Environmental modeling

Aims

The short course on ecological modeling will offer an introduction to the basics of alternative modeling tools and frameworks. By using “spotlight presentations” on selected ongoing ecological modeling projects will provide some insights into the potential application of methods to both the marine and terrestrial realm. Emphasis will be given to spatial modeling approaches which integrate a number of parameters into the assessment of the status of the environment. The students would get “hands-on” experience in ecological modelling, by suing reals datasets and examples to formulate conceptual models. Students will undergo the whole process from database development and analysis to model construction and interpretation.   Most of models and analyses will be developed in R programming language.                 

Prerequisites

None

Learning Outcomes

Demonstrate broad-based knowledge of the fundamentals of environmental sciences. Gain skills in complain and analyzing datasets related to environmental, ecological, socioeconomic attributes.   Demonstrate skills in identifying, accessing and synthesizing scientific information, including interpretation of the primary scientific literature related to ecological modeling and biodiversity conservation. Learn how to conduct Cumulative Impacts assessments Enhance the ability to understand and apply fundamental quantitative skills, including ecological niche models and multivariate statistical analyses.  Improve their ability to integrate climate change and anthropogenic impacts input assessments of environmental status.

Syllabus

     

Content Delivery

     

Coursework And Assignment Details

Oral presentations. Students will be divided groups of two each. Each of the group will be provided a published research or review paper dealing with any of the subjects discussed in the class. The paper should be presented orally (with a power point) in front of the class strictly for 10 minutes, while 5 minutes will be left at the end for the audience to ask questions and make comments.   Written assignment. Each student will be asked to identify a city within the Mediterranean region for which he/she will collect a series of climatic data according to a specific protocol. Then, the students will be asked to produce the climatic diagrams of the area in reference and, based on that, deduce the potential vegetation of the adjacent ‘natural’ area to the city. The students will be asked to explain their results and justify their conclusions. Evaluation criteria. Students will be evaluated at the end based on the following two criteria: Performance on a project in which students would be asked to apply different tools and methods presented (80% of the final grade)         Performance on the participation and/or oral presentation (20% of the final grade) ·