Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2021

Environmental Sciences Bachelor Information
Students can choose between one Bachelor thesis of 10KP or two Bachelor theses of 5KP each.

In principle, all professors and lecturers involved in the teaching of the Environmental Sciences degree programme are entitled to supervise a Bachelor's thesis (BA).
BA in the area of social sciences and humanities can only be supervised by lecturers who teach in this area. The same applies to BA in the field of natural sciences and technology.
If the thesis is supervised by a person who does not teach in the Environmental Sciences degree programme or who does not have ETH lecturer status, then the student has to fill in the "Form for supervisors of a Bachelor thesis who do not teach in the Environmental Sciences degree programme" Link
Basic Courses I
First Year Examinations
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
701-0007-00LTackling Environmental Problems I Restricted registration - show details
Only for Environmental Sciences BSc.
O5 credits4GC. E. Pohl, M. Mader, B. B. Pearce
AbstractEach year in the case study we analyse a different topic from the field of sustainable development and develop solutions to it.
ObjectiveStudents are able:
- carry out research on a given topic and present the results in a structured report which (a) shows the state of knowledge and (b) the need for knowledge and action (UPL I).
- to integrate knowledge of diverse perspectives in a qualitative systems model, to identify problems and to suggest possible solutions from a specific stakeholder's perspective (UPL II).
- 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 (UPL I and II).
ContentIn the first semester the students compile what is known about the case topic, its principles and challenges. 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. The results are written in a report and presented at an internal conference.

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 and develop solutions.

In the second semester, students work independently and in exchange with stakeholders on previously identified problems. They develop a sustainability project with concrete measures that they could implement voluntarily in the third semester. The course concludes with the presentation of the student projects on the "Market of Measures".

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 (by external experts),
- 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 (SystemQ),
- Developing solutions (design thinking, Checklands' soft systems methodology, sustainability assessment).
Lecture notesTutors will compile the case study dossier on the basis of the student reports.
LiteratureMethodological documentation will be made available on Moodle during the case study together with the relevant background literature.
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesProject Managementassessed
Social CompetenciesCooperation and Teamworkassessed
Personal CompetenciesSelf-awareness and Self-reflection assessed
Self-direction and Self-management assessed
701-0027-00LEnvironmental Systems IO2 credits2VC. Schär, N. Dubois, G. Velicer
AbstractThe lecture provides a science-based exploration of environmental aspects from three research fields: earth, climate, and health sciences.
ObjectiveThe students are able to explain important properties of the three environmental systems, to discuss critical drivers, trends and conflicts of their use, and to compare potential solutions.
ContentThe lecture discusses the role of the environmental systems based on selected environmental problems, among these the exploration of raw materials and fossil fuels, climate change and its impacts on man and environment, and the spread and control of infectious diseases in the human population and agricultural systems.
Lecture notesSlides are provided by instructors and are accessible via moodle.
701-0029-00LEnvironmental Systems IIO3 credits2VA. Patt, H. Bugmann, N. Gruber
AbstractThe lecture provides a science-based exploration of three important environmental systems: Inland waters, forest, and of food systems.
ObjectiveThe students are able to explain important functions of the three environmental systems, to discuss critical drivers, trends and conflicts of their use and to compare potential solutions.
ContentAquatic ecosystems and their function, water use and its impact, water pollution and water treatment, water and health, water technologies, water & energy.

Forests and agroforest systems, trends and drivers of land use changes, sustainable forest management.

