Carsten Schubert: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2021

Name Prof. Dr. Carsten Schubert
DepartmentEnvironmental Systems Science
RelationshipAdjunct Professor

701-1302-00LTerm Paper 2: Seminar Restricted registration - show details
Prerequisite: Term Paper 1: Writing (701-1303-00L).

Only for Environmental Sciences MSc and Science, Technology and Policy MSc.
2 credits1SL. Winkel, M. Ackermann, N. Casacuberta Arola, K. Deiner, N. Gruber, J. Hering, R. Kipfer, R. Kretzschmar, K. McNeill, D. Mitrano, A. N'Guyen van Chinh, M. Sander, M. H. Schroth, C. Schubert
AbstractThis class is the 2nd part of a series and participation is conditional on the successful completion of "Term Paper 1: Writing". The results from the term paper written during the previous term are presented to the other students and advisors and discussed with the audience.
ObjectiveThe goal of the term paper seminars is to train the student's ability to communicate (scientific) results to a wider audience and the ability to respond to questions and comments.
ContentEach student presents the results of their term paper to fellow students and advisors and responds to questions and comments from the audience.
Lecture notesGuidelines and supplementary material are distributed on the Moodle platform.
Prerequisites / NoticeThere is no final exam. Grade is assigned based on the quality of the presentation and ensuing discussion.

To obtain the credits, it is mandatory to attend at least 60% of all seminar dates offered in the fall and spring semester. Active participation in discussion and feedback rounds is expected.
701-1303-00LTerm Paper 1: Writing Restricted registration - show details
Only for Environmental Sciences MSc and Science, Technology and Policy MSc.
5 credits6AL. Winkel, M. Ackermann, N. Casacuberta Arola, K. Deiner, N. Gruber, J. Hering, R. Kipfer, R. Kretzschmar, M. Lever, K. McNeill, D. Mitrano, A. N'Guyen van Chinh, M. Sander, M. H. Schroth, C. Schubert
AbstractThe ability to critically evaluate original (scientific) literature and to summarise the information in a succinct manner is an important skill for any student. This course aims to practice this ability, requiring each student to write a term paper of scientific quality on a topic of relevance for research in the areas of biogeochemistry and pollutant dynamics.
ObjectiveThe goal of the term paper is to train the student's ability to critically evaluate scientific literature and to summarise the findings concisely in a paper addressing a research question.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:
- narrow down a research question.
- identify relevant literature to address the research question.
- concisely summarise and critically evaluate their findings.
- formulate key outstanding questions.
ContentEach student is expected to write a paper with a length of approximately 15-20 pages. The students can choose from a list of topics prepared by the tutors, but the final topic will be determined based on a balance of choice and availability. The students will be guided and advised by their tutors throughout the term.

The paper itself should contain the following elements:
- Motivation and context of the given topic (25%)
- Concise presentation and critical evaluation of the state of the science (50%)
- Identification of open questions and perhaps opportunities for further research (25%)

In addition, the accurate use of citations, attribution of ideas, and the judicious use of figures, tables, equations and references are critical components of a successful paper. Specialised knowledge is not expected, nor required; neither is new research.
Lecture notesGuidelines and supplementary material are distributed on the Moodle platform.
LiteratureOriginal scientific literature will be identified based on the chosen topic.
Prerequisites / NoticePlease enrol latest until the first week of the semester. Contact termpaper(at) if you don't yet have access to MyStudies.

The term paper course is primarily aimed at master students majoring in biogeochemistry & pollutant dynamics and ISTP students with a solid background in natural sciences and a strong interest in biogeochemistry & pollutant dynamics.

Each student submits a term paper that will be reviewed by one fellow student and one faculty. The submission of the term paper and a written review of another student's term paper are a condition for obtaining the credit points.

There is no final exam. The grade is assigned based on the quality of the term paper and the submitted review as well as on the presentation in the following term.

Results from the term paper will be presented to fellow students and involved faculty in the following semester ("Term Paper 2: Seminar").
701-1313-00LIsotopes and Biomarkers in Biogeochemistry3 credits2GC. Schubert, R. Kipfer
AbstractThe course introduces the scientific concepts and typical applications of tracers in biogeochemistry. The course covers stable and radioactive isotopes, geochemical tracers and biomarkers and their application in biogeochemical processes as well as regional and global cycles. The course provides essential theoretical background for the lab course "Isotopic and Organic Tracers Laboratory".
ObjectiveThe course aims at understanding the fractionation of stable isotopes in biogeochemical processes. Students learn to know the origin and decay modes of relevant radiogenic isotopes. They discover the spectrum of possible geochemical tracers and biomarkers, their potential and limitations and get familiar with important applications
ContentGeogenic and cosmogenic radionuclides (sources, decay chains);
stable isotopes in biogeochemistry (nataural abundance, fractionation);
geochemical tracers for processes such as erosion, productivity, redox fronts; biomarkers for specific microbial processes.
Lecture noteshandouts will be provided for every chapter
LiteratureA list of relevant books and papers will be provided
Prerequisites / NoticeStudents should have a basic knowledge of biogeochemical processes (BSc course on Biogeochemical processes in aquatic systems or equivalent)
701-1333-00LIsotopes and Biomarkers in Biogeochemistry Laboratory Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 14.
Waiting list will be deleted September 20th, 2021.
No enrollment possible after September 21st, 2021.
3 credits4PC. Schubert, R. Kipfer
AbstractThis course will illustrate how different tracers and isotopes are used in natural systems. Here especially the processes (transformation, timescales) that take place and can be revealed by tracers/isotopes will be demonstrated but also flux rates will be calculated using different tracers.
ObjectiveStudents know how to use tracers/isotopes to investigate/understand ecosystems
They will understand the methods and analytical devices related to tracer/isotope work
Have a feeling for timescales on which natural processes occur
Students will be able to apply different sampling techniques in aquatic sciences
O,H isotopes as tracers for mixing in aquatic systems
Carbon isotopes as tracer for methane oxidation
210Pb, 137Cs as a tracer for sedimentation rate/mixing
SF6, Neon, He as tracers for exchange processes at the air/water interface

Case assessment:
Sampling of a Swiss lake (Rotsee)
Sampling techniques for different elements
Sample preparation for different techniques
Measurements at isotope mass spectrometer/gamma counter
Interpretation of results from the special sampling campaign and in a broader context