Introduction to Environmental Studies
FEKT-MUENAcad. year: 2019/2020
The course introduces students of technological orientation into generic environmental problematic with connection to concept of sustainable development. In this concept, we will discuss aspects of technology, humanities and social sciences. The course focuses on the definition of actual state of the world, environmental and social issues and the consequences of economic development. Significant part of lecture will be dedicated to measurement of sustainability - so called indicators. Moreover, important global, EU and national legislation in the field of sustainability will be discussed. As one of the most important, we will discuss tools of sustainable production, e.g. cleaner production, BAT, LCA, corporate responsibility, integrated management system or EMAS, and tools of sustainable consumption.
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge obtained in the course forms a complementary material to the technical aspect as presented by the course Ecological Engineering. At the end of the course, students should be able to:
1) defend the meaning and importance of environmentalism in present world,
2) explain how the progression of environmental issues corresponds with apparently unrelated disciplines such as economy, technology ethics ets.
3) propose possible solutions of contemporary environmental issues in various levels- from personal to international level ,
4) analyse pros and cons of possible solutions,
5) assess contemporary aproaches to solving the national and international environmental issues,
6) interpret and debate results of up to now succesfull and unsuccesfull solutions of environmental issues.
The subject knowledge on the Bachelor´s degree level is requested.
Recommended optional programme components
Recommended or required reading
Bittner, M. Úvod do udržitelného rozvoje, 2013, Masarykova univerzita, ISBN 978-80-210-6622-9
Moldan, B. Podmaněná planeta, 2009, Univerzita Karlova v Praze, ISBN 978-80-246-1580-6
Meadows a kol., Limits to growth - The 30-year update, 2004, Earthscan, ISBN 978-1-84407-144-9
Homer-Dixon, T. The upside of down, 2006, Souvenir Press, ISBN 978-0-285-63794
Planned learning activities and teaching methods
Education is performed as lectures with Powerpoint presentation. During semester, students work in groups of 1-5 on chosen environmental topic that is finally presented at the end of the course. Part of the education is also scientific tour to "eco-village" Hostětín. Understanding of consequences is emphasized. Students are frequently asked to think about actual topic. They are encouraged to ask questions and interact with the lecturer.
Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes
Project evaluation: 30 points.
Final exam: 70 points.
The final exam verifies the understanding of the meaning and context of environmentalism.
Language of instruction
1) State of the world, global social and environmental issues, evolution of the economy and the environment
2) All the aspects of the sustainable development (SD) concept
3) Indicators of sustainability
4) Important international documents; international obligations of the Czech Rep
5) National environmental policy of the Czech Rep. and its development
6) Environmental policy of EU and UN.
7) Principles and strategy of cleaner production and realization of the cleaner production,
8) Environmental management of companies and the tools
9) Economical and legal tools of cleaner production
The aim of this course is to provide students with the technological orientation to see the environmental problematics and sustainable development as seen by environmentalists.
Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences
In a individial activity students compose and present work on a given topic.