The main functions, trends and challenges of agricultural and food systems are discussed based on the four dimensions of food security (availability, access, utilization of food and stability of the food systems).
Lecture notesLecture notes or other documentation are provided by instructors and accessible via moodle.
701-0243-01LBiology III: Essentials of EcologyO3 credits2VC. Buser Moser
AbstractThis introductory lecture in ecology covers basic ecological concepts and the most important levels of complexity in ecological research. Ecological concepts are exemplified by using aquatic and terrestrial systems; corresponding methodological approaches are demonstrated. Threats to biodiversity and the appropriate management are discussed.
ObjectiveThe objective of this lecture is to teach basic ecological concepts and the different levels of complexity in ecological research.
The students should learn ecological concepts at these different levels in the context of concrete examples from terrestrial and aquatic ecology. Corresponding methods for studying the systems will be presented.
A further aim of the lecture is that students achieve an understanding of biodiversity, why it is threatened and how it can be managed.
Content- Einfluss von Umweltfaktoren (Temperatur, Strahlung, Wasser, Nährstoffe etc.) auf Organismen; Anpassung an bestimmte Umweltbedingungen
- Populationsdynamik: Ursachen, Beschreibung, Vorhersage und Regulation
- Interaktionen zwischen Arten (Konkurrenz, Koexistenz, Prädation, Parasitismus, Nahrungsnetze)
- Lebensgemeinschaften: Struktur, Stabilität, Sukzession
- Ökosysteme: Kompartimente, Stoff- und Energieflusse
- Biodiversität: Variation, Ursachen, Gefährdung und Erhaltung
- Aktuelle Naturschutzprobleme und -massnahmen
- Evolutionäre Ökologie: Methodik, Spezialisierung, Koevolution
Lecture notesUnterlagen, Vorlesungsfolien und relevante Literatur sind in Moddle abrufbar. Die Unterlagen für die nächste Vorlesung stehen jeweils spätestens am Freitagmorgen zur Verfügung.
LiteratureGenerelle Ökologie:
Townsend, Harper, Begon 2009. Ökologie. Springer, ca. Fr. 70.-

Aquatische Ökologie:
Lampert & Sommer 1999. Limnoökologie. Thieme, 2. Aufl., ca. Fr. 55.-;
Bohle 1995. Limnische Systeme. Springer, ca. Fr. 50.-

Naturschutzbiologie:
Baur B. et al. 2004. Biodiversität in der Schweiz. Haupt, Bern, 237 S.
Primack R.B. 2004. A primer of conservation biology. 3rd ed. Sinauer, Mass. USA, 320 pp.
401-0251-00LMathematics IO6 credits4V + 2UF. Da Lio
AbstractThis course covers mathematical concepts and techniques necessary to model, solve and discuss scientific problems - notably through ordinary differential equations.
ObjectiveMathematics is of ever increasing importance to the Natural Sciences and Engineering. The key is the so-called mathematical modelling cycle, i.e. the translation of problems from outside of mathematics into mathematics, the study of the mathematical problems (often with the help of high level mathematical software packages) and the interpretation of the results in the original environment.

The goal of Mathematics I and II is to provide the mathematical foundations relevant for this paradigm. Differential equations are by far the most important tool for modelling and are therefore a main focus of both of these courses.
Content1. Single-Variable Calculus:
review of differentiation, linearisation, Taylor polynomials, maxima and minima, antiderivative, fundamental theorem of calculus, integration methods, improper integrals.

2. Linear Algebra and Complex Numbers:
systems of linear equations, Gauss-Jordan elimination, matrices, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, cartesian and polar forms for complex numbers, complex powers, complex roots, fundamental theorem of algebra.

