1 Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Faculteit Wetenschappen One-Year Master Programme: Environmental Sciences and Technology There is a choice out of four Fields of Specialization Geography Chemistry Overview course : Modules The changing : face of the earth Atmospherical processes and climatic change GIS and spatial analysis Applied geomorphology and landscape monitoring Urban and regional planning Overview course : Environmental Chemistry Modules : Coastal and estuarine ecosystems : primary productivity and pollutants Sediment and soil contamination and remediation Inorganic and micro-organic pollutant emissions : sources, impacts and modellisation Stable isotopes as tracers of bioecological and geological processes Modules : Biology Overview course : Introduction to environmental biology Environmental genetics Nature management and restoration ecology of vegetations Marine and estuarine ecology : foodwebs Ecotoxicology and ecology of top predators Bio-Engineering Overview course : Environmental biotechnology an introduction Modules : Environmental microbiology and bioremediation Environmental engineering I : water, soil & solid waste Environmental engineering II : air, noise, new materials & clean processing Environmental geology and related energy management technologies Environment and society Modules : Life cycle analysis Environmental economics Environmental law Environmental Health problems Radioactive hazards and waste management Environmental impact assessment Contact address : Vrije Universiteit Brussel Secretariaat Faculteit Wetenschappen Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussel, Belgium Tel Fax
2 MASTER IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY The programme consists of 5 clusters, 4 of which correspond to the following domains: GEOGRAPHY CHEMISTRY BIOLOGY BIO-ENGINEERING The student has to specialize in one of those. The selection of the domain (Geography, Chemistry, Biology or Bio-Engineering) in which the student specializes, must be in agreement with his/her former education and training must be approved by the Programme coordinator and by the Dean of the Faculty. The fifth cluster ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY only contains optional courses. The student has to select 5 modules out of the 5 clusters of which at least 3 have to belong to the domain in which he specializes. Moreover he has to follow the 3 overview courses offered in the remaining clusters and to prepare a master thesis. Admission requirements: Equivalent to licentiaat (4 years academic study) in Geography, Geology, Chemistry, Biology, Biomedical Sciences Bio-engineer (5 years academic study) Civil engineer in chemistry (5 years academic study) Medical doctor (7 years academic study) Dentist Pharmacist Duration: 1 year Type: full time Secretary of the Faculty of Sciences: Vrije Universiteit Brussel Secretariaat Faculteit Wetenschappen Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussel, Belgium Tel Fax Coordinator: Prof. E.Keppens, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (GISO WE) Pleinlaan, 2 B-1050 Brussel, Belgium Contact address : Vrije Universiteit Brussel Secretariaat Faculteit Wetenschappen Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussel, Belgium Tel Fax
3 Cluster Geography Overview Course: The changing face of the Earth M. Van Molle (Coördinator): 30h + 15h 4 credits Modules: 1. Atmospherical processes and climatic change 5 credits H. Decleir 30h + 30h 2. GIS and spatial analysis 5 credits H. Decleir 30h + 30h in collaboration with F. Canters 3. Applied Geomorphology and landscape monitoring 5 credits M. Van Molle 30h + 30h 4. Urban and regional planning 5 credits W. De Lannoy 30h + 30h Overview Course: Cluster Chemistry Environmental chemistry W. Baeyens (Coordinator) 30h + 15h 4 credits Modules: 1. Coastal and estuarine ecosystems: primary productivity and pollutants W. Baeyens 15h + 15h N. Brion 15h + 15h 5 credits 2. Sediment and soil contamination and remediation 5 credits L. Goeyens 30h + 30h 3. Inorganic and micro-organic pollutant emissions: sources, impacts and modellisation G. Laus 15h + 15h M. Leermakers 15h + 15h 4. Stable isotopes as tracers of bio-ecological and geological processes - Introduction: E. Keppens 10h + 10h - Stable isotope geochemistry and biogeochemistry in the physical environment: E. Keppens 10h + 10h - Stable isotope geochemistry and biogeochemistry in the ecosphere: F. Dehairs 10h + 10h 5 credits 5 credits
