Environmental Assessment Applications

Aims

The aims of the component are to: Provide hands-on experience for conducting essential components of EIA and SEA. Use case studies to demonstrate how essential components are applied in practice. Provide assignments that enable students to critically review essential components of environmental assessments.                

Prerequisites

A relevant bachelor degree, offering a critical academic attitude, as well as sufficient knowledge of the English language.
 
 
  

Learning Outcomes

After completing the component, attendees will be able to: Demonstrate a working knowledge of analytical methods relevant for environmental assessment decisions; Demonstrate a working knowledge of EIA and SEA procedures; Identify and include relevant qualitative as well as quantitative data in decision processes in a way that demonstrates an appreciation of the need to communicate issues such as uncertainty and quality; Demonstrate the ability to make sound judgments about the quality of scientific arguments and supporting evidence.              

Syllabus

The course covers both Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). The characteristics of both in practice are quite similar. Similarities and differences between EIA and SEA will be discussed throughout the course. The first course week will specifically elaborate on theory, process and basic methodology for EIA and SEA in the context of spatial planning or land use planning. In the second course week the theory and methodology will be applied in the context of two assignments. The written material for this course consists of scientific papers and chapters from book, together with hand-outs that will be provided during the course. These include background information on EIA, assessment procedures and material used in Europa and internationally and example cases.  

Content Delivery

This component is particular in its delivery as it combines learning through lectures and studying literature, as well as through students carrying out assignments taken from environmental assessment practice.   Throughout this component students will be required to: Follow theoretical introduction lectures Read course literature and documentation Making assignments Critically reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches and methods used throughout the course   The first assignment is carried out in groups of two students, while the second assignment is carried out individually.  

Coursework And Assignment Details

The coursework in the second week includes a variety of different activities and assignments, an individual as well as a group assignment. These include: An assignment in groups of two students that reflects on the use of environmental zoning. This assignment is carried out with GIS ArcMap. An individual assignment about an impact matrix of a highway corridor case, taken from EIA practice in the Netherlands, focusing on the environmental assessment of various alternatives for highway development. The assignments include evaluative questions that intend to link the assignments to the theory presented in the course literature of week 1.   The student grades are based on the written report of the group assignment (30%) and the individual assignment (70%). The main criteria used in the grading of the assignment are: Accuracy and level of detail of the written report. Depth of reflection on the theory and the assignments Critical attitude towards the presented methods IMPORTANT NOTE: The reports should be based on your own work and will be checked by plagiarism software (TurnItIn). Any plagiarism from fellow students, reports from previous years or other sources will result in a fail mark for the assignment.