MJ2659 Technology and Ecosystems, Larger Course 7.5 credits

Teknik och ekosystem, större kurs

The course will provide knowledge about natural resources and environmental consequences from technical systems, technical processes and human behavior in society.

The course differs from MJ2655 since it contains an extra project task.

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Offering and execution

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Course information

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents *

o Concepts such as ecosystems, ecosystem services, ecological carrying capacity and planetary boundaries as well as their relation to technical development, population growth, welfare and sustainable development.

o The most important global and regional environmental problems of today such as global warming, acidification, eutrophication, ozone layer depletion, environmental pollutants, biodiversity, freshwater scarcity and deforestation.

o Trends and changes around the use of natural resources such as forest, soil and drinking water.

o Analysis of a socio-technical system- e g production and use of energy, transports, foods, electronics and textiles and its dependence as well as influence on ecosystems.

o Which role societal actors at different levels e g individuals, companies, organisations and public authorities, play in relation to regional and global environmental problems and possible solutions.

Intended learning outcomes *

The overall aim of the course is to study the connection between ecosystems and socio-technical systems; how the socio-technical systems are dependant on functioning ecosystems at the same time as human use of natural resources influences structures and processes in the ecosystems.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Account for central concepts in ecosystem ecology.
  • Describe and explain the most important global and regional environmental problems of today, different actors' contributions to the problems as well as the development of the problems over time.
  • Given a global or regional environmental problem, identify and assess possible measures for improvement.
  • Discuss consequences for the interpretation of sustainable development based on the concept ecological carrying capacity.
  • Define a socio-technical system with relevant system boundaries as well as identify and analyse the environmental impact associated with the system and potential improvement measures.
  • In writing and orally present literature and project assignment according to established scientific methodology as well as compare scientific and popular science written communication in the environmental context.

Course Disposition

The course consists of lectures, literature assignment, project assignment and written examination. Literature assignment and project assignment require submission of analysis/reports as well as active participation in seminars. The literature assignment is individual and consists of a written book analysis and formulation of questions for discussion. The project work, that is divided into an individual part and a groupwork part, is based on the concept of planetary boundaries that are studied in relation to a specific socio-technical system.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites *

Open to KTHs degree programme students with at least 150 credits or a Degree of Bachelor for the other applicant.

Recommended prerequisites

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Will be announced at the beginning of the course

Will be announced at the beginning of the course

Examination and completion

Grading scale *

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Examination *

  • LIT1 - Literature Assignment, 1.0 credits, Grading scale: P, F
  • PRO1 - Project 1, 2.0 credits, Grading scale: P, F
  • PRO2 - Project 2, 1.5 credits, Grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 3.0 credits, Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Fredrik Gröndahl

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web MJ2659

Offered by

ABE/Sustainability and Environmental Engineering

Main field of study *

Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Education cycle *

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Magnus Svensson (svensson@kth.se)

Ethical approach *

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.