YWU-30306 Interdisciplinary Topics in Earth and Environment


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Group work4
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. W Peters
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. JC van Dam
dr. ir. AJ Teuling
prof. dr. W Peters
dr. ir. MMPD Heijmans
dr. J Vilà-Guerau de Arellano
dr. ir. CR Stoof
L Florentie
dr. KF Boersma
prof. dr. RNJ Comans
prof. dr. RE Creamer
dr. EM Veenendaal
dr. ir. LN Ganzeveld
Examiner(s)prof. dr. W Peters

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

BSW compulsory subjects.


In the field of environmental research interdisciplinary knowledge plays an important role. In the course the focus is on the interdisciplinary knowledge within pedosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere. The assumed background knowledge on these spheres will be expanded through a set of new skills to be taught and practiced. The course is divided into three parts. In the first two parts (5 weeks) two cross-cutting themes in environmental science will be studied. Based on lectures, scientific articles, and tutorials, the interactions and feedbacks between the different spheres will be highlighted. Subjects cover different temporal and spatial scales, like the carbon cycle, the interaction between rivers and floodplain soils, climate, and terrestrial and aquatic effects on the nitrogen cycle. In the first part (2 weeks) droughts will be studied with a perspective from the different spheres, and the interactions and feedbacks between the different spheres will be documented in each students' portfolio. In the second part (3 weeks) students form a multi-disciplinary team that will write a multi-sphere research proposal within environmental science based on several (multi-)disciplinary scientific articles. In the last three weeks an individual scientific "peer-review" about an article in current open peer-review will be conducted by the students.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

- outline the research fields within the MSc Earth and Environment and the connections between them;

- understand interactions between the different spheres (hydro-, pedo-, bio-, and atmosphere);

- evaluate articles on interdisciplinary topics and apply their research methods (academic attitude);

- formulate new directions of research, based on an interdisciplinary approach;

- apply the obtained knowledge by writing a review of an interdisciplinary article.


- active participation in lectures and tutorials;

- critical reading of articles;

- writing report;

- work in interdisciplinary team on a research proposal;

- writing review of an article.


- tutorial reports (25%);
- active participation & Group proposal (37.5%);
- individual paper review (37.5%).

Compulsory for: MEEEarth and EnvironmentMSc1MO