Ing - Civ (Mag.)(ord. 270) - MI (489) INGEGNERIA PER L'AMBIENTE E IL TERRITORIO - ENVIRONMENTAL AND LAND PLANNING ENGINEERING
099247 - INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY
Ing Ind - Inf (Mag.)(ord. 270) - BV (477) ENERGY ENGINEERING - INGEGNERIA ENERGETICA
099247 - INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY
The goal of the course is to provide energy engineers with a broad introduction to the fundamentals of ecology, as well as to discuss the applications of this discipline to the problems related to industrial production, with a particular focus on the ecological impacts of human activities at both local and global scales. This course deals with topics concerning the UN Sustainable Development Goals 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), 13 (Climate Action), 14 (Life Below Water) and 15 (Life on Land).
Risultati di apprendimento attesi
Upon completing the course, the students will gain a thorough knowledge and understanding of - the principles of ecological organization and how human activities can interfere with ecological processes; - the flows of energy and matter in ecosystems, with a specific focus on global biogeochemical cycles and their relation with global climate change; - the basic mechanisms that govern population dynamics, with a special emphasis on human demography; - the concept of sustainability, and how to promote sustainable practices in the management of natural resources and industrial systems.
The students will be able to apply the concepts outlined above to - assess the status of ecological systems by using suitable biodiversity indexes; - evaluate energy/matter flows in ecosystems by formulating simple quantitative balances; - describe population dynamics by applying demographic methods and models; - design sustainable management scheme for natural resources and assess the environmental impact of industrial production.
Students will also be guided towards making up their own judgement about engaging topics of broad and urgent interest, specifically concerning the impact of anthropic activities on ecosystem integrity, diversity and services and on global climate change, with the overarching goal of promoting sustainable practices in human societies and industrial systems.
What is ecology and why it is important - fundamentals of biology and physical geography - interactions between the abiotic environment and the living organisms - levels of biological organization: from individuals to biomes - biodiversity: basic concepts, measures, threaths - measuring the value of nature: ecosystem services
Ecosystem functioning - basic ecosystem processes (photosynthesis, respiration, primary production, decomposition) and their measurement - energy and matter flows within and between ecosystems - ecosystem structure: trophic networks, ecological efficiencies, energy pyramids - biogeochemical cycles: general notions, the carbon cycle and its implications for global climate change, the nitrogen cycle, hints to other cycles - the flow of toxic chemicals in ecosystems: principles of ecotoxicology, phenomenological and quantitative aspects
Population dynamics and demography - basic concepts (mortality, fertility, migration), Malthusian dynamics, growth rates - age- and size-structured populations: demographic indicators and dynamics - human demography: age pyramids, local and global projections, demographic transitions - density dependence: interference/exploitative competition, positive density dependence
Sustainability - the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainability - measuring sustainability: indicators and trade-offs - sustainable management of renewable resources: maximum sustainable yield and optimal harvesting policies - basic notions of bioeconomics: open-access resources, the tragedy of the commons, regulation methods - environmental impacts of industrial production: energy and material flow analysis, basics of circular economy, industrial systems as ecological networks
These topics will be covered in succession and will be accompanied by tutorial classes, during which students will be required to solve numerical exercises.
Mathematical formalism is used throughout the course, therefore having completed a basic Calculus course is highly recommended.
Modalità di valutazione
Assessment is performed through either two optional in itinere tests (mid-term and full-term) or a full evaluation test to be taken during one of the regular exam sessions, according to the official academic calendar of the School. All tests are in written form, and include both quantitative exercises (typically 3) and conceptual questions (in either multiple-choice or short-open formats, or both). A 0-32 scale is used to grade each test. As for in itinere tests, the exam is considered as passed if each of the two grades is ≥16/32 and their average is ≥18/32. As for the full test, the exam is considered as passed with a grade ≥18/32.
Within each written test, exercises and questions typically concern all of the topics discussed in the course. Formal correctness, numerical accuracy and exposition clarity all contribute to determine the final grade. Specifically, written tests may evaluate the students' ability to - apply biodiversity measures to real or realistic field data; - formulate energy and matter balances to study exchanges within and between ecosystems; - evaluate demographic indicators for structured populations and study population dynamics through mechanistic models; - use bioeconomic methods to design sustainable management of natural resources.
Course slides and reading materialhttp://www.ecologia.polimi.it/indeco/Ayres, R.U., Ayres, L.W., A Handbook of Industrial EcologyRicklefs, R.E., The Economy of NatureSmith, T.M., Smith, R.L., Elements of EcologySocolow, R., Andrews, C., Berkhout, F., Thomas, V., Industrial Ecology and Global Change
Tipo Forma Didattica
Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua
Disponibilità di materiale didattico/slides in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di libri di testo/bibliografia in lingua inglese
Possibilità di sostenere l'esame in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di supporto didattico in lingua inglese