4 Cluster Biology Overview Course: Introduction to environmental biology L. Triest (Coordinator) 30h + 15h 4 credits Modules: 1. Environmental genetics 5 credits M. Volders 30h + 30h 2. Nature management and restoration ecology of vegetations 5 credits L. Triest 15h + 15h N. Koedam 15h + 15h 3. Marine and estuarine ecology: food webs 5 credits H. Daro 30h + 30h 4. Ecotoxicology and ecology of top predators 5 credits C. Joiris 30h + 30h Overview Course: Cluster Bio-Engineering Environmental biotechnology, an introduction G.Baron 30h + 15h 4 credits Modules: 1. Environmental microbiology and bioremediation 5 credits P. Cornelis 30h + 30h in collaboration with N. Glansdorff and M. Mergeay 2. Environmental Engineering I: Water, Soil & Solid Waste 5 credits F. De Smedt 30h + 30h in collaboration with W.Bauwens, A.Hubin, A.Buekens 3. Environmental Engineering II: Air, Noise, Energy & Clean Processing H. Verelst 30h + 30h in collaboration with G.Baron, J.Wastiels, B.Van Mele, M.Van Overmeire 4. Environmental Geology and related energy management technologies E. Keppens 30h + 30h in collaboration with J.De Ruyck 5 credits 5 credits
5 Cluster Environment and Society Modules: 1. Life Cycle Analysis 5 credits N 30h + 30h 2. Environmental Economics 5 credits M. Grinwis 30h + 30h 3. Environmental Law 5 credits M. Pallemaerts 15h + 15h G. Goldenman 15h + 15h 4. Environmental Health Problems 5 credits J. Willems 30h + 30h 5. Environmental Impact Assessment 5 credits L. Triest 30h + 30h 6. Radioactive Hazards and Waste Management 5 credits G. Eggermont 30h + 30h
6 Cluster Geography Detailed contents GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Geography Overview Course The changing face of the earth M. Van Molle This course highlights the changing environmental conditions at the Earths surface
7 GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Geography Module 1 Atmospheric Processes and Climatic Change H. Decleir 1. General introduction 2. Topics in atmospheric processes at the local scale Boundary layer meteorology Local climates 3. Aspects of global climate Earth's radiation balance Aspects of general circulation Teleconnections (ENSO, NAO, AAO, AOO) Feedback systems (oceans, biosphere, cryosphere, ) 4. Theory of climate change 5. Sensitivity of the climate system with respect to Global Warming References: Oke, T.R., Boundary Layer Climates Stull, B, Boundary Layer Meteorology Hartmann, D.L., Global Physical Climatology Peixoto, P. and Oort, H., Physics of Climate Geyer, R.A., A Global Warming Forum IPCC Members, Climate Change 1995 GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Geography Module 2 GIS and spatial analysis F. Canters Advanced course on spatial modeling, using GIS technology Exam requirements: Good theoretical knowledge of the potential of GIS techniques in the environmental sciences, and capability to apply the acquired techniques in a practical case study. 1. Introduction 1.1. Digital mapping and GIS: history and definitions 1.2. Spatial data models: vector models, tessellation models (raster, TIN) 1.3. GIS analysis functions: queries, transformations, and operations 1.4. GIS and environmental sciences: data integration and modeling capabilities
8 2. Spatial data integration techniques 2.1. Planimetric integration: map projections, coordinate transformations, rubbersheeting 2.2. Spatial interpolation: trend surface analysis, local interpolation techniques, and area interpolation 2.3. Dasymmetric mapping: use of limiting and correlated variables, dasymmetric mapping and GIS, case studies in environmental modeling 2.4. Integration of GIS and remote sensing: rectification, image classification (ISODATA, parallelepiped and discriminant function classifiers) 3. Accuracy of spatial data 3.1. Error source identification: cartographic vs. thematic error, error vs. uncertainty 3.2. Describing error and uncertainty: indices of positional error and elevation error, error in categorical data (confusion matrices, error coefficients) 3.3. Error and uncertainty modeling: formal error propagation methods, stochastic simulation, and case studies in environmental modeling 3.4. Strategies for error reduction: use of error calibration models (case studies) 4. Environmental modeling with GIS 4.1. Cartographic modeling: map algebra, local, focal and zonal operations, model flowcharting, conflict resolution, examples of cartographic models 4.2. Inductive and deductive modeling with GIS: examples of both approaches for habitat modeling of different species 4.3. Fuzzy modeling: sources of fuzziness, dealing with fuzzy spatial boundaries, Boolean versus fuzzy classification, case studies 4.4. Linking spatial analysis and GIS: potential benefits and progress References: Aronoff, S., 1993, Geographic Information Systems: A Management Perspective, WDL Publications, Ottawa, 294p. DeMers, M.N., 1997, Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems, John Wiley& Sons, New York, 486p. Maguire, D.J., M.F. Goodchild and D.W. Rhind, 1991, Geographical Information Systems, Principles and Applications, Longman Scientific & Technical, p. Mather, P.M., 1987, Computer Processing of Remotely Sensed Images, An introduction, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 352p.
