Course code VidZ1002

Credit points 3

Eco Management Schemes

Total Hours in Course81

Number of hours for lectures20

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes12

Independent study hours49

Date of course confirmation22.02.2017

Responsible UnitInstutute of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Engineering

Course developer

author Ainavu arhitektūras un vides inženierijas institūts

Artūrs Veinbergs


Course abstract

Study course provide an overview of principles of ecology and environmental protection. It gives an explanation of ecological factors and the reflection of those in the processes in the ecosystems within the biosphere. Practical training develops the skills to take an overview with a grain of salt for a social and individual life style and impact of that to the entire environment as unified system. The skills help to define the issue and to deal with that by imitating the realistic problem and scenarios where the different needs and opinions run thru the groups of different stake holders.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge in: 1. overall natural processes interacting in the environment – exam; 2. the interactions between non-living environment and species, environmental evolution and species adaptation – exam; 3. ecosystems framework functions and stability - exam; 4. anthropogenic impact on ecosystems stability, ecological issues and the necessity of the solutions for sustainable development – exam.
Abilities: 1. to assess the sustainability of the lifestyle critically in line with individuals and society actions – practical work; 2. to harmonize the stakeholder's interests when planning the production of the goods – practical work; 3. to assess the activities of the individual company, to develop and integrate the environmental action plan within the activities for improved performance in utilizing the natural resources, for motivating the employees and reducing the impact on the environment – practical work.

Competences: 1. to perform the overall assessment of human habits and the pathways for improving their performance in line with environmental protection – practical work and exam; 2. to discuss the impact of goods production by offering the alternatives for sustainable development – practical work and exam; 3. to estimate the performance of approbated solutions and the need for innovations when addressing the local and global environmental issues – exam; 4. practically work for integration of environmental and audit systems in good production – practical work.

Course Content(Calendar)

Week 1: introduction, content and realization of studies subject; concepts of ecology and environmental protection – 2 hours.
Week 2: 1th practical work “General insight into environmental issues” – 2 hours.
Week 3: biosphere, ecosystem, biocenosis, habitat, biodiversity – 2 hours.
Week 4: basic ecosystem functions, energy flow and food consumption, food chains, ecological niche, process interactions – 2 hours.
Week 5: ecological factors, their optimum and thresholds, application of ecological factors in practice – 2 hours.
Week 6: ecological factors, their application in practice – 2 hours.
Week 7: 2nd practical work “Environmental protection and its role in ensuring individual and public benefit” – 2 hours.
Week 8: population, its self-regulatory mechanisms and dynamics, human and natural populations; Human and substance circulation, environmental monitoring – 2 hours.
Week 9: water consumption, pollution and protection – 2 hours.
Week 10: soil properties, degradation and protection – 2 hours.
Week 11: atmosphere, air pollution, climate change, distribution of natural resources, trends in use; sustainable use of resources and environmental protection, waste management trends – 2 hours;
Week 12: 3rd practical work “Environmental Monitoring and Audit systems (EMAS) and ISO 14001 standard” – 2 hours;
Week 13: 4th practical work “Identification of environmental aspects” – 2 hours.
Week 14: 5th practical work “Environmental impact assessment” – 2 hours.
Week 15: 6th practical work “Sustainable work environment, employee involvement, and society information” – 2 hours.

Week 16: defense of 3rd to 6th practical work; closing remarks – 2 hours.

Requirements for awarding credit points

Successfully passed the exam.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

