NS6204: Pollution in Ecological Systems

NS6204: Pollution in Ecological Systems

Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.

Module Title Pollution in Ecological Systems
Module Code NS6204
Module Tutor Julia Webb
School School of Natural and Social Sciences
CAT Points 15
Level of Study 6
Brief Description

This module aims to introduce fundamental principles of pollution and the effects on ecology and the wider environment. Using multidisciplinary laboratory techniques, students will gain an overview of contemporary pollution issues. A range of remediation techniques for polluted environments and ecosystems will also be evaluated and assessed practically in the laboratory. This module advances concepts covered in NS5204 Ecological Impact Assessment and Monitoring.


Indicative Syllabus

The module allows students to develop a scientific understanding of pollution in the environment by examining and evaluating a range of case studies. It introduces a range of different pollutants in various ecosystems, before considering the effect of these on ecology in its widest sense. Species and ecosystems are considered as receptors, transporters and indicators of pollution. Strategies to prevent and control pollution on land, in water and in the air are also discussed. Remediation, including bioremediation using microbes and plants is considered as well as the potential to develop new ecosystems onpreviously-contaminated land. The module concludes by considering global pollution including recent anthropogenic-induced climate change.

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain the main chemical and biological features of complex pollution incidents and critically assess the impact various contaminants might have on an ecosystem

2. Understand the regulatory basis of pollution prevention and control in the UK

3. Understand, and be able to apply, the key biological, physical and chemical methods used to remediate contaminated sites or reduce/eliminate the discharge of pollutants to the environment

4. Critically evaluate environmental pollution issues and the processes that influence their source, pathway and receptors

5. Investigate the variability in environmental quality encountered both naturally and after human interference in natural systems;

6. Apply specific laboratory tests to quantify aspects of pollution monitoring

Learning and Teaching Activities Scheduled Contact Hours: 36
Independent Learning Hours: 114
Assessment (For further details see the Module Guide) 001: 100% Assignment: Individual: 3000 words or equivalent
Special Assessment Requirements None
Indicative Resources The current reading list can be found in the Module Guide, which your lecturer should make available via Moodle.

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