9 GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Geography Module 3 Applied geomorphology and landscape monitoring M. Van Molle Part 1: Applied geomorphology or the application of the study of the landscape components. Weathering processes Mass wasting processes Fluvial processes on slopes Fluvial processes in river channels Eolian processes Models and case studies Part 2: Landscape monitoring: the landscape as aholon. Parametric and holistic landscape studies. Landscape dynamics. Human activities and landscape dynamics. References: Selby: Hillslope processes Richards: Rivers : form and processes in alluvial channels Anderson: Modeling geomorphological systems Gurnell & Petts: Changing river channels Anderson& Richards: Slope stability: geotechnical engineering and geomorphology. Allen: Earth surface processes. Blaikie & Brookfield: Land degradation and society. Forman: Land mosaics: the ecology of landscapes and regions Mitchbell: Geography and resource analysis McGregor & Thompson: Geomorphology and land management in a changing environment. GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Geography Module 4 Urban and regional planning W. Dellanoy the evolution of urban and regional planning in the 20th century in relation to economic and cultural changes strategy planning, structure planning in urban areas geographical marketing planning for sustainable cities cultural strategies to regenerate cities community and metropolis
10 Cluster Chemistry Detailed contents GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Chemistry Overview Course Environmental chemistry W. Baeyens
11 GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Chemistry Module 1 Coastal and estuarine ecosystems: primary production and pollutants W. Baeyens and N. Brion Oceans and major lakes are characterized by high residence times and can thus be considered to be in a state of equilibrium or quasi-equilibrium. Coastal seas and estuaries, by contrast, which constitute the interface between freshwater and open ocean ecosystems, are biogeochemically and physically very dynamic. Strong gradients in physical and chemical variables such as temperature, ph, salinity, dissolved oxygen, nutrients and the amount and composition of particulates result from the mixing of freshwater and saline constituents. These gradients provoke increased biogeochemical processes, often resulting in geochemical filters (the area of high turbidity, showing enhanced adsorption-desorption processes) and biological filters (the area of high plankton activity showing a high accumulation of trace metals as well as a high uptake of nutrients). Such filters perturb the conservative mixing pattern of biogenic compounds and pollutants in estuaries and coastal seas. Ecosystem perturbations follow upon enhanced supply of nutrients (eutrophication), toxic elements and compounds (pollution) and their synergetic effects. Deviations in shallow coastal and estuarine systems will be illustrated by comparison with Open Ocean and great lake ecosystems for major biogeochemical processes. GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Chemistry Module 2 Sediment and soil contamination and remediation L. Goeyens Concerns of public health, environmental health and aspects of nature conservation and landscape value urge for remediation of contaminated regions. This requires a sound knowledge of the coordination chemistry in the sediment and or soil sample and a good understanding of the basic remediation tools. Soils, sediments and their watercourses (e.g. groundwater) exhibit several major chemical functions such as acid-base, ion exchange, adsorption and desorption reactions, which largely affect the concentrations and distributions of hazardous contaminants (e.g. macronutrients, metals, organic substances and radioactive substances). Emphasis will be on these reaction mechanisms and on their relation with pollutant accumulation in sediments and soils as well as with diagenesis and release. Additionally, another part will focus on the major procedures for reduction, treatment and/or disposal of hazardous matter. The topics listed will deal with physicochemical and biological treatments and will be illustrated by case studies, referring to the major contaminants (Course: Inorganic and micro-organic pollutants).