3. Ordinary Differential Equations:
separable ordinary differential equations (ODEs), integration by substitution, 1st and 2nd order linear ODEs, homogeneous systems of linear ODEs with constant coefficients, introduction to 2-dimensional dynamical systems.
Literature- Thomas, G. B.: Thomas' Calculus, Part 1 (Pearson Addison-Wesley).
- Bretscher, O.: Linear Algebra with Applications (Pearson Prentice Hall).
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisites: familiarity with the basic notions from Calculus, in particular those of function and derivative.
529-2001-02LChemistry IO4 credits2V + 2UJ. Cvengros, J. E. E. Buschmann, P. Funck, E. C. Meister, R. Verel
AbstractGeneral Chemistry I: Chemical bond and molecular structure, chemical thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium.
ObjectiveIntroduction to general and inorganic chemistry. Basics of the composition and the change of the material world. Introduction to the thermodynamically controlled physico-chemical processes. Macroscopic phenomena and their explanation through atomic and molecular properties. Using the theories to solve qualitatively and quantitatively chemical and ecologically relevant problems.
Content1. Stoichiometry
Amount of substance and mass. Composition of chemical compounds. Reaction equation. Ideal gas law.
2. Atoms
Elementary particles and atoms. Electron configuration of the elements. Periodic system.
3. Chemical bonding and its representation. Spatial arrangement of atoms in molecules. Molecular orbitals.
4. Basics of chemical thermodynamics
System and surroundings. Description of state and change of state of chemical systems.
5. First law of thermodynamics
Internal energy. Heat and Work. Enthalpy and reaction enthalpy.
6. Second law of thermodynamics
Entropy. Change of entropy in chemical systems and universe. Reaction entropy.
7. Gibbs energy and chemical potential.
Combination of laws of thermodynamics. Gibbs energy and chemical reactions. Activities of gases, condensed substances and species in solution. Equilibrium constant.
8. Chemical equilibrium
Law of mass action. Reaction quotient and equilibrium constant. Phase transition equilibrium.
9. Acids and bases
Properties of acids and bases. Dissociation of acids and bases. pH and the calculation of pH-values in acid-base systems. Acid-base diagrams. Buffers. Polyprotic acids and bases.
10. Dissolution and precipitation.
Heterogeneous equilibrium. Dissolution and solubility product. Carbon dioxide-carbonic acid-carbonate equilibrium.
Lecture notesOnline-Skript mit durchgerechneten Beispielen.
LiteratureCharles E. Mortimer, CHEMIE - DAS BASISWISSEN DER CHEMIE. 12. Auflage, Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart, 2015.

Weiterführende Literatur:
Theodore L. Brown, H. Eugene LeMay, Bruce E. Bursten, CHEMIE. 10. Auflage, Pearson Studium, 2011. (deutsch)

Catherine Housecroft, Edwin Constable, CHEMISTRY: AN INTRODUCTION TO ORGANIC, INORGANIC AND PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY, 3. Auflage, Prentice Hall, 2005.(englisch)
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Decision-makingassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesfostered
Problem-solvingassessed
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationfostered
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Customer Orientationfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence fostered
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Negotiationfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered
Self-direction and Self-management assessed
551-0001-00LGeneral Biology I Restricted registration - show details O3 credits3VU. Sauer, O. Y. Martin, A. Widmer
AbstractOrganismic biology to teach the basic principles of classical and molecular genetics, evolutionary biology and phylogeny.
First in a series of two lectures given over two semesters for students of agricultural and food sciences, as well as of environmental sciences.
ObjectiveThe understanding of some basic principles of biology (inheritance, evolution and phylogeny) and an overview of the diversity of life.
ContentThe first semester focuses on the organismal biology aspects of genetics, evolution and diversity of life in the Campbell chapters 12-34.

Week 1-7 by Alex Widmer, Chapters 12-25
12 Cell biology Mitosis
13 Genetics Sexual life cycles and meiosis
14 Genetics Mendelian genetics
15 Genetics Linkage and chromosomes
20 Genetics Evolution of genomes
21 Evolution How evolution works
22 Evolution Phylogentic reconstructions
23 Evolution Microevolution
24 Evolution Species and speciation
25 Evolution Macroevolution

