701-1673-00L  Environmental Measurement Laboratory

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersP. U. Lehmann Grunder, A. Carminati
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


701-1673-00 GEnvironmental Measurement Laboratory4 hrs
Tue14:15-18:00CHN E 46 »
19.09.13:45-17:30HPL D 32 »
10.10.13:45-15:30HIL F 10.3 »
17.10.13:45-15:30HIL F 10.3 »
24.10.13:45-15:30HIL F 10.3 »
28.11.13:45-18:30HIT F 13 »
05.12.14:15-18:00CHN E 46 »
P. U. Lehmann Grunder, A. Carminati

Catalogue data

AbstractMeasurements are the sole judge of scientific truth and provide access to unpredictable information, enabling the characterization and monitoring of complex terrestrial systems. Based on lectures and field- and laboratory training, the students learn to apply modern methods to determine forest inventory parameters and to measure subsurface properties and processes.
ObjectiveThe students will be able to:
- explain measurement principles that are used for characterization of landscapes and terrestrial systems
- select appropriate measurement methods and sampling design to quantify key variables and processes above ground and in the subsurface
- deploy sensors in the field
- interpret collected laboratory and field data and report main conclusions deduced from measurements
ContentWeek 1: Plant-Soil interactions – short introduction before sensor demonstration and installation in forest lab; Scholander pressure bomb (suction in leaves); LiCOR soil chamber

Weeks 2 to 6 - Experimental Methods for Soil Health Assessment
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Week 2: Lecture on soil health and soil indicators; defining measurable soil health indicators for case studies for different soil threats and climate regions

Week 3: Short lecture on sampling, sensors and data logging; preparing sensors and data loggers in the lab; measurements on water content and temperature in the lab

Week 4: Short introduction on field installation; sensor installation at field site Hönggerberg

Week 5: Lecture on geophysical methods on subsurface characterization: basic principles of ERT, GPR, and EM; planning of field experiment to assess soil health

Week 6: Short introduction on data analysis; field sampling and conducting field experiment to assess soil health

Week 7: Analysis of experimental data and soil health assessment; poster presentation and discussion
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Week 8: Lecture on plant soil relationship; connecting information below and above ground – data analysis

Weeks 9 and 10: Forest characterization/ inventory: Principles of LiDAR; structures and features of the tree crowns, size/volume of the leaf area tree positions and diameters at breast height

Weeks 11 and 12: Eddy covariance methods -Principles for field measurement of water vapor, carbon dioxide, and energy exchange between terrestrial surfaces and the atmosphere; Analysis of measured time series to determine evaporation rate and CO2-fluxes

Week 13: Swiss Soil Monitoring networks – Monitoring of soil water content and potential; climate change and droughts

Week 14: Global data – Global modeling and data interpretation; SoilGrids and OpenLandMap; exercises on Budyko analysis
LiteratureLecture material will be online for registered students using moodle
Prerequisites / NoticeThe details of the schedule will be optimized based on the number of students; some blocks of the course will be offered as well to students of Environmental Engineering
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesfostered
Techniques and Technologiesfostered
Method-specific CompetenciesDecision-makingfostered
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationfostered
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Personal CompetenciesCreative Thinkingfostered
Critical Thinkingfostered
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits5 credits
ExaminersP. U. Lehmann Grunder, A. Carminati
Typeungraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.

Learning materials

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Offered in

Environmental Sciences MasterMethods and Tools: Lab CoursesWInformation
Environmental Sciences MasterMethods and ToolsWInformation