: An Interdisciplinary Review. In: GAIA 17, H. 1 & 2, S. 50-66 / 196-204.

Rödder, Simone / Franzen, Martina / Weingart, Peter (Hg.): The Sciences' Media Connection - Public Communication and its Repercussions. Dordrecht, S. 59-85.

Schäfer, Mike S. (2011): Sources, Characteristics and Effects of Mass Media Communication on Science: A Review of the Literature, Current Trends and Areas for Future Research. In: Sociology Compass 5, H. 6, S. 399-412.

Sjöberg, Lennart (2000): Factors in Risk Perception. In: Risk Analysis 20, H. 1, S. 1-11.

Slovic, Paul (1987): Perception of Risk. In: Science 236, H. 4799, S. 280-285.
Prerequisites / NoticeDie Vorlesung wendet sich auch an Studierende der Publizistikwissenschaft der Universität Zürich

Voraussetzungen: Die Vorlesung hat einführenden Charakter.
Module Humanities
Compulsory Courses
701-0701-00LPhilosophy of ScienceO3 credits2VG. Hirsch Hadorn, C. J. Baumberger
AbstractThe lecture explores various strands in philosophy of science in a critical way, focusing on the notion of rationality in science, especially with regards to environmental research. It addresses the significance and limits of empirical, mathematical and logical methods, as well as problems and ethical issues raised by the use of science in society.
ObjectiveStudents learn to engage with problems in the philosophy of science and to relate them to natural and environmental sciences, thus developing their skills in critical thinking about science and its use. They know the most important positions in philosophy of science and the objections they face. They can identify, structure and discuss issues raised by the use of science in society.
Content1. Core differences between classical Greek and modern conceptions of science.
2. Classic positions in the philosophy of science in the 20th century: logical empiricism and critical rationalism (Popper); the analysis of scientific concepts and explanations.
3. Objections to logical empiricism and critical rationalism, and further developments: What is the difference between the natural sciences, the social sciences and the arts and humanities? What is progress in science (Kuhn, Fleck, Feyerabend)? Is scientific knowledge relativistic? What is the role of experiments and computer simulations?
4. Issues raised by the use of science in society: The relation between basic and applied research; inter- and transdisciplinarity; ethics and accountability of science.
Lecture notesA reader will be available for students.
LiteratureA list of introductory literature and handbooks will be distributed to the students.
Prerequisites / NoticeOral examination during the session examination.
Further optional exercises accompany the lecture and offer the opportunity for an in-depth discussion of selected texts from the reader. Students receive an additional credit point. They have to sign up separately for the exercises for the course 701-0701-01 U.
701-0703-00LEnvironmental Ethics Information O2 credits2VM. Huppenbauer
AbstractThe lecture beginns with an introduction to applied ethics in general. The main focus is on environmental ethics. Students learn to handle important concepts and positions of environmental ethics. They achieve a deeper understanding of these concepts and positions in applying them to ecological problems and discussing them in case studies.
ObjectiveOn completion of this lecture course you will have acquired the ability to identify and process general and environmental ethical problems. You will be capable of recognising and analysing environmental ethical problems and of working towards a solution. You will have acquired a fundamental knowledge of standpoints and argumentations to be found within the field of environmental ethics and will have practised these in small case studies.
Content- Introduction to general and applied ethics.
- Overview and discussion of ethical theories relevant to the environment.
- Familiarisation with various basic standpoints within environmental ethics.
- Cross-section topics, such as sustainability, intergenerational justice, protection of species, etc.
- Practising of newly acquired knowledge in case studies (protection of species, climate change, etc.)
Lecture notesSummaries of the individual sessions will be distributed, including the most important theories and keywords; reading list.
In the part of the course serving as an introduction to general and applied ethics, we shall be using the following textbook: Barbara Bleisch/Markus Huppenbauer: Ethische Entscheidungsfindung. Ein Handbuch für die Praxis, 2nd Edition Zürich 2014
Literature- Angelika Krebs (Hrg.) Naturethik. Grundtexte der gegenwärtigen tier- und ökoethischen Diskussion 1997
- Andrew Light/Holmes Rolston III, Environmental Ethics. An Anthology, 2003
- John O'Neill et al., Environmental Values, 2008
- Klaus Peter Rippe, Ethik im ausserhumanen Bereich, Paderborn (mentis) 2008

