701-0007-00L  Tackling Environmental Problems I

SemesterAutumn Semester 2017
LecturersC. E. Pohl, P. Krütli, B. B. Pearce
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman
CommentOnly for Environmental Sciences BSc.


701-0007-00 GUmweltproblemlösen I Special students and auditors need a special permission from the lecturers.
zusätzliche obligatorische Termine:
Exkursion findet entweder am Samstag 18.11. oder am 25. November statt, ganzer Tag (evt. auch vorhergehender Fr-Nachmittag, genaue Informationen zu Semesterbeginn);
Seminarwoche: 08. - 12.01.2018
4 hrs
Thu10:15-12:00CHN C 14 »
10:15-12:00CHN F 46 »
10:15-12:00CHN G 22 »
10:15-12:00CHN G 42 »
10:15-12:00CHN K 77 »
Fri08:15-10:00CHN D 48 »
08:15-10:00CHN E 46 »
08:15-10:00CHN F 46 »
08:15-10:00CHN K 77 »
12.10.10:15-12:00CHN D 48 »
08.01. - 12.01.08:15-09:00CHN C 14 »
08:15-18:00CHN E 42 »
08:15-18:00CHN E 46 »
08:15-18:00CHN F 46 »
08:15-18:00CHN G 42 »
08:15-18:00CHN K 77 »
08:15-18:00ML J 37.1 »
C. E. Pohl, P. Krütli, B. B. Pearce

Catalogue data

AbstractEach year in the case study we analyse a different problem from the field of sustainable development and develop solutions to it.
ObjectiveStudents are able:
- to compile a case study dossier for a given topic. The dossier presents (a) the state of knowledge and (b) the need for further knowledge and action.
- to integrate knowledge of diverse perspectives in a qualitative systems model, to identify problems within the system and to suggest possible solutions from a specific stakeholder's perspective.
- to make an inquiry on a given subject, structure the results, interpret the results in relation to the research question, write a report and present the results.
- name the different roles within a group, explain the role(s) they are suited for, self-organise in groups, identify problems of collaboration and constructively address the problems.
ContentIn the first semester the students compile what is known about the problem, its causes and possible solutions. Each group of students makes an inquiry to a given part of the overall problem. The inquiry includes a thematic as well as stakeholder analysis.

During synthesis week, which takes place during semester break, the results of the different part inquiries are integrated in a qualitative system model. The students identify specific problems within the system and develop solutions.

Most of the time students work independently in groups. Tutors support the students in key steps. Introductions are given for:
- The overall topic of the case study,
- Inquiry, scientific writing and managing references (by experts of ETH library),
- Role behaviour and collaboration in groups,
- Preparing reports, posters and presentations,
- Qualitative system modelling (Systaim),
- Developing solutions (design thinking, Checklands' soft systems methodology).
Lecture notesStudents will compile the case study dossier.
LiteratureLiterature on methods will be provided during the case study course.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a two-semester course together with 701-0008-00L Tackling Environmental Problems II (next semester)
For programme regulations
(Examination block)
Bachelor's Degree Programme in Environmental Sciences 2016; Version 29.09.2023 (Examination Block)
ECTS credits10 credits
Performance assessment as a semester course (other programmes)
ECTS credits5 credits
ExaminersC. E. Pohl, P. Krütli, B. B. Pearce
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationGerman
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationJahreskurs: Die Veranstaltung Umweltproblemlösen I und Umweltproblemlösen II wird mit einer einzigen Note bewertet. Diese Note setzt sich wie folgt zusammen:
1/3 der Note für die Gruppenarbeit in Umweltproblemlösen I (HS)
1/3 der Note für die Gruppenarbeit in Umweltproblemlösen II (FS)
1/3 der Note für die mündliche Prüfung zu Umweltproblemlösen I und II in der Prüfungssession
If the course unit is part of an examination block, the credits are allocated for the successful completion of the whole block.
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


General : Special students and auditors need a special permission from the lecturers
PriorityRegistration for the course unit is only possible for the primary target group
Primary target groupEnvironmental Sciences BSc (727000)

Offered in

Environmental Sciences BachelorFirst Year ExaminationsOInformation