Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021

Environmental Sciences Master Information
Major in Environmental Systems and Policy
Theoretical Foundations for Environmental Policy
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
701-0758-00LEcological Economics: Introduction with Focus on Growth CriticsW2 credits2VI. Seidl
AbstractStudents become acquainted with the basics / central questions / analyses of Ecological Economics. Thereby, central will be the topic of economic growth. What are the positions of Ecological Economics in this regard? What are the theories and concepts to found this position in general and in particular economic areas (e.g. resource consumption, efficiency, consumption, labour market, enterprises)?
ObjectiveBecome acquainted with basics and central questions of Ecological Economics (EE): e.g. 'pre-analytic vision', field of discipline, development EE, contributions of involved disciplines such as ecology or political sciences, ecological-economic analysis of topics such as labour market, consumption, money. Critical analysis of growth and learning about approaches to reduce growth pressures.
ContentWhat is Ecological Economics, what are the topics?
Field of the discipline and basics
Resource consumption, its development and measurements
Measurement of economic activity and welfare
Economic growth, growth critics and post-growth society
Consumption, Money, Enterprises, labour market and growth pressures
Starting points for a post-growth society
Lecture notesNo Script. Slides and texts will be provided beforehand.
LiteratureDaly, H. E. / Farley, J. (2004). Ecological Economics. Principles and Applications. Washington, Island Press.

Seidl, I. /Zahrnt A. (2010). Postwachstumsgesellschaft. Konzepte für die Zukunft, Marburg, Metropolis
Seidl, I. /Zahrnt A. (2019). Tätigsein in der Postwachstumsgesellschaft, Marburg, Metropolis

Ausgewählte wissenschaftliche Artikel.
Prerequisites / NoticeParticipation in a lecture on environmental economics or otherwise basic knowledge of economics (e.g. A-Level)
701-0764-00LCrtical Reflection Upon the Economic Growth Paradigm Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 25.

Target groups: Agricultural Sciences (BSc/MSc) and Environmental Sciences (BSc/MSc).
W1 credit1SI. Seidl
AbstractIn this seminar we will read and discuss about three scientific papers which thoroughly and critically deal with economic growth and environmental topics.
ObjectiveEnhanced knowledge on ecological economics, growth critics of ecological economics, energetical-material implications of growth, consumer criticism and growth-critical traditions of thought. Reading and reflection upon scientific textes.
ContentGrowth theory, growth paradigm, growth criticism, energy, entropy, neoclassics versus ecological economics, consumer theories and consumerism.
Prerequisites / NoticeParticipation in course 701-0758-00L Ecological Economics: basics and growth critisism (parallel oder former participation) or very good basic knowledge in ecological economics or environmental economicse
363-1076-00LDiffusion of Clean TechnologiesW3 credits2GB. Girod, C. Knöri
AbstractHow can the diffusion clean technologies be accelerated?
Participants learn to apply analytic tools to understand environmental and business potentials of clean technologies. Exercises that evaluate a clean technology selected by the student themselves deepen the theoretical knowledge gained. Students are trained to evaluate, explain and pitch a clean technology.
ObjectiveAfter completing this course: ...
1) Students are able to apply the theoretical concepts explaining the performance and diffusion of clean technologies*
2) Students can determine key drivers and barriers (economic, environmental, technological, regulatory) for the diffusion of clean technologies*
3) Students know how to quantitatively model key characteristics or dynamics of selected clean technologies*
4) Students are prepared to convincingly present a selected clean technology* to a business or policy audience

*In 2021 we will focus on sustainable negative emission technologies (NET), also known as 'carbon dioxide removal'. This includes all technologies that allow to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. For instance technologies to enable reforestation, carbon storage in soils, Biomass Energy and Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), Direct Air Capture (DAC) or use of wood in construction.
ContentWe face a climate and sustainability crisis which requires a fundamental shift to a truly environmentally friendly economy. A key contribution stems from an accelerated development and application of clean technologies such as technologies harnessing renewable energies, enabling increasing energy efficiency or event resulting in negative emission.

Because of the increasing scientific consensus that we will need negative emission technologies (NET) to avoid dangerous climate change, we will focus on NET in 2021. This includes all technologies that allow to remove CO2 from the atmosphere (examples see above).

The goal of this course is to better understand how we can accelerate the diffusion of clean technologies. Students are enabled to answer critical questions such as: What are barriers hindering the diffusion of a certain clean technology? How can we overcome these barriers and drive the diffusion of clean technologies?

The lecture can be divided into four parts:
1. Input on a conceptual basis: Overview on key frameworks and theories for assessing the environmental and economic performance of clean technologies as well as their resulting diffusion. This part will be provided as input by the lecturers and discussed in class.

2. Assessment of selected clean technologies: Students select out of a long list of clean technologies a technology to assess in more detail. For this technology, the concepts learned in part 1 are applied. Assessments are peer-reviewed and discussed.

