The Non-Human Biosphere (NHB)

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Remote students
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Description: 

Non-Human Biosphere covers major geological and geophysical processes that are shaping our planet. Ecology is the study of the interactions between organisms and their environment. In this introductory course, students will gain insight into the basic concepts and laws in geology, atmospheric science and ecology, including main ecological theories and biogeochemical cycles. The course will equip students in understanding how ecological principles must be considered in managing the environment.

PART I: Geology and Tectonics

  • Main Geological Features of Earth
  • Plate tectonics and distribution of mineral resources

PART II Glaciations and their role

  • Glaciations in recent geological history
  • Role of Glaciers for the stability of Earth’s ecosystems

Part III Atmospheric Circulation as a driver of ecosystem dynamics

  • Composition of the Atmospere
  • Major seasons and their ecological significance

Part IV Geographical Zonality and concept of Bioms

  • Concept of World’s Climates and ways to study them
  • Ecological Bioms as a function of global Climate Zonality

Part V Ecosystems :

  •  Energy in the Ecosystem
  •  Pathways of Elements in the Ecosystem

PART VI: Populations:
• Population Structures
• Population Growth and Regulation

Learning Outcomes: 

Understand basic concepts and laws of environmental sciences,  be aware of the main ecological theories; understanding major environmental processes: geological history, principles of atmospheric circulation and related ecological bioms, flows of energy, materials and information in ecosystems, ecological succession and evolution.


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