AT-830 Arctic Environmental Toxicology (10 ECTS)

Lunch break in Adventdalen

Course schedule 2019

ID:
AT-830
CREDITS:
10 ECTS
START DATE:
28 February 2019
END DATE:
9 April 2019
COURSE PERIOD:
Spring semester (February–April), annually.
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
10 ECTS with AT-330
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Ca. 700 pages of reading from texts, articles and reports
COURSE COSTS:
None
COURSE CAPACITY MIN/MAX:
10/20 students (AT-330/830 in total)
EXAMINATION SUPPORT MATERIAL:
Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
15 October 2018

INSTRUCTORS:

Bjørn Munro Jenssen. Photo: Eirik Berger
Bjørn Munro Jenssen
Adjunct Professor, Environmental Toxicology

UNIS contact person: Arne Aalberg

Course requirements:

Enrolment in a relevant PhD programme. Background in toxicology, ecotoxicology (AT-210 Arctic Environmental Pollution or equivalent), environmental chemistry or environmental biology.

Academic content:

Arctic species have evolved biochemical, physiological and ecological traits specific for surviving in the harsh Arctic environment. Pollutants can be toxic, or interfere with biological processes through other mechanisms, thus reducing their fitness and causing resultant changes in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Effects can occur at all biological organization levels, from the subcellular level to the ecosystem level.

Specific topics:

  • Uptake, biotransformation and excretion of pollutants in Arctic organisms
  • Effects of pollutants in organisms in relation to the specific Arctic environmental conditions
  • Effects of pollutants on organismal acclimatization and adaptations to the Arctic environment
  • How effects can propagate from the subcellular level to population, community and ecosystem levels
  • How climate change and pollutants may interact in affecting Arctic organisms and ecosystems
  • Specific ecotoxic effects of the major classes of pollutants, such as persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, petroleum oil, and novel man-made pollutants, on Arctic organisms
  • The susceptibility of Arctic organisms and ecosystems to pollutants as compared to other organisms and ecosystems
  • Effects of pollutants on humans in the Arctic

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge
Upon completing the course, the students will have:
An advanced knowledge on the major groups of pollutants that imposes a threat to Arctic organisms and ecosystems, and on how specific contaminant groups affect molecular, cellular and physiological processes in Arctic organisms, Arctic populations and ecological processes in the Arctic.
Knowledge on how to extract available scientific knowledge within the field, to produce an up-to date scientific review essay on the topic of Arctic Environmental Toxicology.

Skills
Upon completing the course, the students will be able to:
Interpret effects of anthropogenic pollutants on the organismal level (molecular, cellular and physiological) in key Arctic organisms, and in populations of Arctic organisms and in Arctic ecosystems.
Interpret which properties of pollutants that make them potential threats to Arctic organisms.
Carry through advanced scientific literature searching, and produce a written scientific essay based on up-to-date available scientific literature within the field of Arctic Environmental Toxicology.

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students will:
Within the field of environmental toxicology on an advanced level, be provided for future positions within nature and pollution management, research, or the industry.

Learning activities:

The course extends over ca. 6 weeks including compulsory safety training, and is run in combination with AT-330.

The students must prepare a research paper manuscript (4000 words including text, references, figures & tables) on a chosen research topic. The students must give a lecture (45 minutes) on the topic of the research paper manuscript, aimed towards the general public and decision makers.

Total lecture hours: 30 hours.
Student-led seminars: 60 hours.
Field / lab work: 3–5 days.

Compulsory learning activities:

Seminars, laboratory work and fieldwork.
 All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.

Assessment:

Method Duration
Percentage of final grade
Research paper manuscript 40%
Written exam 3 hours 60%

All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course. Each assessment is graded, and subsequently combined into a single grade. Partial grades for each assessment will be available.

Application deadline: 15 October 2018

Lunch break in Adventdalen

A quick lunch break during AT-330/830 fieldwork in Adventdalen. Photo: Bjørn Munro Jenssen/UNIS.

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