3. Modeling of diffusion: Students will develop a simplified model for the diffusion of selected clean technology to better understand the dynamics of diffusion and modeling technological behavior.

4. Presenting clean technologies: To conclude students will learn how to pitch their technology assessment to a business or policy audience since this is a crucial part for enabling technology diffusion. These inspiring presentations form the basis for a final class discussion on selected clean technologies and applied concepts.

The list of concepts, tools and techniques applied and discussed in this lecture includes: Analytical tools to assess the environmental performance of clean technologies (e.g. Life Cycle-Assessment); economic view on the diffusion of clean technologies; evolutionary perspective (e.g. technological learning); decision process of adopters (e.g. status-quo bias of consumers, rebound effect); relevant environmental policies (e.g. standards, labels, carbon pricing); modeling approaches for diffusion of clean technologies (e.g. agent-based modeling); techniques for convincing presentations (e.g. TED-style presentation).
Lecture notesHandout and exercises will be available on electronic platform.
LiteratureRelevant literature will be available on electronic platform.
Prerequisites / NoticeInterest in sustainability and climate action.
364-0576-00LAdvanced Sustainability Economics Information
PhD course, open for MSc students
W3 credits3GL. Bretschger, A. Pattakou
AbstractThe course covers current resource and sustainability economics, including ethical foundations of sustainability, intertemporal optimisation in capital-resource economies, sustainable use of non-renewable and renewable resources, pollution dynamics, population growth, and sectoral heterogeneity. A final part is on empirical contributions, e.g. the resource curse, energy prices, and the EKC.
ObjectiveUnderstanding of the current issues and economic methods in sustainability research; ability to solve typical problems like the calculation of the growth rate under environmental restriction with the help of appropriate model equations.
752-2121-00LConsumer Behaviour IIW2 credits2GM. Siegrist, A. Berthold
AbstractThis course examines important concepts and theories in order to describe and to explain consumer behavior. The focus is on decision making processes, influencing consumer behavior, consumer research, and market segmentation. Selected topics are explained in some depth.
ObjectiveThis course examines important concepts and theories in order to describe and to explain consumer behavior. The course Consumer Behavior I provides an overview, whereas in this course selected topics are explained and discussed in some depth. The focus is on decision making processes, influencing consumer behavior, consumer research, and market segmentation.
752-2123-00LRisk Awareness, Risk Acceptance and TrustW3 credits2VM. Siegrist
AbstractThe course provides an overview about risk perception and acceptance of new technologies. In addition, the most important findings of the research related to decisions under uncertainty are presented.
ObjectiveStudents know the most important theoretical approaches in the domains of risk perception and acceptance of new technologies. Furthermore, students understand the paradigms and the research results in the domain of decision making under uncertainty.
851-0735-11LEnvironmental Regulation: Law and Policy Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 20.

Particularly suitable for students of D-USYS
W3 credits1SJ. van Zeben
AbstractThe aim of this course is to make students with a technical scientific background aware of the legal and political context of environmental policy in order to place technical solutions in their regulatory context.
ObjectiveThe aim of this course is to equip students with a legal and regulatory skill-set that allows them to translate their technical knowledge into a policy brief directed at legally trained regulators. More generally, it aims to inform students with a technical scientific background of the legal and political context of environmental policy. The focus of the course will be on international and European issues and regulatory frameworks - where relevant, the position of Switzerland within these international networks will also be discussed.
ContentTopics covered in lectures:

(1) Environmental Regulation
a. Perspectives
b. Regulatory Challenges of Environment Problems
c. Regulatory Tools
(2) Law: International, European and national laws
a. International law
b. European law
c. National law
(3) Policy: Case studies

Assessment:
(i) Class participation (25%): Students will be expected to contribute to class discussions and prepare short memos on class readings.
(ii) Exam (75%) consisting of two parts:
a. Policy brief - a maximum of 2 pages (including graphs and tables);
b. Background document to the policy brief - this document sets out a more detailed and academic overview of the topic (maximum 8 pages including graphs and tables);
Lecture notesThe course is taught as an interactive seminar and in-class participation is expected from the students. Participation will be capped at 20 in order to maintain the interactive nature of the classes.

All classes, readings, and assignments, are in English.

Teaching will take place over three days in January.
LiteratureThe book for this course is van Zeben and Rowell, A Guide to EU Environmental Law, University of California Press, 2020 - available via Link.

Electronic copy of remaining readings will be provided to the students at no cost before the start of the lectures.
Prerequisites / NoticeNo specific pre-existing legal knowledge is required, however all students must have successfully completed Grundzüge des Rechts (851-0708-00 V) or an equivalent course.

