ESA-31806 Environmental Assessments for Pollution Management


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work12
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. W de Vries
Lecturer(s)dr. M Strokal
prof. dr. ir. W de Vries
prof. dr. C Kroeze
dr. ir. N Hofstra
G Iacobută
prof. dr. R Leemans
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. W de Vries

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

ESA-22806 Environmental Systems Analysis: Methods and Applications; ESA-23306 Introduction to Global Change.


In this course, we discuss environmental impacts of agricultural production and energy production and present various (chains of) models to assess the impacts of policy scenarios and management options on air, soil and water quality. An important aim of the modelling tools and resulting analyses is to support managers (e.g. farmers or foresters) or policy/decision-makers in taking appropriate management or policy measures.  With respect to agricultural production, we focus on the management of large-scale (diffuse) inputs of carbon, nutrients, metals and pathogens, specifically by fertilizer, manure and human waste. Considering both agricultural production and energy production, we also pay attention to (trans-boundary) pollution problems, including emissions of greenhouse gases, causing climate change, and of sulfur and nitrogen compounds, causing air pollution. During the group work students will work in small groups (4-5 students) in which they will write a research proposal on the design of an environmental model system. To follow the course, students do not need to have experience in programming or computer modelling.

Learning outcomes:

After successful compltion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- recall and explain main interacting environmental impacts of food & energy production on soil, water and air quality and the potential of management options to reduce those impacts;
- explain the choice and impacts of different model approaches in view of differences in pollutant behavior and model aim.
- evaluate the usefulness of environmental models in integrated environmental assessments. 
- design an integrated environmental assessment model in terms of model specifications (model inputs, outputs, system boundaries etc.) and model linkages. 
More details on the second and third learning outcome are present in the course guide.


Assessment of learning outcomes through a written exam with open and closed questions (75% of the grade) and a group work report (25%) of the grade.


A course guide and reader are available.

Restricted Optional for: MESEnvironmental SciencesMScD: Human-Environmental Systems3WD
MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc3WD
MCLClimate StudiesMScD: Human-Environment Interactions3WD