Week 8-14 by Oliver Martin, Chapters 26-34
26 Diversity of Life Introdution to viruses
27 Diversity of Life Prokaryotes
28 Diversity of Life Origin & evolution of eukaryotes
29 Diversity of Life Nonvascular&seedless vascular plants
30 Diversity of Life Seed plants
31 Diversity of Life Introduction to fungi
32 Diversity of Life Overview of animal diversity
33 Diversity of Life Introduction to invertebrates
34 Diversity of Life Origin & evolution of vertebrates
Lecture notesno script
LiteratureCampbell et al. (2017) Biology - A Global Approach. 11th Edition (Global Edition
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lecture is the first in a series of two lectures given over two semesters for students with biology as as a basic subject.
Additional First Year Compulsory Courses
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
252-0839-00LInformatics Information O2 credits2GL. E. Fässler, M. Dahinden
AbstractStudents learn to apply selected concepts and tools from computer science for working on interdisciplinary projects. The following topics are covered: modeling and simulations, managing data with lists and tables and with relational databases, introduction to programming.
ObjectiveThe students learn to

- choose and apply appropriate tools from computer science,
- process and analyze real-world data from their subject of study,
- handle the complexity of real-world data.
Content1. Modeling and simulations
2. Data management with lists and tables
3. Data management with a relational database
4. Introduction to macro programming
5. Introduction to programming with Python
Lecture notesAll materials for the lecture are available at Link
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course is based on application-oriented learning. The students spend most of their time working through projects with data from natural science and discussing their results with teaching assistants. To learn the computer science basics there are electronic tutorials available.
529-0030-00LLaboratory Course: Elementary Chemical TechniquesO3 credits6PA. de Mello, F. Jenny, M. H. Schroth
AbstractThis practical course provides an introduction to elementary laboratory techniques.
The experiments cover a wide range of techniques, including analytical and synthetic techniques (e. g. investigation of soil and water samples or the preparation of simple compunds). Furthermore, the handling of gaseous substances is practised.
ObjectiveThis course is intended to provide an overview of experimental chemical methods.
The handling of chemicals and proper laboratory techniques represent the main
learning targets. Furthermore, the description and recording of laboratory processes is an essential part of this course.
ContentThe classification and analysis of natural and artificial compounds is a key subject of this
course. It provides an introduction to elementary laboratory techniques, and the experiments cover a wide range of analytic and synthetic tasks:
Selected samples (e.g. soil and water) will be analysed with various methods, such as titrations,
spectroscopy or ion chromatography. The chemistry of aqeous solutions (acid-base equilibria and solvatation or precipitation processes) is studied.
The synthesis of simple inorganic complexes or organic molecules is practised.
Furthermore, the preparation and handling of environmentally relevant gaseous species like carbon dioxide or nitrogen oxides is a central subject of the Praktikum.
Lecture notesThe script will be published on the web.
Details will be provided on the first day of the semester.
LiteratureA thorough study of all script materials is requested before the course starts.
Prerequisites / NoticeSafety conceptt: Link
751-0801-00LFundamentals of Microscopy and Plant Biology Restricted registration - show details O1 credit1V + 2GE. B. Truernit
AbstractPrinciples and methods of light microscopy. Preparation of specimen for microscopy; documentation. Anatomy of seed plants: From cells to organs. Special features of plant cells. Anatomy and function of plant organs. Anatomical adaptations to different environments.
ObjectiveCapability of preparing biological specimen, microscopy and documentation. Understanding the correlation between plant structure and function at the level of organs, tissues and cells.
Awareness of the link between plant anatomy, systematics, physiology, ecology, and development.
ContentBasics of optics. Principles of light microscopy. Microscope parts and their function. Köhler illumination. Optical contrasting methods. Measuring object sizes with the microscope. Preparation of specimen for light microscopy. Plant tissue staining techniques.
Special features of plant cells: Plastids, vacuole, cell wall. Anatomy of seed plants: From cells to organs. Anatomy and function of various plant tissues (epidermis, vascular tissue, wood, etc.). Anatomy and function of different plant organs (root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit, seed). Anatomical adaptations to different environments.
Lecture notesHandouts
LiteratureFor further reading (not obligatory):
Gerhard Wanner: Mikroskopisch-Botanisches Praktikum, Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart.
Prerequisites / NoticeGroups of a maximum of 30 students.
Basic Courses II
Examination Blocks
Examination Block 1
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
401-0624-00LMathematics IV: StatisticsO4 credits2V + 1UJ. Ernest
AbstractIntroduction to basic methods and fundamental concepts of statistics and probability theory for practicioners in natural sciences. The concepts will be illustrated with some real data examples and applied using the statistical software R.
ObjectiveCapacity to learn from data; good practice when dealing with data and recognizing possible fraud in statistics; basic knowledge about the laws of randomness and stochastic thinking (thinking in probabilities); application of simple methods in inferential statistics (e.g., several hypothesis tests will be introduced), i.a. also using the statistical software R. The lecture will be held in German.
ContentEinführung in die Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung (Grundregeln, Zufallsvariable, diskrete und stetige Verteilungen, Ausblick auf Grenzwertsätze). Beschreibende Statistik (einschliesslich graphische Methoden). Methoden der Analytischen Statistik: Schätzungen, Tests (einschliesslich Binomialtest, t-Test, Vorzeichentest, F-Test, Wilcoxon-Test), Vertrauensintervalle, Vorhersageintervalle, Korrelation, einfache und multiple lineare Regression. Einführung in die statistische Programmiersprache R.
Lecture notesAusführliches Skript zur Vorlesung ist erhältlich.
LiteratureStahel, W.: Statistische Datenanalyse. Vieweg, 5. Auflage 2008 (als ergänzende Lektüre)
Prerequisites / NoticeDie Übungen (ca. die Hälfte der Kontaktstunden; einschliesslich Computerübungen) sind ein wichtiger Bestandteil der Lehrveranstaltung.