The course is (inter)related to materials discussed in Politikwissenschaft: Grundlagen (851-0577-00 V), Ressourcen- und Umweltökonomie (751-1551-00 V), Umweltrecht: Konzepte und Rechtsgebiete (851-0705-01 V), Rechtlicher Umgang mit natürlichen Ressourcen (701-0743-01 V), Environmental Governance (701-1651-00 G), Policy and Economics of Ecosystem Services (701-1653-00 G), International Environmental Politics: Part I (851-0594-00 V).
860-0015-00LSupply and Responsible Use of Mineral Resources I Restricted registration - show details W3 credits2GB. Wehrli, F. Brugger, K. Dolejs Schlöglova, M. Haupt, C. Karydas
AbstractStudents critically assess the economic, social, political, and environmental implications of extracting and using energy resources, metals, and bulk materials along the mineral resource cycle for society. They explore various decision-making tools that support policies and guidelines pertaining to mineral resources, and gain insight into different perspectives from government, industry, and NGOs.
ObjectiveStudents will be able to:
- Explain basic concepts applied in resource economics, economic geology, extraction, processing and recycling technologies, environmental and health impact assessments, resource governance, and secondary materials.
- Evaluate the policies and guidelines pertaining to mineral resource extraction.
- Examine decision-making tools for mineral resource related projects.
- Engage constructively with key actors from governmental organizations, mining and trading companies, and NGOs, dealing with issues along the mineral resource cycle.
Prerequisites / NoticeBachelor of Science, Architecture or Engineering, and enrolled in a Master's or PhD program at ETH Zurich. Students must be enrolled in this course in order to participate in the case study module course 860-0016-00 Supply and Responsible Use of Mineral Resources II.
860-0016-00LSupply and Responsible Use of Mineral Resources II Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 12.
First priority will be given to students enrolled in the Master of Science, Technology, and Policy Program. These students must confirm their participation by 12.02.2021 by registration through myStudies. Students on the waiting list will be notified at the start of the semester.

Prerequisite is 860-0015-00 Supply and Responsible Use of Mineral Resources I.
W3 credits2UB. Wehrli, F. Brugger, S. Pfister
AbstractStudents integrate their knowledge of mineral resources and technical skills to frame and investigate a commodity-specific challenge faced by countries involved in resource extraction. By own research they evaluate possible policy-relevant solutions, engaging in interdisciplinary teams coached by tutors and experts from natural social and engineering sciences.
ObjectiveStudents will be able to:
- Integrate, and extend by own research, their knowledge of mineral resources from course 860-0015-00, in a solution-oriented team with mixed expertise
- Apply their problem solving, and analytical skills to critically assess, and define a complex, real-world mineral resource problem, and propose possible solutions.
- Summarize and synthesize published literature and expert knowledge, evaluate decision-making tools, and policies applied to mineral resources.
- Document and communicate the findings in concise group presentations and a report.
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisite is 860-0015-00 Supply and Responsible Use of Mineral Resources I. Limited to 12 participants. First priority will be given to students enrolled in the Master of Science, Technology, and Policy Program. These students must confirm their participation by February 7th by registration through MyStudies. Students on the waiting list will be notified at the start of the semester.
860-0022-00LComplexity and Global Systems Science Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 50.

Prerequisites: solid mathematical skills.

Particularly suitable for students of D-ITET, D-MAVT and ISTP
W3 credits2SD. Helbing, S. Mahajan
AbstractThis course discusses complex techno-socio-economic systems, their counter-intuitive behaviors, and how their theoretical understanding empowers us to solve some long-standing problems that are currently bothering the world.
ObjectiveParticipants should learn to get an overview of the state of the art in the field, to present it in a well understandable way to an interdisciplinary scientific audience, to develop models for open problems, to analyze them, and to defend their results in response to critical questions. In essence, participants should improve their scientific skills and learn to think scientifically about complex dynamical systems.
ContentThis course starts with a discussion of the typical and often counter-intuitive features of complex dynamical systems such as self-organization, emergence, (sudden) phase transitions at "tipping points", multi-stability, systemic instability, deterministic chaos, and turbulence. It then discusses phenomena in networked systems such as feedback, side and cascading effects, and the problem of radical uncertainty. The course progresses by demonstrating the relevance of these properties for understanding societal and, at times, global-scale problems such as traffic jams, crowd disasters, breakdowns of cooperation, crime, conflict, social unrests, political revolutions, bubbles and crashes in financial markets, epidemic spreading, and/or "tragedies of the commons" such as environmental exploitation, overfishing, or climate change. Based on this understanding, the course points to possible ways of mitigating techno-socio-economic-environmental problems, and what data science may contribute to their solution.
Lecture notes"Social Self-Organization
Agent-Based Simulations and Experiments to Study Emergent Social Behavior"
Helbing, Dirk
ISBN 978-3-642-24004-1
LiteraturePhilip Ball
Why Society Is A Complex Matter
Link

Globally networked risks and how to respond
Nature: Link

Global Systems Science and Policy
Link

Managing Complexity: Insights, Concepts, Applications
Link

Further links:

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Further literature will be recommended in the lectures.
Prerequisites / NoticeMathematical skills can be helpful
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