This course is a comprehensive introduction to ecology. Particular emphasis will be paid to population, community, and ecosystem level processes. This module will help students understand how organisms interact with one another and with their environment, and how changes to the environment; including those caused by humans may affect these interactions. Students will explore the main ecological processes in terms of individuals, populations and communities and will also examine some theories of evolution.
Water resources are under increasing pressure from growing demands from population increase in developing economies, towns, industry and agriculture. We are also facing an uncertain future due to anticipated climate change. Recent sequences of drought and flood years have shown that traditional civil engineering solutions to managing water resources are not necessarily the most effective, or may not be adequate in changing conditions. Water resources planning and management has to look beyond simple utilization of existing structures. Solutions have to work within the management of the available water resource and water demands within the constraints set by technical, social, political and economic drivers.
The course examines the principles of remote sensing covering electromagnetic spectrum, spectral signatures and sensor systems; image processing, image enhancement and visualization and principal component analysis of raster data; Image classification, general principles, unsupervised and supervised classification; Image Interpretation; GPS / GNSS, the satellite system and using using a GPS unit.
Definition of GIS, Digital data, points, lines, polygons; vector and raster forms, attributes, inter-action and manipulation of data. Data capture: digitizing and editing, scanning. Database creation and management, data analysis: overlays, presentation of information products. Examples of application in planning/management/conservation, geology, Relation of remote sensing to GIS.
This course introduces pollution and degradation of environmental quality as an example of the interactions between natural and human systems. It aims to enable students to understand environmental problems, looking at causal linkages between pollution sources, exposure pathways and impacts to environmental quality and human health. The complex relationships between environmental factors and human health, taking into account multiple pathways and interactions, will be assessed in a broader spatial, socio-economic and cultural context. Students will learn how to assess pollution sources, study exposure pathways and fate, and evaluate consequences of human exposure to pollution and its impacts to environmental quality. Providing the evidence base to support decision and policy making, they should be able to evaluate the need for action to respond, (protect, mitigate or prevent), informing the process of evaluation and selection of potential alternative actions to reduce pollution risks when necessary.