Course code VidZ3006

Credit points 2

Ecology and Environmental Protection

Total Hours in Course80

Number of hours for lectures24

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes8

Independent study hours48

Date of course confirmation15.02.2011

Responsible UnitDepartment of Environmental Engineering and Water Management

Course developer

author prof.

Ritvars Sudārs

Dr. sc. ing.

Course abstract

Humans, environmental issues, their causes and sustainability. The ecological background: biosphere, ecosystems and its components, energy flow and matter cycling. Resources and sustainable resource management. Nature protection. Biodiversity in aquatic and terrestrial systems. Environmental quality: assessment and mitigation of water, air and soil pollution. Impact of agriculture on biodiversity, soil erosion, pesticides and nutrients. Solid and hazardous waste. Environmental problems: climate change, depletion and air pollution. Environmental economics and politics.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

1. The course develops knowledge and understanding of the conceptual foundation of ecology and environmental science, describe solutions for most important environmental problems, gives students insight to the theoretical and practical issues of Ecology and Environmental Protection - 1. test, written test (or exam) at the end of this study course;
2. The course enables students with an ability of critical thinking to discern facts and will help them to analyze environmental issues relevant with the scope of course works, projects and graduation works in their field of studies - paper report, written test (or exam) at the end of this study course.
3. The course elaborates competence to use the basic ecological principles that govern the solving of environmental problems, that students can then bring to elaborate their projects and research approaches on relevant issues of their field of studies - 2. - 6. test, written test (or exam) at the end of this study course.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Environment as a subject of studies. History of environmental protection. Environmental characteristics and its description, 2h.
2. 1st practical work: Specially protected nature territories, 2h.
3. Ecology – a theoretical basis of environmental protection. Content and structure of ecology. Habitats of living organisms. Ecological factors, 2h.
4. Population. Characteristics, structure, and dynamics of population. Homeostasis of population, 2h.
5. Biocenosis. Properties of biocenosis. Ecological niche, 1h. 2nd practical work: Nature and biosphere reserves, 1h.
6. Ecosystem. Flow of substances and energy in an ecosystem. Productivity and dynamics of ecosystems. Biosphere, 2h.
7. Formation and development of human population. Urbanization, food security, diseases, 2h.
8. Environment and agriculture. Impacts of agriculture on the environment, 1h. 3rd practical work: National parks, 1h.
9. Natural resources and principles of sustainable use of natural resources. Energy resources. Minerals, 2h.
10. Water resources. Plant and animal resources. Land resources, 1h. 4th practical work: Nature parks, natural monuments, 1h.
11. Environmental pollution. Classification and characteristics of pollution. Environmental quality and human health, 2h.
12. 5th practical work: Protection zones I, 2h.
13. Water pollution. Wastewater treatment. Protection of water resources, 2h.
14. Air (atmospheric) pollution. Types of air pollution and outspread. Reduction of air pollution, 2h.
15. Waste and pollution caused by waste. Problems of waste utilization. Waste management, 1h. 6th practical work: Protection zones II, 1h.
16. Environment and society. Essence of sustainable development. Sustainable production. Code of good agricultural practice, 2h.

Requirements for awarding credit points

1. During the study semester six tests are successfully passed on the topics of practical works.
2. At the end of the study semester a written examination about a theoretical part of the study course has been successfully passed.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

The student should independently prepare for six tests on the topics explored within the practical works. The students should complete six tests by providing answers to ten questions in each test. The tests are recognized as passed if at least six questions are answered correctly. Each correct answer is evaluated with one point. The total score obtained during all tests is multiplied by a factor of 0.7 and included in a cumulative evaluation for this study course.
At the end of the study semester the students have to complete a written examination about a theoretical part of the study course by providing answers to 50 questions. The written examination is recognized as passed if at least 25 questions are answered correctly. Each correct answer is evaluated with one point and the total score is included in a cumulative evaluation for this study course. If the students did not provide correct answers to at least 25 questions and thus did not passed the written examination, the examination should be completed repeatedly. The points obtained in all written examinations are summed and divided by the number of writing times.
In addition to practical works and theoretical studies, students can conduct an in-depth study related to a topic of environmental protection by writing a report. This report should consist of at least 12 pages and should be prepared according to generally accepted technical and content requirements. This report can be evaluated up to ten points and included in a cumulative evaluation for this study course.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

The final grade upon completion of this study course will depend on the number of points obtained during the semester.
Grading in the 10-point scale:
< 40 points - 3 (unsatisfactory)
40 ... 45 points - 4 (almost satisfactory);
46 ... 55 points - 5 (satisfactory);
56 ... 65 points - 6 (almost good);
66 ... 75 points - 7 (good);
76 ... 85 points - 8 (very good);
86 ... 90 points - 9 (excellent);
> 90 points - 10 (with distintion).

Compulsory reading

1. Ekoloģija un vides aizsardzība : mācību līdzeklis. 2006. J. Švarcbahs ... [u.c.] ; Latvijas Lauksaimniecības universitāte. Vides un ūdenssaimniecības katedra. Jelgava: LLU, 225 lpp.
2. Dabas aizsardzība. 2011. Oļģerta Nikodemus un Gunta Brūmeļa redakcijā; Rīga : LU Akadēmiskais apgāds, 287 lpp.
3. Vides zinātne. 2008. Māris Kļaviņš ... [u.c.] ; Māra Kļaviņa redakcijā. [Rīga] : LU Akadēmiskais apgāds,. 599 lpp.
4. Vide un ilgtspējīga attīstība. 2010. Redaktori Māris Kļaviņš un Jānis Zaļoksnis. Rīga: LU Akadēmiskais apgāds. 334 lpp. ISBN 978-9984-45-220-3
5. Fundamentals of Environmental Studies. 2016. Mahua Basu, S. Xavier. Cambridge University Press. Pages 450. ISBN 978-1-107-53617-3.
6. Environmental science. 2003. L.Ryden, P.Migula & M.Anderson. The Baltic University Press. Uppsala, Sweden. P. 824.
7. Environment and sustainable development. 2010. Edited by Māris Kļaviņš, Walter Leal Filho, Jānis Zaļoksnis ; Riga : Academic Press of University of Latvia, Pages 300 . ISBN 978-9984-45-234-0
8. Ecology and Animal Health. 2012. Editors Leif Norrgren and Jeffrey M.Levengood, Uppsala Universitet. P. 382. ISBN 978-91-86189-12-9.
9. Sustainable Agriculture. 2012. Editor: Christine Jakobsson. Pages: 505. ISBN 978-91-86189-10-5.

Further reading

1. Living in the Environment. 2002. G.Tyler Miller. 12th edition. Thomson learning. USA. Pages 758.
2. Environment. 2001. P.H.Raven, L.R.Berg. Harcourt College Publishers. USA. Pages 612.
3. Sustainable Water Management course that includes 3 textbooks in english and russian.
4. The Waterscape. Editor: Lars-Christer Lundin, Uppsala University, 2nd revised edition 2000 Pages: 207. ISBN: 91-973579-3-6;
5. Water Use and Management. 2000 Editor: Lars-Christer Lundin, Uppsala University, Second revised edition. Pages: 240. ISBN: 91-973579-4-4;
6. River Basin Management. 2000. Editor: Lars-Christer Lundin, Uppsala University, Second revised edition. Pages: 244 ISBN: 91-973579-5-2;


This study course is compulsory for all the levels of undergraduate study programs at Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies.