Ecosystems are superb examples of highly complex and diverse systems that operate at near maximum efficiency. Many of their component parts function cooperatively or symbiotically and throughputs and energy use are optimized and waste production is minimized. They are also resilient and adaptable to change. After probing some of the key properties of ecosystems the course will transition to interpreting workplace and industrial settings in an ecological sense. Through lectures, case studies and group work, various operations will be examined with a view to suggesting how efficiency, safety, and the economic bottom line can all be improved, and how environmental impacts can be reduced by the application of the principles of ecology.
Not currently offered.
This Course was last offered in Trimester 1 - 2017 (Singapore).
On successful completion of the course students will be able to:
1. Describe an ecosystem and analyse it in terms of its components and explain the connections between them.
2. Explain the energy flows and waste streams in a complex ecosystem.
3. Describe a workplace or an industrial setting from an ecological perspective.
4. Apply an industrial ecological approach to critically evaluate a workplace or an industrial process for ways to improve energy use and decrease the waste stream.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of the connection between the broader environment and relevant components of work place health and safety relative to the concept of ecosystem health.
6. Be able to undertake a case study in evaluating a process or industry from an industrial ecological perspective with a view to proposing recommendations for lower environmental impacts.
The course covers some of the fundamentals of ecology and of industrial ecology. It integrates the two areas and examines how practices in the work place can be carried out more effectively and efficiently in terms of promoting ecosystem health. Major topics are:
- Ecosystem health: perspectives, problems and possibilities
- Matter and energy
- Ecosystems, food webs, and water and nutrient cycling
- Biodiversity and rates of change - Evolution, adaptation, niches and biomes
- Human activity, stressors, resilience, and ecosystem health
- Non-renewable versus renewable - Energy and other resources
- Industrial ecology and its connection to environmental science
- Life cycles and budgets: Introduction to life cycle assessment
- Designing for efficiency
- Opportunities for industrial ecology
This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Environmental & Occupational Health & Safety program.
It is assumed students will have a general knowledge of science as implicit from the entry requirements to the program.
In Term Test: Class Test
Written Assignment: Written Assignment (Group)
Formal Examination: Examination: Formal