Voraussetzungen: Mathematik I, II
402-0063-00LPhysics IIO5 credits3V + 1UA. Vaterlaus
AbstractIntroduction to the concepts and tools in Physics, with the help of demonstration experiments. The Chapters treated are Electromagnetism, Refraction and Diffraction of Waves, Elements of Quantum Mechanics with applications to Spectroscopy, Thermodynamics, Phase Transitions, Transport Phenomena. Whenever possible, examples relevant to the students' main field of study are given.
ObjectiveIntroduction to the scientific methodology. The student should develop his/her capability to turn physical observations into mathematical models, and to solve them.
Lecture notesA script will be distributed
LiteratureFriedhelm Kuypers
Physik für Ingenieure und Naturwissenschaftler
Band 2 Elektrizität, Optik, Wellen
Wiley-VCH, 2012
ISBN 3527411445, 9783527411443

Douglas C. Giancoli
Physik
3. erweiterte Auflage
Pearson Studium

Hans J. Paus
Physik in Experimenten und Beispielen
Carl Hanser Verlag, München, 2002, 1068 S.

Paul A. Tipler
Physik
Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, 1998, 1522 S., ca Fr. 120.-

David Halliday Robert Resnick Jearl Walker
Physik
Wiley-VCH, 2003, 1388 S., Fr. 87.- (bis 31.12.03)

