Course code Biol3015

Credit points 4.50


Total Hours in Course120

Number of hours for lectures36

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes12

Independent study hours72

Date of course confirmation17.02.2015

Responsible UnitInstutute of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Engineering

Course developer

author Ainavu arhitektūras un vides inženierijas institūts

Ritvars Sudārs

Dr. sc. ing.

Course abstract

Students learn the basics of ecology as a discipline in biology sciences: acquire knowledge of populations, biocenose, ecosystems, ecological factors; familiarise themselves with the structure of the ecosystem and biosphere, trophic chain in water and terrestrial ecosystems, the circulation of energy and substances. The course covers topical environmental issues, students learn to understand global environmental challenges, the causes of environmental pollution and the methods of limiting it, the environmental impact of agriculture, the principles of sustainable development, environmental legislation and environmental policy.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

After completion of the course, student will have:
• knowledge and understanding of the conceptual foundation of ecology and environmental science, topical environmental problems and theoretical and practical issues of Ecology and Environmental Protection – 1st test, written exam at the end of this study course;
• skills in critical thinking to discern facts that will help them to analyse environmental issues relevant with the scope of course works, projects and graduation works in the field of studies - independent work, written exam at the end of this study course;

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

Part time extramural studies:
All topics specified for full time studies are accomplished, but the number of contact hours is one half of the number
specified in the calendar

Requirements for awarding credit points

1. During the study semester six tests are successfully passed on the topics of practical works.
2. Completed independent work.

3. 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.

Students in independent work analyze issues related to the practical implementation of environmental protection in Latvia, linking them with the legislation of the European Union.

This independent work should consist of at least 12 pages and should be prepared according to generally accepted technical and content requirements, and can be evaluated up to ten points.

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 ... 95 points - 9 (excellent);

> 96 points - 10 (with distinction).

Compulsory reading

1. Vides zinātne. 2008. Māris Kļaviņš ... [u.c.] ; Māra Kļaviņa redakcijā. [Rīga] : LU Akadēmiskais apgāds,. 599 lpp.
2. Dabas aizsardzība. 2011. Oļģerta Nikodemus un Gunta Brūmeļa redakcijā; Rīga : LU Akadēmiskais apgāds, 287 lpp.
3. Vide un ilgtspējīga attīstība. 2010. Redaktori Māris Kļaviņš un Jānis Zaļoksnis. Rīga: LU Akadēmiskais apgāds. 334 lpp. ISBN 978-9984-45-220-3.

4. Ekoloģija un vides aizsardzība : mācību līdzeklis. 2006. J. Švarcbahs ... [u.c.] ; Latvijas Lauksaimniecības universitāte. Vides un ūdenssaimniecības katedra. Jelgava: LLU, 225 lpp.

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. Environmental science: understanding, protecting, and managing the environment in the Baltic Sea region. 2003. Editor Lars Rydén ; co-eds: Pawel Migula, Magnus Andersson. Uppsala: Baltic University Press. Pages 824.
4. The Waterscape. Editor: Lars-Christer Lundin, Uppsala University, 2nd revised edition 2000 Pages: 207. ISBN: 91-973579-3-6;

5. Sustainable Water Management course that includes 3 textbooks in english and russian.

Periodicals and other sources

1. Vides politikas pamatnostādnes 2014-2020. gadam [tiešsaiste]. LR Vides un reģionālās attīstības ministrija. [Skatīts 12.01.2021.]. Pieejams:
2. Vides aizsardzības likums: LR likums [tiešsaiste]. Pieņemts 02.11.2006. Stājas spēkā 29.11.2006. [Skatīts 12.01.2021.]. Pieejams:
3. Par īpaši aizsargājamām dabas teritorijām: LR likums [tiešsaiste]. Pieņemts 02.03.1993. Stājas spēkā 07.04.1993. [Skatīts 12.01.2021.]. Pieejams:

4. Aizsargjoslu likums: LR likums [tiešsaiste]. Pieņemts 05.02.1997. Stājas spēkā 11.03.1997. [Skatīts 12.01.2021.]. Pieejams:


This study course is compulsory for professional bachelor study program “Environment and Water Management”.