12 GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Chemistry Module 3 Inorganic and microorganic pollutant emissions: sources, impacts and modellisation. G. Laus and M. Leermakers The major emission sources of inorganic pollutants (Hg, Cd, Cu, Zn, Pb, As, Cr, Ni) and organic micropollutants (hydrocarbons, oils, PAH'S, chlorinated products, phthalates,... ) into the atmosphere and the aquatic ecosystem are discussed. Estimates of the emission fluxes of these compounds are compared over a period of 15 years. The behavior of these pollutants in the environment is explained in terms of persistence and biodegradability, solubility, volatility, partition coefficients between dissolved and particulate phases, complexation with inorganic and organic ligands, species transformation, and their toxicity with respect to the particular conditions prevailing in the chosen ecosystem. The use of conceptual and mathematical models allow (1) to calculate the transport and dispersion of these pollutants and (2) to assess the impact of emission reductions/increases on the ecosystem. GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Chemistry Module 4 Stable isotopes as tracers of bio-ecological and geological processes E. Keppens and F. Dehairs (1) Introduction: E. Keppens Natural stable isotope systems (D/H, C, N, 0, S), abundances, ratios, δ- notation, fractionation mechanisms (physical, chemical, in equilibrium, kinetic), fractionation factors α and their temperature dependence, analytical methods, reproducibility, standards, δ differences, relations between δ, α, T and. (2) Stable isotope geochemistry and biogeochemistry in the physical environment: E. Keppens Hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in the hydrosphere: introduction to the use of stable isotopes as tracers. Carbon and oxygen isotopes in the sedimentary environment: processes and applications in palaeoclimatology and palaeoenvironmentology. Introduction to the use of stable isotopes as palaeothermometers. Introduction to the stable isotope geochemistry of sulphur: fractionation processes, biogeochemical cycles and applications. Stable isotope geochemistry related to global change studies and stratigraphy. (3) Stable isotope geochemistry and biogeochemistry in the ecosphere. F. Dehairs Stable isotope biogeochemistry of carbon: fractionation processes in equilibrium, kinetic fractionations, biogeochemical cycles and reservoirs. Stable isotope biogeochemistry of nitrogen; fractionation processes, biogeochemical cycles and reservoirs. Use of carbon and nitrogen isotopes as tracers in ecological studies: assessing relative contributions of organic carbon and nitrogen sources, carbon and nitrogen translocations, food web analyses, pollution studies.
