164.225 Ecology and Sustainable Development
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2020S, VO, 2.0h, 3.0EC


  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 3.0
  • Type: VO Lecture

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to

- follow the evolution of our world from its origin to the present anthropocene,

- demonstrate essential knowledge about ecology as the basis of all life,

- comprehend the evolution of our thinking from the first modest measures for environmental protection to the now valid holistic concept of sustainable development,

- have sound knowledge about the state of the environment in the compartments air, water and soil,

- make valid and science based statements about the present use and future availability of natural resources like forests, agricultural products, fossil fuels,

- understand the causes and effects of climate change and discuss mitigation and adaptation measures on a solid scientific-technical basis,

- incorporate the huge challenges arising from the global economic and social situation in their understanding of our society, and

- assess the potential of the "Third Industrial Revolution" and incorporate this knowledge into their specific qualifications to make a contribution to the sustainable development of our world.

Subject of course

Content of the different chapters: 0. Introduction: A short history of human development.  1. Ecology and ecosystems: biosphere, ecosystem dynamics.  2. Ecosystem functions and human impact: biodiversity, chemicals in the environment. 3: Sustainable development as a concept for societal evolution: origin of environmentalism and sustainability, evolution of environmental policies at a global level, milestones for EU policies on environmental protection and sustainable development. 4. Environmental pollution: air, water and soil. 5. Natural resources: forests, crops and food, fossil fuels. 6. Climate change:  basic findings, causes and trends, impacts, mitigation and adaptation. 7. Socioeconomic challenges: global situation, trends, development cooperation. 8. The Third Industrial Revolution: energy technologies, space exploration, global earth observation.

Teaching methods

Lectures with discussion of specific issues with the students. Lecture notes on TISS.

Mode of examination


Additional information

The presenter of this lecture course was from 2002 till 2007 Director of the Institute for Environment and Sustainability of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Ispra, Italy. Main task of the institute with 500 staff is to provide scientific advice to the European Commission, who is determining the guiding principles for the European Union and responsible for all legislative initiatives in the area of environment and sustainability. The lecturer has therefore an extensive international experience in respect to the topics presented in the lecture course.



Examination modalities

written test

Course registration

Not necessary


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
033 261 Technical Physics Elective
033 290 Technical Chemistry Not specified
066 490 Technical Chemistry Not specified
066 645 Data Science Not specified
800 FW Elective Courses - Technical Chemistry Not specified
TRS Transferable Skills Not specified


Course material (ppt-slides) is available as pdf-files in TISS and can be downloaded by all registered participants of the course (status of an observer "Beobachter" of the course) .No access code necessary.

Previous knowledge

This lecture course is part of the catalogue of "soft-skills" courses offered by the Vienna University of Technology. Essential basic knowledge to follow this course are fundamentals of technical sciences as taught in the first 2 semesters in all curricula. Attendance is therefore possible for students of all disciplines offered at the Vienna University of Technology.