Applied Limnology

Masterstudium

Letztes Update: 30.07.2018
BEREICH:
Naturwissenschaft
DAUER: 4 Semester
ECTS:
120
ABSCHLUSS: „Master of Science“, abgekürzt „MSc" oder „M.Sc“
TYP:
Präsenzstudium
ANWESENHEIT:
Vollzeit
STUDIENGEBÜHR: prinzipiell nein
DETAILS: http://www.boku.ac.at/stu...

Über das Studium:

Why Applied Limnology                    

Water is life! Humans depend on ecological services provided by aquatic ecosystems, which are among the most threatened in the world. Human activities have led to serious degradation of rivers, groundwaters and lakes. Fundamental understanding of ecosystem functions and processes is essential to stop degradation, mitigate impacts and restore freshwater ecosystems.

Social needs

Society recognizes the importance of aquatic ecosystems. Ecologically orientated laws apply to all of Europe as a result of European Union directives. The “Water Framework Directive” targets “good ecological status” for water bodies. The “Habitats and Birds Directive” strives for the protection and recovery of endangered habitats and species. International conventions such as the UN Convention on Biodiversity impose a more sustainable management of aquatic resources. Well-educated experts are required to properly implement these directives and agreements.

Scientific approach

The uncertainty from global sources of change challenges us to develop and apply science at unprecedented levels of complexity. Holistic perceptions of ecosystem functions and processes, i.e. hydromorphologic dynamics, nutrient cycling, matter fluxes, food webs, habitat requirements, and biotic interactions, are necessary to cope with challenges in management of complex systems. Coupling the chemical/physical characteristics of freshwaters with biological requirements of organisms provides an integrative understanding of ecological interrelations. Identification of organisms such as algae, floodplain vegetation, benthic invertebrates and fishes, in addition to understanding their anatomy, ecophysiology and habitat requirements is essential for evaluating their indicative value for ecosystem functioning and integrity.

Innovative applications

Professional skills are needed to understand and apply innovative methods, models and tools. Expertise in monitoring of aquatic organisms, assessment of human impacts and ecological status, protection and conservation of endangered species and habitats, identification of appropriate restoration measures, and validation of management actions is required for modern river basin management.
Well-educated experts are needed to support society in maintaining and restoring ecological services of freshwater ecosystems!

Contents and course structure            

Students are educated within an interdisciplinary framework of literature review, lectures and field work guided by biologists, ecologists, landscape planners, river engineers, modellers, systems analysts, statisticians, GIS-experts, water managers, lawyers, and historians.

Last but not least: Career prospects

Graduates of the International Masters Programme in ‘Applied Limnology’ are specialised in sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems and trained to integrate the technical, ecological, economic, social and cultural aspects of their fields of work. Graduates of this programme can make substantial contributions in the following fields of work: private, governmental and non-governmental organisations, especially international organizations such as the European Commission, UNESCO, FAO, International River Commissions, technical and administrative planning institutions and companies, development cooperation agencies, non-profit organisations, national and international environmental associations, civil engineering, consultants as well as research and education.

Last but not least: Career prospects

Graduates of the International Masters Programme in ‘Applied Limnology’ are specialised in sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems and trained to integrate the technical, ecological, economic, social and cultural aspects of their fields of work. Graduates of this programme can make substantial contributions in the following fields of work: private, governmental and non-governmental organisations, especially international organizations such as the European Commission, UNESCO, FAO, International River Commissions, technical and administrative planning institutions and companies, development cooperation agencies, non-profit organisations, national and international environmental associations, civil engineering, consultants as well as research and education.

Studieninhalt

The Master’s programme in Applied Limnology and the International Joint Master´s Programme in Limnology & Wetland Management convey fundamental and applied knowledge of aquatic ecosystems (streams/rivers, lakes and wetlands). Students shall get insight into the essential functions and processes of chemical/physical and biotic system components, as well as their interactions. They shall further get to know the principles of nutrient dynamics, water quality and habitat characteristics. Students learn to describe aquatic organisms (fish, planktic and benthic invertebrates, aquatic plants and algae) and their ecological demands, as well as their relations to the abiotic system components in order to detect systemic links. They learn to identify and critically examine human impacts as well as to evaluate their consequences for ecosystems. Based on this, students shall develop measures for the protection and the restoration of aquatic ecosystems in terms of ecologically orientated water management concepts.