Generel introductions:
- Barbara Bleisch/Markus Huppenbauer: Ethische Entscheidungsfindung. Ein Handbuch für die Praxis, Zürich 2014, 2. Auflage
- Marcus Düwell et. al (Hrg.), Handbuch Ethik, 2. Auflage, Stuttgart (Metzler Verlag), 2006
- Johann S. Ach et. al (Hrg.), Grundkurs Ethik 1. Grundlagen, Paderborn (mentis) 2008
Prerequisites / NoticeThe procedure for accumulating CP will be explained at the start of term.
I expect participants to be motivated and contribute to discussions, keeping the course interesting and lively.
Core Courses
701-0701-01LPhilosophy of Science: ExercisesW1 credit1UG. Hirsch Hadorn, C. J. Baumberger
AbstractThe exercises in philosophy of science serve to develop skills in critical thinking by discussing seminal texts about the rationality of science. Topics discussed include the significance and limits of empirical, mathematical and logical methods, as well as problems and ethical issues raised by the use of science in society.
ObjectiveStudents can engage with problems in the philosophy of science and to relate them to natural and environmental sciences. They learn to analyze and summarize philosophical texts. In this way, they develop their skills in critical thinking with a focus on the rationality of science.
ContentThe optional exercises accompany the lecture and serve to develop skills in critical thinking with a focus on the rationality of science, based on discussing seminal texts. The texts cover important positions in the philosophy of science and their critics. Topics discussed include the significance and limits of empirical, mathematical and logical methods, as well as problems and ethical issues raised by the use of science in society.
Lecture notesA reader will be available for students.
LiteratureA list of literature will be distributed to the students together with the reader.
Prerequisites / NoticeStudents that want to subscribe for this course also have to subscribe for the lecture 701-0701-00 V "Wissenschaftsphilosophie". Credit points are given for preparing a structure and a summary of one of the texts.
701-0791-00LEnvironmental History - Introduction and Overview Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 100.
W2 credits2VD. Speich Chassé
AbstractOur society faces a serious ecological crisis. Of what historical dimension is this crisis? How have human societies already in earlier times changed their environment, and, consequently, perhaps also ours? What were the main ecological challenges for societies and how did they change over time? And how did societies adapt to changing environmental conditions?
ObjectiveIntroduction into environmental history; survey of long-term development of human-nature-interrelations; discussion of selected problems. Improved ability to assess current problems from a historical perspective and to critically interrogate one's own standpoint.
Lecture notesCourse material is provided on OLAT.
LiteratureMcNeill, John R. 2000. Something new under the sun: An environmental history of the twentieth-century world, New York: Norton.

