The course is directed towards analyses of environmental changes and their causes, with a focus on human impact. Many of today's environmental problems, such as lake acidification, lake eutrophication, heavy metal accumulation in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, as well as climate change are not spontaneous events, rather they are the consequence of long-term perturbations. The present status of the environment cannot be properly understood without knowledge of the historical developments leading up to the present day. To assess the impact of human activities on ecosystems it is necessary to develop an understanding of the natural variability within these systems. The primary themes of the course are: long-term perspectives on lake-water quality (acidification, eutrophication), spatial and temporal trends in atmospheric pollutants; and climate change reconstructions. You will learn how to use environmental archives such as lake sediments and peat to study environmental changes, and learn about sampling techniques and different methods for environmental analyses. A project related to current research on environmental changes constitutes an important part of the course.
The course is offered in English if there are foreign students attending the course