Graduates will be equipped with the competencies to:

  • describe how hydrology, morphology and aquatic organisms relate to biochemical processes and ecological functions of inland aquatic ecosystems;
  • summarise provisioning and regulating ecosystem services provided by inland surface waters and wetlands;
  • evaluate how catchment land use, climate variability, invasive species and fisheries exploitation might impact on the ecology of lakes, rivers and wetlands; • evaluate anthropogenic impacts on rivers, lakes and rivers;
  • think critically in evaluation of results, information derived from the literature and other sources, and for problem-solving of complex issues related to aquatic ecosystems;
  • design sampling strategies for the cost-effective monitoring of aquatic ecosystems, that can support and inform policy objectives;
  • meet deadlines through independent and efficient time management;
  • effectively plan, organise and conduct a research project that has clear aims and objectives; 
  • write a thesis and reports, and present seminars to a professional standard; 
  • collate stakeholder views and integrate potentially conflicting objectives for the efficient and sustainable use of lakes, rivers and wetlands using concepts of an environmental management system, including management objectives for realistic action plans; 
  • work effectively in an interdisciplinary team; and
  • provide effective, rational and evidence-based arguments, and be able to present these to a variety of audiences.

Graduates of the International Joint Master´s Programme in Limnology & Wetland Management will be equipped with additional skills to:

  • evaluate the usefulness of wetlands as treatment systems of waste water;
  • produce a wetland management plan;
  • evaluate anthropogenic impacts on rivers, lakes and rivers in both temperate and tropical settings;
  • apply their knowledge and scientific skills in international and multicultural teams and different socio-cultural environments;
  • evaluate the interaction of environmental and socio-economic challenges in both developed and developing countries; and
  • contribute to global development efforts (MDG’s - Millennium Development Goals; policies & programmes of national and international development cooperation agencies).

Qualifikationsprofil:

Das Masterstudium Applied Limnology vermittelt grundlegendes und angewandtes Wissen aquatischer Ökosysteme (Fließgewässer und Seen). Studierende sollen wesentliche Funktionen und Prozesse chemisch/physikalischer und biotischer Systemkomponenten erkennen sowie deren Wechselwirkungen verstehen. Prinzipien von Nährstoffhaushalt, Wasserqualität und Habitateigenschaften sollen erfasst werden. Aquatische Organismen (Fische, Fischnährtiere, Wasserpflanzen) und deren ökologischen Ansprüche werden beschrieben und mit den abiotischen Systemkomponenten in Beziehung gesetzt und somit systemische Zusammenhänge erkannt. Einflüsse des Menschen werden erfasst, kritisch betrachtet und deren Folgewirkungen für Ökosysteme bewertet. Darauf aufbauend sollen Studierende Maßnahmen zum Schutz und zur Restauration aquatischer Ökosysteme im Sinne eines ökologisch orientieren Gewässermanagements entwickeln.

Berufsaussichten / Jobs:

The Master’s programme in Applied Limnology and the International Joint Master´s Programme in Limnology & Wetland Management qualifies students to pursue the following professional activities: dealing with freshwater ecological issues in public and private bureaus, governmental departments, international authorities, water management and ecological planning offices, NGOs, international organisations and scientific institutions. The field of activity comprises all relevant freshwater ecological tasks arising from national, European (especially the Water Framework Directive) and international laws, directives and other commitments. 

Einstiegsvoraussetzungen:

For graduates of bachelor’s programs, mastery of the following learning outcomes is required for admission:

  • Identify and systematically categorise essential groups of plants and animals, as well as describe their anatomical and physiological characteristics, and to understand similarities and differences;
  • Comprehend significant interrelations between organisms and their environment on the level of autecology, synecology and population ecology, as well as evaluate their basic roles for the functioning of ecosystems;
  • Discuss fundamentals of the structure (abiotic and biological components) and ecological functioning of freshwater ecosystems;
  • Understand basics of inorganic and organic chemistry, as well as understand essential physiological and biogeochemical processes;
  • Comprehend fundamental environmental processes such as, climate, water cycle and basic hydrology);
  • Apply mathematics and statistical methods to perform explorative and descriptive data analyses, calculate and interpret simple ecological models;
  • Recognise and describe types of rocks and soils, as well as understand essential processes of rock and soil formation and its implications for the shaping of the environment; and
  • Understand fundamentals of geographic information systems and apply GIS software. In addition, knowledge of English at level B2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required and have to be verified.

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