Uekötter, Frank (Ed.) 2010. The turning points of environmental history, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Winiwarter, Verena und Martin Knoll 2007. Umweltgeschichte: Eine Einführung, Köln: Böhlau.
Prerequisites / NoticeStudents are asked to write an exam during the second last session (11.12.2015).
Compulsory Electives D-GESS SiP (For All Modules Eligible)
» Political Science
» Law
» Sociology
» Economy
» Psychology, Pedagogics
» History
» Philosophy
» Science Research
Natural Science and Technical Electives
Natural Science Modules
227-0399-10LPhysiology and Anatomy for Biomedical Engineers I Information W3 credits2GH. Niemann
AbstractThis course offers an introduction into the structure and function of the human body, and how these are interlinked with one another. Focusing on physiology, the visualization of anatomy is supported by 3D-animation, Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance imaging.
ObjectiveTo understand basic principles and structure of the human body in consideration of the clinical relevance and the medical terminology used in medical work and research.
Content- The Human Body: nomenclature, orientations, tissues
- Musculoskeletal system, Muscle contraction
- Blood vessels, Heart, Circulation
- Blood, Immune system
- Respiratory system
- Acid-Base-Homeostasis
Lecture notesLecture notes and handouts
LiteratureSilbernagl S., Despopoulos A. Color Atlas of Physiology; Thieme 2008
Faller A., Schuenke M. The Human Body; Thieme 2004
Netter F. Atlas of human anatomy; Elsevier 2014
551-0317-00LImmunology I Information W3 credits2VA. Oxenius, M. Kopf
AbstractIntroduction into structural and functional aspects of the immune system.
Basic knowledge of the mechanisms and the regulation of an immune response.
ObjectiveIntroduction into structural and functional aspects of the immune system.
Basic knowledge of the mechanisms and the regulation of an immune response.
Content- Introduction and historical background
- Innate and adaptive immunity, Cells and organs of the immune system
- B cells and antibodies
- Generation of diversity
- Antigen presentation and Major Histoincompatibility (MHC) antigens
- Thymus and T cell selection
- Autoimmunity
- Cytotoxic T cells and NK cells
- Th1 and Th2 cells, regulatory T cells
- Allergies
- Hypersensitivities
- Vaccines, immune-therapeutic interventions
Lecture notesElectronic access to the documentation will be provided. The link can be found at "Lernmaterialien"
Literature- Kuby, Immunology, 7th edition, Freemen + Co., New York, 2009
Prerequisites / NoticeImmunology I (WS) and Immunology II (SS) will be examined as one learning entity in a "Sessionsprüfung".
752-6001-00LIntroduction to Nutritional Science Information W3 credits2VM. B. Zimmermann, C. Wolfrum
AbstractThis course introduces basic concepts of micro- and macronutrient nutrition. Micronutrients studied include fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Macronutrients include proteins, fat and carbohydrates. Special attention is given to nutrient digestion, bioavailability, metabolism and excretion with some focus on energy metabolism.
ObjectiveTo introduce the students to the both macro- and micronutrients in relation to food and metabolism.
ContentThe course is devided into two parts. The lectutres on micronutrients are given by Prof. Zimmermann and the lectures on macronutrients are given by Prof. Wolfrum. Prof. Zimmermann discusses the micronutrients, including fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Prof. Wolfrum introduces basic nutritional aspects of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and energy metabolism. The nutrients are described in relation to digestion, absorption and metabolism. Special aspects of homeostasis and homeorhesis are emphasized.
Lecture notesThere is no script. Powerpoint presentations will be made available.
LiteratureElmadfa I & Leitzmann C: Ernährung des Menschen
UTB Ulmer, Stuttgart, 4. überarb. Ausgabe 2004
ISBN-10: 3825280365; ISBN-13: 978-3825280369