13 Cluster Biology Detailed contents GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Biology Overview Course Introduction to environmental biology L. Triest
14 GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Biology Module 1 Environmental genetics M. Kirsch-Volders - Cellular targets for the induction of mutations by environmental factors - Dose-effect relationships between environmental pollutants and exposure to mutagens/carcinogens - Mitotic versus meiotic division - Developmental exposure and deficiencies - Population genetics - Progresses in methodologies for the detection of genetic defects - Biomonitoring of environmental exposure and risk GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Biology Module 2 Nature management and restoration ecology of vegetations L. Triest in collaboration with N. Koedam Part 1. Molecular ecology and conservation genetics - Conservation genetics, techniques and methodology - Genetic structuring of populations, habitat fragmentation - Data treatment Part 2. Limnoecology and restoration ecology of vegetations - Bio-indicator use of algae - Management of aquatic and wetland vegetations - Restoration techniques
15 GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Biology Module 3 Marine and estuarine ecology H. Daro Part 1. Marine and estuarine foodwebs - Characteristics and functioning of various marine and estuarine systems - Methodology and data analysis (carbon cycling and biodiversity) - Human impact (e.g. eutrophication), management sustaining research and models Part 2. Large scale processes in marine ecology - Ecosystem modeling - Global change effects on marine ecosystems GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Biology Module 4 Ecotoxicology and ecology of top predators C.R. Joiris in collaboration with L. Holsbeek Part 1. Water quality, contamination by organic matter, and the long-term consequences: eutrophization, bacterial counts, nutrients etc. Bioindicators reflecting water quality. The main topic concerns the utilization of bioindicators in order to evaluate environmental contamination by stable residues, mainly heavy metals and organic pollutants: organochlorines - PCBs and pesticides. - and organic mercury: Part 2. In terrestrial ecosystems: raptors and owls. Trophic webs, pyramid of the biomass, bioaccumalation and bioconcentration. Identification of the main factors playing a role: diet, differences in metabolization by birds and mammals as prey for the raptors. Part 3. In aquatic (marine) ecosystems: seabirds and marine mammals. A more complicated situation: pyramid, indirect contamination through food vs direct contamination from the water. Identification of the main factors playing a role: diet, trophic level, lipid content, phytoplankton biomass, age and sex, detoxification mechanisms, etc. As a practical consequence: how to understand and use standard norms for fishery products to be consumed by humans. Remark: for students not familiar with ecotoxicology, it is suggested to first follow the course "Environmental Impact Assessment", cluster Environment and Society, as a kind of introduction.
16 Cluster Bio-Engineering Detailed contents GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Bio-Engineering Overview course Environmental biotechnology, an introduction G. Baron
17 GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Bio-Engineering Module 1 Environmental Microbiology P. Cornelis in collaboration with M. Mergeay and N. Glansdorff To sensitize the students to the explosive developments in the biotechnological utilization of microorganisms for bio-remediation, agriculture and the production of biomaterials including biogas. The course will mainly focus on the biodiversity of the microbial world, especially in extreme environments and the use of this biodiversity in (bio)-technical applications The microbial world (eubacteria, archea, eukarya) and its diversity Archea: from extremophiles to methanogenic micro-organisms Psychrophilic and thermophilic bacteria Methods to study the interaction of bacteria with their environment The interaction of bacteria with plants: pathogens and plant-beneficial bacteria Pathogens and their strategy Bio-remediation of toxic metal contamination and bio-mining Bio-remediation of xenobiotics Biology of Microorganisms (Brock & Madigan), Prentice Hall will be a basic book but most of the topics will be covered using recent review articles from the literature (Ann. Rev. Microbiol., Trends in Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology, J. Bacteriol., Mol. Microbiol.) When available, Internet sites will also be provided GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Bio-Engineering Module 2 Environmental Engineering I: Water, soil and solid waste F. De Smedt in collaboration with W. Bauwens, A. Hubin and A. Beukens This course will, partly with the help of case studies, mainly stemming from the research activities of the contributing lecturers, demonstrate the different techniques available for managing the impact of various human activities on the environment. At the end of this course, the student should be able to understand some of the more specialized environmental technology literature, and be able to solve a number of common engineering problems occurring in daily practice. Practical demonstrations and visits on site will be used to illustrate this course - Ecohydrology: relation between hydrological systems and environment - Qualitative and quantitative management of surface and groundwater resources - Remediation studies and techniques in soil, groundwater and surface water - Impact assessment of land use on hydrological processes - Climatic change and water management - Solid waste management
