Introduction to Environmental Sciences

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introduction to Environmental Sciences

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The aim of this course is to provide students with the fundamental ideas and concepts in the field of environmental sciences and with some analytical tools needed for a considered reflection on the nature of environmental problems and its possible solutions.

    After completing this course, the student is able to:

    • Explain the drivers of environmental change;
    • Analyse how environmental drivers and pressures change the state of the abiotic environment;
    • Explain how environmental conditions influence health and welfare;
    • Construct a DPSIR framework of a given environmental problem; o Discuss the different stakes of a given environmental problem in writing and orally;
    • Rate the effectiveness of environmental policy instruments.

    Introduction to Environmental Science studies the interactions between human actions and the abiotic environment. How do human actions influence soil, water and air? How does this affect our well-being? Which actions can we take to moderate these effects? How accepted and effective are such measures? Tutorials provide a background on drivers, pressures, state changes, impacts and responses to environmental change by taking stock of different disciplines, including economy, ecology, geography, and environmental policy and law. In hands-on exercises, you apply the concepts from the tutorials. In a group assignment focused on a specific case study, you analyze the impacts of a change in human actions or in environmental processes. You design possible responses to these impacts and advocate them in a policy brief. You also review a policy brief to rate the effectiveness of environmental policy instruments.

    Lectures / tutorials and feedback sessions for assignments, presentations, group work (preparing presentations, preparing a policy brief), individual assignments, preparing for lectures

    Analysis and reporting of a case study (in teams): 25% Analyzing and presenting a paper: (in teams): 35% Individual assignments: 40%

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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