Garrow JS and James WPT: Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 11th rev. ed. 2005
ISBN-10: 0443056277; ISBN-13: 978-0443056277
Soil Sciences
701-0533-00LSoil ChemistryW3 credits2GR. Kretzschmar, D. I. Christl
AbstractThis course discusses chemical and biogeochemical processes in soils and their influence on the behavior and cycling of nutrients and pollutants in terrestrial systems. Approaches for quantitative modeling of the processes are introduced.
ObjectiveUnderstanding of important chemical soil properties and processes and their influence on the behavior (e.g., speciation, bioavailability, mobility) of nutrients and pollutants.
ContentImportant topics include the structure and properties of clays and oxides, the chemistry of the soil solution, gas equilibria, dissolution and precipitation of mineral phases, cation exchange, surface complexation, chemistry of soil organic matter, redox reactions in flooded soils, soil acidification and soil salinization.
Lecture notesHandouts in lectures.
Literature- Selected chapters in: Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment, 2005.
- Chapters 2 and 5 in Scheffer/Schachtschabel - Soil Science, 1st English edition, Springer, 2016.
701-0535-00LEnvironmental Soil Physics/Vadose Zone Hydrology Information W3 credits2G + 2UD. Or
AbstractThe course provides theoretical and practical foundations for understanding and characterizing physical and transport properties of soils/ near-surface earth materials, and quantifying hydrological processes and fluxes of mass and energy at multiple scales. Emphasis is given to land-atmosphere interactions, the role of plants on hydrological cycles, and biophysical processes in soils.
ObjectiveStudents are able to
- characterize quantitative knowledge needed to measure and parameterize structural, flow and transport properties of partially-saturated porous media.
- quantify driving forces and resulting fluxes of water, solute, and heat in soils.
- apply modern measurement methods and analytical tools for hydrological data collection
- conduct and interpret a limited number of experimental studies
- explain links between physical processes in the vadose-zone and major societal and environmental challenges
ContentWeeks 1 to 3: Physical Properties of Soils and Other Porous Media – Units and dimensions, definitions and basic mass-volume relationships between the solid, liquid and gaseous phases; soil texture; particle size distributions; surface area; soil structure. Soil colloids and clay behavior

Soil Water Content and its Measurement - Definitions; measurement methods - gravimetric, neutron scattering, gamma attenuation; and time domain reflectometry; soil water storage and water balance.

Weeks 4 to 5: Soil Water Retention and Potential (Hydrostatics) - The energy state of soil water; total water potential and its components; properties of water (molecular, surface tension, and capillary rise); modern aspects of capillarity in porous media; units and calculations and measurement of equilibrium soil water potential components; soil water characteristic curves definitions and measurements; parametric models; hysteresis. Modern aspects of capillarity

Demo-Lab: Laboratory methods for determination of soil water characteristic curve (SWC), sensor pairing

Weeks 6 to 9: Water Flow in Soil - Hydrodynamics:
Part 1 - Laminar flow in tubes (Poiseuille's Law); Darcy's Law, conditions and states of flow; saturated flow; hydraulic conductivity and its measurement.

Lab #1: Measurement of saturated hydraulic conductivity in uniform and layered soil columns using the constant head method.

Part 2 - Unsaturated steady state flow; unsaturated hydraulic conductivity models and applications; non-steady flow and Richard’s Eq.; approximate solutions to infiltration (Green-Ampt, Philip); field methods for estimating soil hydraulic properties.
Midterm exam

Lab #2: Measurement of vertical infiltration into dry soil column - Green-Ampt, and Philip's approximations; infiltration rates and wetting front propagation.

Part 3 - Use of Hydrus model for simulation of unsaturated flow

Week 10 to 11: Energy Balance and Land Atmosphere Interactions - Radiation and energy balance; evapotranspiration definitions and estimation; transpiration, plant development and transpirtation coefficients – small and large scale influences on hydrological cycle; surface evaporation.

Week 12 to 13: Solute Transport in Soils – Transport mechanisms of solutes in porous media; breakthrough curves; convection-dispersion eq.; solutions for pulse and step solute application; parameter estimation; salt balance.

Lab #3: Miscible displacement and breakthrough curves for a conservative tracer through a column; data analysis and transport parameter estimation.

Additional topics:

Temperature and Heat Flow in Porous Media - Soil thermal properties; steady state heat flow; nonsteady heat flow; estimation of thermal properties; engineering applications.

Biological Processes in the Vaodse Zone – An overview of below-ground biological activity (plant roots, microbial, etc.); interplay between physical and biological processes. Focus on soil-atmosphere gaseous exchange; and challenges for bio- and phytoremediation.
Lecture notesClassnotes on website: Vadose Zone Hydrology, by Or D., J.M. Wraith, and M. Tuller
(available at the beginning of the semester)
LiteratureSupplemental textbook (not mandatory) -Environmental Soil Physics, by: D. Hillel
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).
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