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Programa Interunidades de Pós-Graduação

General Information About the Courses

The set of required subjects was designed to introduce and discuss the theoretical-practical concepts needed to consolidate the lines of research and the area of ​​concentration. The “Integrated Environmental Analysis” course thus promotes the formation of the theoretical framework that students and teachers will use in their research. “General Integrating Seminars” presents topics and case studies jointly debated by professors from the three lines of research. Finally, the course “Interdisciplinary Research Methods” serves to integrate all the presented analytical tools. Students of the program and their supervisors will be provided an opportunity to evaluate and reconsider, if necessary, the research project that they would undertake.

To achieve these actions, all permanent teaching staff will participate in teaching such courses (organized in groups during the offering of each subject). This will help to level and bring up to date both teachers and students conceptually. Electives will address more specific issues, by actually equipping the student to plan his or her actions and think about the issues to be dealt with in the research project, without losing sight of the principles and direction of the activities of the program.

Required Courses

Integrated Environmental Analysis

(90 hours, 6 credits)

Course outline: Fundamentals of integrated environmental analysis. Complexity theory. Environmental impacts. Spatial and temporal scale in environmental studies. Human dimensions of environmental processes. Environmental goods and services. Biodiversity and conservation of natural resources. Environmental planning and management. Integration of different areas of knowledge in resolving environmental problems: case studies.

General Integrative Seminars

(45 hours, 3 credits)

Course outline: Regular meetings aimed at constructing interdisciplinarity and establishing integration between faculty, students, and invitees of the course of study, through presentation and dialogue regarding the various topics related to the research program. Whenever the course is offered, the seminars will be set up in accordance with topics of prevailing interest in student body, and with possible thematic directions to be adopted by the program. Each seminar will have prior preparation of themes from pre-selected texts.

Interdisciplinary Research Methodology

(90 hours, 6 credits)

Course outline: Inter-, multi-, and trans-disciplinarity in environmental studies. Science and interdisciplinary research. Planning and experimental design. Practical experience in the field and laboratory. Implementation of interdisciplinary research. Communication in science and research.

Elective Courses

Scientific Communication

Course outline: Scientific communication and its characteristics. Elements of scientometrics. Foundations for effective scientific writing. Forms of scientific communication: technical and scientific reports, dissertations, theses, and scientific articles. Presentation of papers at events. The process of publication of scientific research. Agents in the process of publication. Formatting of scientific texts. The default format of written scientific communication and the contents of their essential parts: title, abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, conclusions, references, attachments. Formatting of figures, tables, and charts. Preparation of oral presentations and posters.

Ecosystem Ecology

Course outline: Introduction to and history of the concept of ecosystems. Study of ecosystems on different scales. Influence of disturbances and assessment of resistance and resilience of ecosystems. Dynamics of ecosystems. Ascending (bottom-up) and descending (top-down) ecological processes. Components and processes (flow of energy and matter). Biogeochemical cycles. Anthropic impacts of climate change on ecosystems. Management of ecosystems.

Air Pollution

Course outline: Natural atmospheric composition biogeochemical cycles: focus on the atmospheric compartment. Environmental issues induced by air pollution: Historical contextualization. Atmospheric pollutants: emitting sources and physical and chemical characterization. Environmental problems induced by air pollution: physical and chemical mechanisms. Techniques and methods of monitoring air pollutants. Climate impacts of air pollutants: Greenhouse gases and aerosols. Depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer. Patterns of air quality. Methods of control and remediation of atmospheric pollution and its impacts.

Geoprocessing and Data Analysis (60 hours, 4 credits)

Course outline: Conceptual underpinnings and geographic information systems. Components of a GIS. Representation of environmental data on maps, map types and sources, geographical concepts, database tools and analytical operations in GIS, acquisition, and analysis and processing of images, concept of temporal and spatial scale in spatial data analysis. Analysis of vegetation, soil, water and land use and applications.

Interactions between soil, rocks, water and contaminants (60 hours, 4 credits)

Course outline: Three-dimensional distribution of soils in the landscape. Physical and chemical properties of soils. Groundwater dynamics in soils and rocks – vadose zone and saturated zone. Transport and behavior of contaminants in soils and rocks.

Isotope Geology and Evolution of Landscapes (60 hours, 4 credits)

Course outline: Introduction to geochronology and isotopic geology. Application of radioactivity in geochronology. Assumptions, methodologies, and systems employed in geochronology. Radiometric methods: U-Th-Pb, K-Ar, carbon 14, thermoluminescence. Application of radionuclides in environmental studies. Plate tectonics and tectonic environments. Geomorphology and evolution of continental reliefs. Geoarcheology and anthropogenic landscapes. Landscape and environmental analysis.

Principles and Practices of Environmental Education (60 hours, 4 credits)

Course outline: Multi-inter-transdisciplinary context—principles and practices of environmental education and its interaction with the environment and the human being. The policy field of the emergence of environmental issues and environmental education. The different approaches and methodologies in environmental education. The influence of social representations in environmental practice and education on the topic. Environmental education as a cross-cutting issue in formal and non-formal education. The importance of teacher training in environmental education. Concepts in writing projects in environmental education and diagnostic testing, with a critical view of environmental themes.