dazu gratis Online Ressourcen (z.B. Simulationen): Link
752-4001-00LMicrobiologyO2 credits2VM. Ackermann, M. Schuppler, J. Vorholt-Zambelli
AbstractTeaching of basic knowledge in microbiology with main focus on Microbial Cell Structure and Function, Molecular Genetics, Microbial Growth, Metabolic Diversity, Phylogeny and Taxonomy, Prokaryotic Diversity, Human-Microbe Interactions, Biotechnology.
ObjectiveTeaching of basic knowledge in microbiology.
ContentDer Schwerpunkt liegt auf den Themen: Bakterielle Zellbiologie, Molekulare Genetik, Wachstumsphysiologie, Biochemische Diversität, Phylogenie und Taxonomie, Prokaryotische Vielfalt, Interaktion zwischen Menschen und Mikroorganismen sowie Biotechnologie.
Lecture notesWird von den jeweiligen Dozenten ausgegeben.
LiteratureDie Behandlung der Themen erfolgt auf der Basis des Lehrbuchs Brock, Biology of Microorganisms
Examination Block 2
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
701-0023-00LAtmosphere Information O3 credits2VE. Fischer, T. Peter
AbstractBasic principles of the atmosphere, physical structure and chemical composition, trace gases, atmospheric cycles, circulation, stability, radiation, condensation, clouds, oxidation capacity and ozone layer.
ObjectiveUnderstanding of basic physical and chemical processes in the atmosphere. Understanding of mechanisms of and interactions between: weather - climate, atmosphere - ocean - continents, troposhere - stratosphere. Understanding of environmentally relevant structures and processes on vastly differing scales. Basis for the modelling of complex interrelations in the atmospehre.
ContentBasic principles of the atmosphere, physical structure and chemical composition, trace gases, atmospheric cycles, circulation, stability, radiation, condensation, clouds, oxidation capacity and ozone layer.
Lecture notesWritten information will be supplied.
Literature- John H. Seinfeld and Spyros N. Pandis, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics: From Air Pollution to Climate Change, Wiley, New York, 1998.
- Gösta H. Liljequist, Allgemeine Meteorologie, Vieweg, Braunschweig, 1974.
701-0071-00LMathematics III: Systems AnalysisO4 credits2V + 1UL. Brunner, R. Knutti, S. Schemm, H. Wernli, P. Zschenderlein
AbstractThe objective of the systems analysis course is to deepen and illustrate the mathematical concepts on the basis of a series of very concrete examples. Topics covered include: linear box models with one or several variables, non-linear box models with one or several variables, time-discrete models, and continuous models in time and space.
ObjectiveLearning and applying of concepts (models) and quantitative methods to address concrete problems of environmental relevance. Understanding and applying the systems-analytic approach, i.e., Recognizing the core of the problem - simplification - quantitative approach - prediction.
ContentLink
Lecture notesOverhead slides will be made available through the course website.
LiteratureImboden, D.S. and S. Pfenninger (2013) Introduction to Systems Analysis: Mathematically Modeling Natural Systems. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer Verlag.

Link
701-0501-00LPedosphereO3 credits2VR. Kretzschmar
AbstractIntroduction to the formation and properties of soils as a function of parent rock, landscape position, climate, and soil organisms. Complex relationships between soil forming processes, physical and chemical soil properties, soil biota, and ecological soil properties are explained and illustrated by numerous examples.
ObjectiveUnderstanding of soils as integral parts of ecosystems, development and distribution of soils as a function of environmental factors, and processes leading to soil degradation.
ContentDefinition of the pedosphere, soil functions, rocks as parent materials, minerals and weathering, soil organisms, soil organic matter, soil formation, principles of soil classification, global soil regions, physical soil properties and functions, chemical soil properties and functions, soil fertility, land use and soil degradation.
Lecture notesPolybook
Literature- Scheffer/Schachtschabel - Soil Science, Springer, Heidelberg, 2016.

- Brady N.C. and Weil, R.R. The Nature and Properties of Soils. 14th ed. Prentice Hall, 2007.
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisites: Basic knowledge in chemistry, biology and geology.
Additional Compulsory Courses
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
701-0033-00LLaboratory Course in Physics for Students of Environmental Sciences Information
Enrollment is only possible under Link.
No registration required via myStudies. For further information visit: Link

Only students from 3th Semester BSc Environmental Sciences on are admitted to this lecture.
O2 credits4PM. Münnich, A. Biland, N. Gruber
AbstractLearning with the basic principles of scientific experimentation. By performing experiments in different fields of experimental physics the students will learn the usage of measurement instruments as well as the correct analysis and assessment of the measurements. Physics as a personal experience will play an important role in it.
ObjectiveWorking in a laboratory forms an important part of modern scientific education. Using simple experimental setup the laboratory course will provide basic knowledge of:
- the setup of experiments,
- various measurement techniques,
- the use of various measurement instruments,
- the correct performance of experiments,
- the analysis of the accuracy of the measurements,
- and the interpretations of the measured quantities.
The course will also deepen the knowledge of experimental physics.