An overview: 1) practical works can be developed in groups of three to four students; 2) each group receives thematically similar tasks; 3) tasks are differentiated by the aspect to be analyzed, the company's specifics, or society's group; 4) the lecturer will explain every task during the classes; 5) tasks can solve during the classes or partly by the individual homework; 6) groups should present each work's results to the lecturer and the students involved in other groups; 7) lecturer evaluates the results with a weight of 80% of the practical work's final mark; 8) groups evaluate other groups' performance (determine 10% of the final mark), give recommendations, and ask questions (determine 10% of the final mark).
1st Practical work. Before the practical work, students get acquainted independently with the ecological footprint concept and the aspects included in the calculations (for example, taking an online test). Within the practical work, students should: 1) analyze daily human activities that require energy, consume natural resources, cause pollution, and waste production; 2) identity the impacts of the good's production, transportation, and disposal; 3) identify the issues caused by everyday activities such as water and food consumption, use of internet in the cell-phones; 4) assess the need for the planning in national or European Union level or globally. As a result of the work, students: 1) define issues; 2) provide individual vision and conclusions about the desired pathways; 3) determine the measures to solve problems.
2nd Practical work. Students should: 1) discuss and define the planned activity (for example, expansion of the company, creation of a new production plant); 2) divide into several imaginary interest groups or stakeholders (e.g., producers, local people, environmentalists, etc.); 3) defines their stakeholder's fundamental interests and analyze the wishes, needs, and requirements of other stakeholders to reach a possible compromise; 4) discuss between the groups to decide the preconditions for the possible implementation of the planned activity; 5) finalize the work results according to the principle to have a few losers and as many winners as possible.
Practical works from 3rd to 6th are mutually subordinate and form a unified work result. The work aims to assess a company/institution's environmental impact and provide recommendations on improving its environmental performance. During classes, the teacher gives instructions on the work to be done, discusses progress and unclear issues. At the end, each group of students presents the results of the 3rd to 6th practical work. There are group discussions, students and the teacher ask questions, provide recommendations, and a final assessment.
3rd Practical work: 1) select an existing company/institution and identify its structure and related activities; 2) Describe the specifics of the work performed by the structural units and the involved employees.
4th practical work: 1) based on the results in the third practical work, identify and summarize in a table the company's direct activities (activities performed in the company) and indirect activities related to the company (activities of cooperation organizations); 2) describe the aspects related to each activity that has an impact on the quality of the environment (e.g., GHG emissions, dust, noise, waste, etc.).
5th Practical work. Students should calculate and evaluate each activity's impact factor on the environment according to the lecturer's methodology, separately for direct and indirect actions.

6th Practical work. Students should: 1) develop proposals for improving the company's environmental performance; 2) arrange the activities in line with priorities; 3) define employee involvement mechanisms and motivation tools; 4) plan activities to inform society.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

The student's work's final evaluation is determined by the obtained points in the exam and practical works. The exam includes 50 multiple-choice test questions and three written questions.

The total mark is the sum of the marks obtained in the individual works:
1. 40 points (equal to mark 4) are obtained for 25 correctly answered exam test questions;
2. In case the threshold of 25 correct answers is reached, the student receives 1 point for every next correctly answered question (25 points in total that is equal to mark 2.5);
3. a maximum of 9 points (equal to mark 0.9) may be obtained for written examination questions;
4. 5 points (equal to mark 0.5) are obtained for the 1st practical work;
5. 5 points (equal to mark 0.5) are obtained for the second practical work;
6. for the third to the sixth practical work, 16 points (equal to mark 1.6) are obtained.

At least 25 test questions must be answered correctly in the exam to pass the study course (received mark 4) successfully. Other exam questions and practical work allow increasing the mark until 10.

Compulsory reading

1. Ekoloģija un vides aizsardzība. J.Švarcbahs, R.Sudārs, V.Jansons, A.Zīverts, U.Kļaviņš, Ē.Dreimanis, P.Bušmanis. Mācību līdzeklis. Jelgava: LLU, 2006. 225 lpp.
2. Vides zinātne. M.Kļaviņš (red.). Rīga: LU akadēmiskais apgāds, 2008. 599 lpp.
3. Vides un ilgtspējīga attīstība. M. Kļaviņš un J.Zaļoksnis (red.). Rīga: LU akadēmiskais apgāds, 2010. 334 lpp. Pieejams:

Further reading

1. Eiropas kopienas regula EEC Nr. 1836/93 Pieejams (angļu val.)
2. Belmane I., Dalhammars K. Rokas grāmata vides pārvaldības sistēmas ieviešanai atbilstoši ISO 14001. Praktiski padomi un standarta prasību skaidrojumi. Lunda, 2002. ISBN 91-88902-25-080.

Periodicals and other sources

1. Vides pārraudzības un valsts birojs. EMAS. Materiāli. (resurss skatīts. 10.02.2017)


This study course is compulsory for professional bachelor study program Wood Processing.