Environmental Economics and Management (60 hours, 4 credits)

Course outline: Current status of environmental management in addressing the instruments of environmental management and the interface between economy and environment. The main economic instruments applied to environmental problems. Methods of environmental economic valuation. Sustainability indicators and the inclusion of sustainability in environmental assessment on the part of companies and governments.

Environmental Health

Course outline: The concept of health. Sustainable development. Determinants of human health and the environmental relationships that guarantee it. Ecology of disease. Epidemics and endemic diseases and their solutions. Environmental planning and public health. Climate and public health. Measures for impact assessment (morbidity and mortality rates, etc.). Socioeconomic-political factors that interfere in public health. Pollution (atmospheric, water, soil, accidental) and aggravations to health. Case studies of pollution (air, water, sea and soil) and their effects on health.

Environmental Sustainability and Public Policy (60 hours, 4 credits)

Course outline: The policy fundamentals of environmental protection: the politicization of environmental problems. Concepts of politics and public policy. Public policy planning (drafting, implementation and evaluation). Public policy on the environment. The role of the state in environmental conservation and the implementation of public policies in Brazil. Contemporary conceptions of the role of the state in regulating and directing environmental conservation. Types, competencies, and functions of public institutions directly related to the environment. History of public policies on the environment. Environmental public policies in force in Brazil. The global environmental agenda: origins and perspectives. The incorporation of environmental issues in the sphere of international relations. Global environmental governance. International environmental cooperation and the main actors in international eco-politics.

Detection of Biomarkers  (60 hours, 4 credits)

Course outline: Generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in biological systems. Enzymatic and non-enzymatic mechanisms of defense. Damages in DNA, lipids, and proteins. Methods of detection of biomarkers by mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance.

Environmental Electrochemistry (60 hours, 4 credits)

Course outline: Fundamentals of electrochemistry/electroanalysis. Electroanalytical techniques and environmental electrochemistry. Electrochemical characterization of organic and inorganic liquid effluents. Application of electrochemical methods in the treatment of wastewater (reductive and oxidative processes). Spectroelectrochemistry of inorganic compounds. Electrochemical systems for clean energy. Transport in porous media. Electrolysis.

Environmental Chemistry (60 hours, 4 credits)

Course outline: Interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary analysis of the complexity of the processes of pollution and environmental contamination, and the influence of human activities on such processes and vice versa. Energy and the environment. Atmospheric chemistry of water, soils, and sediments, with emphasis on the interaction between matrices. Main analytical approaches to the study of pollutants and contaminants, particularly chemical speciation. Control of pollution and contamination, including remediation approaches, reduction, and prevention, with emphasis on green chemistry and clean development mechanisms (CDMs). Principles of environmental toxicology, with emphasis on alternative methods under the 5R principle. Sampling, conservation, and chemical and toxicological analysis of real samples.

Environmental Remediation (60 horas, 4 credits)

Course outline: Conceptualization of remediation. Determination of the need for remediation – risk. Concepts about the main processes (physical, chemical and biological) involved in the remediation of aquatic systems. Case studies.

Environmental Monitoring (60 hours, 4 credits)

Course outline: Basic concepts of monitoring. Environmental factors to be monitored and their interfaces with the economic and social components. Monitoring on local, regional, national, and international scales. Monitoring and the quality of water. Monitoring and the quality of air. Monitoring and soil quality. Monitoring of components of the biotic environment - fauna and flora. Construction and applications of environmental indicators. Monitoring and interfaces with other instruments of environmental policy.

Fundamentals of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Toxicology (60 hours, 4 credits)

Course outline: Description of concepts, definitions, history, and applications of the principal lines of evidence employed in aquatic ecotoxicology. Contamination. Toxicity. Structure of the benthic community. New trends in integrated methods of environmental assessment and monitoring. Bioaccumulation. Histopathology. Biomarkers. Use of integrated methods in environmental management. Protocol for quality assessment of the different environmental compartments: definition, structure, implementation and case studies.

Multivariate statistics applied to Environmental Analysis Quality assessment  (60 hours, 4 credits)

Course outline: Data processing. Metrology and measurement uncertainty. Descriptive methods (parametric and nonparametric) and inference. Sampling. Analysis of variance (ANOVA). Linear regression applications in software (computer programs). Factor analysis and planning. Mixing and Central Compound. Data matrix standardization and scheduling. Measures of similarity. Hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA). Principal components analysis (PCA). Factor analysis, k-Nearest Neighbor (KNN). Modeling class analogy by similarity - Soft Independent Modelling of Class Analogies (SIMCA). Multiple linear regression (MLR). Principal components regression (PCR). Least squares regression (PLS)

Mathematical Methods Applied to Modeling in the Environmental Sciences (60 hours, 4 credits)

Course outline: Systems of linear and non-linear equations. Analytical and numerical resolution of ordinary and partial differential equations applied to environmental problems.