In addition to experiments selected from the physics lab for physicists, this lab course offers experiments specially developed for bachelor students in environmental sciences, which illustrate the mutual relationships between physical processes and chemical and biological phenomena.
ContentThe students select 5 out of 18 offered experiments which they like to perform. For each of these experiments the students document and analyze their measurements, estimate in written reports the accuracy of their results and compare these with the values expected according to the laws of physics.
Lecture notesManuals for the experiments are provided online on the Moodle pages of the course.
Prerequisites / NoticeEnrollment not in MyStudies but at Link.
Social Sciences and Humanities
Compulsory
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
701-0707-00LAnalysing Arguments in Science and Ethics Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of Participants is limited to 160.
Waiting list will be deleted October 1st 2021.

This lecture was offered until spring semester 17 under the title: "Analysing Texts". Students who completed this lecture already are not allowed to earn credits for this lecture again.
O2 credits2GC. J. Baumberger
AbstractProblems of the environment and sustainable development are complex from a scientific as well as from an ethical point of view. Addressing them requires the ability to deal with arguments. This course provides basic knowledge and methods for reconstructing, analysing and evaluating arguments. We exercise and improve these abilities by using examples from science, ethics and political debates.
ObjectiveStudents acquire basic knowledge and methods for analyzing arguments. They are able to apply these methods to complex arguments concerning scientific and ethical questions about the environment and sustainable development, and to construct themselves arguments and apply them successfully. Moreover, they are able to evaluate the contribution of arguments to controversial debates with the help of rules. Students acquire thereby a crucial skill for Critical Thinking, which aims at responsible argumentation, communication and action.
ContentIn the sciences as well as in public discussions or in our everyday life, we try to convince others or to achieve consent in matters of disagreement. We do this with the help of arguments. But what are the criteria for arguments to be convincing and for claims to be clear? And how do we expediently feed arguments into a debate? How can we identify and avoid fallacies in reasoning? How do we analyse and define concepts? This course provides basic knowledge of conceptual analysis and argumentation theory as well as methods for identifying, reconstructing and evaluating claims and arguments. Its focus is on systematically addressing the following two questions: What do you mean? How do you know? The first question aims at a better understanding of the claim in question, the second at assessing the reasons that support or undermine the claim. We exercise and improve the abilities to address these questions by using texts on scientific and ethical questions concerning the environment and sustainable development. The course provides thus crucial skills for Critical Thinking, which aims at responsible argumentation, communication and action.
Lecture notesHandouts will be available.
LiteratureBrun, Georg; Gertrude Hirsch Hadorn. 2014. Textanalyse in den Wissenschaften. Inhalte und Argumente analysieren und verstehen. Zürich: vdf/UTB 3139 (2nd edition)
Bowell, Tracy; Kemp, Gary. 2014. Critical Thinking. A Concise Guide. New York. Routledge. (4th Edition)
Eemeren, Frans van; Grootendorst, Rob; Henkemans, Francisca Snoeck. 2010. Argumentation. Analysis, Evaluation, Presentation. New York: Routledge.
Pfister, Jonas. 2013. Werkzeuge des Philosophierens. Stuttgart: Reclam.
Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter; Fogelin; Robert. 2015. Understanding Arguments. An Introduction to Informal Logic. Concise. Stanford: Cenage Learning. (9th Edition)
Prerequisites / NoticeThis is a compulsory course in the social sciences and humanities in the second year of the BA Environmental sciences. For 2 ECTS-credits, all written tasks that are distributed during the course need to be solved.
701-0747-00LEnvironmental Policy of Switzerland
Number of participants limited to 130.
Priority is given to the target group: Bachelor Study programme Environmental Sciences until September 27th,2021.
Waiting list will be deleted October 1st, 2021.
O3 credits2GE. Lieberherr
AbstractThis course presents the basics of public policy analysis and the specific characteristics of Swiss environmental policy. Policy instruments, actors and processes are addressed from a political science perspective both theoretically as well as by means of current Swiss environmental policy examples.
ObjectiveBeyond acquiring basic knowledge about public policy analysis, this course teaches students how to analytically address current and concrete questions of environmental policy. Through exercises the students learn about political science concepts and frameworks as well as real-life political decision-making processes. The well-grounded examination of complex political conflict situations is an important precondition for the entry into the (environmental policy) workforce or a future research career.
ContentThe processes of change, overuse or destruction of the natural environment through humans have historically placed high demands on social and political institutions. In the interplay between the environment, society and economy, the environmental policy field encompasses the sum of public measures that have the goal to eliminate, reduce or avoid environmental degradation. The course systematically presents the basics of environmental policy instruments, actors, programs and processes as well as their change over time. Invited practitioners will provide us with insight regarding the current developments in forest, water and spatial planning policies. A key aspect is the distinction between politics and political science and specifically environmental policy.
Lecture notesThe reader and additional lecture material and exercises will be posted on Moodle.
LiteratureReader and additional lecture material on moodle.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe detailed semester program (syllabus) is made available to the students at the beginning of the semester.
During the lecture we will work with Moodle and eduApp. We ask that all students register themselves on these platforms before the lecture and to bring a laptop, tablet or smartphone to class, so that you can complete exercises using Moodle and eduApp.
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Social CompetenciesSensitivity to Diversityassessed
Personal CompetenciesCritical Thinkingassessed
Self-direction and Self-management assessed
351-1158-00LPrinciples of EconomicsO3 credits2GU. Renold, T. Bolli, P. McDonald, M. E. Oswald-Egg, F. Pusterla
AbstractThis course introduces basic economic concepts and theories. Beginning with microeconomics, the course starts with the topics of supply and demand, markets, and behavioral economics before moving on to the key macroeconomic concepts of national accounts, the labor market, trade, and monetary policy.
ObjectiveAfter successful completion of the course you will be able to:

