Environmental Monitoring (EMON)

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

Course Level: 
Master’s
Campus: 
Vienna
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Academic Year: 
2021-2022
Term: 
Winter
US Credits: 
2
ECTS Credits: 
4
Course Description: 

Environmental monitoring is a broad field which intends to answer both very specific questions such as "what is the concentration of lead in the water and is it above a threshold of safety" to very broad questions such as "what is the condition of a particular ecosystem and is it changing?" Answering such questions with an effective monitoring strategy takes very different approaches. The lectures, discussions, readings and field exercises for this course are intended to expose students to a wide range of monitoring strategies and current environmental issues.

The course will highlight principles and techniques of effective environmental monitoring programs, how to develop and design a scientific monitoring program using a variety of approaches and how to use bio-indicators to monitor ecosystem health. We will discuss how these methods may be used to monitor amphibian populations and their habitats. The field component will focus on the use of amphibians as bio-indicators of the integrity of freshwater habitats in the Pilis Hills and near Lake Balaton. On-site habitat assessments will be complemented by quantitative field work using Visual Encounter Surveys (VESs) and the amphibian Road Call Count (RCC) method. Group rand individual eports will be based on data derived from selected sites.

Learning Outcomes: 

1) understand the basic principles of environmental monitoring

2) identify the pros and cons of various approaches to monitoring the environment

3) be aware of common bioindicators and how they are used

4) understand the concepts in effective study design and apply them to a monitoring question of concern

5) conduct a simple amphibian monitoring study

6) present findings in a clear and concise fashion

7) work more effectively in a group setting

8) improve ethical conduct whilst undertaking field research

Assessment: 

group report (40%)

individual report (50%)

group self-assessment (5%)

ethical conduct during field work (5%)