72842 - Environmental Assessment

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Affordable and clean energy Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student be aware of the crucial role of assessment (chemical, toxicological, physical) for protection of the environment. A special focus will be posed to the detection of plastic materials and to the evaluation of the threat that these persistent pollutant make to the different environments. The student is expected to be able to: 1. propose the most suitable methods to assess environmental quality and will be skilled in the interpretation of the results obtained; 2. predict the procecces and velocity of transformation that pollutants undego in the enviroment and forcast their fate and impact.

Course contents

The UC consists of three modules, with the following contents:

(1) Environmental analysis and detection in the environment

Strategies of assessment. Experimental design. Sampling campaigns. Laboratory requisites in inorganic and organic environmental analysis (application to airborne particulate analysis). Examples of quality control procedures (standard methods procedures). Examples of high natural background and methods to distinguish natural and anthropogenic contributions of chemical species. Use of stable and radioactive isotopes.

(2) Environmental risk of plastic materials

Detection of plastic materials. Assessment of the threat posed by persistent polluting plastics. Effect of the presence of plastics in different environments.

(3) Environmental fate of organic pollutants

Information on the environmental partition of main organic pollutants and their key descriptors. Main degradation pathways and environmental fate of organic pollutants. Estimation of the expected sinks and persistence of unknown organic compounds on the basis of molecular structure.


Lecture slide handouts will be available for students
Reading lists will be provided as appropriate to support lectures

Teaching methods

The course unit is divided in three modules. Each module is organized in theoretical classes where main concepts are explained, as well as tutorial classes with discussion of case-study examples.

Assessment methods

Each module is assessed through a written assignment, including a report on literature research

Teaching tools

Power point slides

Office hours

See the website of Chiara Samorì

See the website of Laura Tositti

See the website of Paola Galletti