-Describe the basic micro- and macroeconomic problems and theories.
-Introduce economic reasoning appropriately to a given topic.
-Evaluate economic measures.
ContentHouseholds, firms, supply and demand: How are household preferences and consumption patterns formed? How does a household react to price changes? How are goods prices formed? At what prices are companies willing to offer goods? How do we make economic decisions?

Markets: What is "perfect competition" and how does a competitive market work? Are monopolies always a bad thing? How can the state influence the market?

Market failure: What happens when prices give wrong signals?

Labour market: How do supply and demand work in the labour market? What influences unemployment?

National accounts: How big is the Swiss economy?

Foreign trade: Why do countries trade with each other? What are the consequences for the domestic market?

Money and inflation: What exactly is money? How does money creation work and what happens when there is too much (or too little) money on the market?

Students will be asked to apply these concepts to issues in their own field of study and to current issues in society. This goal will be achieved through participation in exercises, class discussions and reading material from current media. By the end of the course, students should be able to apply economic analysis confidently and independently.
Lecture notesno script available
LiteratureMankiw, N.G.: "Principles of Economics", 8th edition, South-Western College/West, Mason 2018.
Prerequisites / NoticeSie brauchen keine Vorkenntnisse, um dem Kurs zu folgen.
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Decision-makingassessed
Problem-solvingassessed
Personal CompetenciesCritical Thinkingassessed
Self-direction and Self-management assessed
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