18 GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Bio-Engineering Module 3 Environmental Engineering II: Air, noise and materials H. Verelst in collaboration with G.Baron, J.Wastiels, B.Van Mele, M.Van Overmeire This course will, partly with the help of case studies, mainly stemming from the research activities of the contributing lecturers, demonstrate the different techniques and technologies available to reduce environmental impact of various human activities. Both ends of pipe and preventive technologies will be covered. At the end of this course, the student should be able to understand some of the more specialized environmental technology literature, and be able to solve a number of common engineering problems occurring in daily practice. Laboratory demonstrations and plant visits will be used to illustrate this course. Air pollution: sources, regulation and their impact Gas cleaning by Filtration, absorption, adsorption, chemical reaction Case: high temperature gas cleaning in biomass and coal gasification Noise: sources, measurement, reduction techniques Case: noise reduction in vehicles and car engines Materials: metal, ceramic, polymers Selection, use, degradation and disposal Recycling and design for recycling Case: biodegradable polymer materials Case: alternative construction materials Case: metal corrosion prevention techniques References Gas Purification, Kohl A. L. & Nielsen, R. B., 5th Edition, Gulf Publ. Co., 1997 GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Bio-Engineering Module 4 Environmental geology and related energy management technologies E. Keppens in collaboration with J. De Ruyck Interactions in the lithosphere-hydrosphere-atmosphere-biosphere system. Introduction to biogeochemistry, to global environmental changes, and to methodologies to study them. Distribution of mineral resources: energetic and non-energetic. Energy, fossil fuel, alternative sources in particular biomass energy. Mineral resources and non-energetic ores. Introduction tot natural, geological hazards (volcanic activity, earthquakes, floods, landslides). Man-made hazards in the physical environment.
19 Cluster Environment and Society Detailed contents This cluster does not correspond to a Domain in which students can specialize. There is no overview course for this cluster.
20 GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Environment and Society Module 3 Environmental Law M. Pallemaerts in collaboration with G. Goldenman The objectives of the course are To acquaint students with basic concepts of international law and policy To familiarize students with the analysis of legal materials and political processes relevant to the solution of global environmental problems To give an overview of developments in the main areas of international environmental policy and law A general introduction followed by the basic concepts in and the sources for international law Actors in international environmental policy, analysis of the policy-making processes and the function and development of international regimes An overview of the major international organizations and their role The environmental policy of the European Community: origin, legal basis and instruments The development of international environmental policy from Stockholm to Rio: general trends and an historical perspective International legal instruments for the protection of the atmosphere: acid rain, ozone depletion and global warming The international legal regime for the control of marine pollution: global framework and regional conventions The protection of the global commons: Antarctica Definitions and prohibitions: the international regulation of waste management The enforcement of international environmental law
21 GGS - Environmental Sciences & Technology - Cluster Environment and Society Module 6 Radioactive Hazards and Waste Management G. Eggermont Historical introduction and assessment of 100 years Nuclear Technology The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Medical and Industrial Applications of Ionizing Radiation Environmental Reporting and Impact Assessment Biological Hazards and Health Effects Epidemiology International incident analysis (exclusive reactors) with feedback to hazard assessment and prevention Radio toxicity of major isotopes Radioecology and Case Chernobyl Reactor Accident Risk, PRA/PSA Radiation Protection and Trends in regulations Dismantling and Decommissioning Nuclear Waste Management Overview, Principles, Categories, Approaches, Clearance Treatment of nuclear waste (visit Belgoproces) Disposal of nuclear waste (visit SCK) Physico-chemical interactions/mobility actinides Characterization and measurement of waste Near surface disposal Geological disposal Performance and safety assessment Public perception of nuclear waste, risk management, communication and Decision-making Biomedical and hospital nuclear waste management (visit AZ-Jette and cyclotron) Site visits Mol: Hades/Praclay Geological Laboratory Dessel: Waste treatment company Belgoprocess (Niras) Jette: Biomedical waste storage and measurement facility of the Academic Hospital VUB (AZ-Jette)