ESA-20806 Principles of Environmental Sciences


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Project learning18
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. AJH van Vliet
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. AJH van Vliet
dr. ir. AAM Langenhoff
dr. ir. CSA van Koppen
dr. ir. A ter Heijne
Examiner(s)dr. ir. AJH van Vliet
dr. ir. CSA van Koppen

Language of instruction:



This course offers students the opportunity of updating and extending their knowledge of the basic concepts of environmental sciences. Environmental problems in soil, water, and atmosphere are described and analysed. Attention is given to the socio-economic causes of these problems and their effects on organisms (including man) and ecosystems. The role science and technology can play in solving these problems is discussed, as is the role of interested actors such as government, business, environmental movement and individual citizens.
In a case study, small groups of students analyse a specific environmental problem, write a report and present a paper.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of the course students are expected to be able to demonstrate insight in the principles of environmental sciences, including:
- the functioning of life/ecosystems and their response to changes in environment;
- impacts of society on ecosystems and human beings;
- possible technical solutions to environmental problems;
- the role of social sciences in tackling environmental problems;
- environmental awareness and environmental policy, and how they changed in time;
- social causes of environmental problems, and their implications for environmental reform.
In addition, students are expected to be able to:
- integrate and apply obtained knowledge by analysing a particular environmental issue;
- to practice in determining one's own opinion on an environmental issue.


- attending lectures;
- active participation in a group assignment;
- report writing and presentation of a paper.


The final assessment is for 75% based on a written exam with both open and closed questions and for 25% based on the grade for a case study report and a presentation of the findings of the case study. The grade for the case study is the same for the whole group unless there is a significant imbalance in the contribution of different group members.


Cunningham, W.P.; Cunningham, M.A. (2005). Principles of Environmental Science. McGraw-Hill Science. 428 p. ISBN: 0073019267.
Course book on Environment & Society.

Restricted Optional for: MESEnvironmental SciencesMSc1AF, 4WD
MGIGeo-Information ScienceMSc1AF, 4WD