cod. 1002227

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - Second semester
- Stefano CASERINI
Academic discipline
Geologia stratigrafica e sedimentologica (GEO/02)
"ingegneria per l'ambiente e territorio"
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

At the end of the course, the student is expected to be able to:
• know the main environmental problems, and in particular, understand the scientific foundations of the problem of global warming
• know how to evaluate the potential interference of different types of systems and infrastructures on the environment
• understand the procedures to be used for the Environmental Impact Assessment of a work
• know how to prepare an Environmental Impact Study
• estimate polluting and climate-changing emissions into the atmosphere
• extract appropriate environmental information from available sources
• know how to evaluate the quality or criticality of the information available
• knows the different types of actions available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and remove atmospheric CO2, evaluating the environmental advantages and potential impacts of the different options
• judge how the media inform on environmental issues and climate change
• recognize and overcome the typical problems of technical-scientific communication


Useful to have attended the course of Territorial Planning and the Course Environmental Sanitary Engineering

Course unit content

The course presents the tools available for assessing the impact of plants and infrastructures on the environment, with particular attention to the procedures and methodologies of Environmental Impact Assessment, also with the analysis of Environmental Impact Studies relating to real and current cases. Aspects related to greenhouse gas emissions, the physical science basis of climate change and mitigation strategies are explored. The methodologies and tools for quantifying the extent of the impacts of newly built works are evaluated with the preparation of an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) relating to a planned plant.

Full programme

The teaching will address the following topics:
• the Environmental Impact Assessment, the contents of the Environmental Impact Study and examples of real cases;
• other environmental policy and environmental assessment tools: EIA, AIA-IPPC;
• greenhouse gas emissions: sources and assessment methodologies;
• carbon balance;
• phenomenology of the greenhouse effect and main feedbacks;
• climate models and projections;
• options for mitigation, technological scenarios and potential reductions in different sectors
• technologies for negative CO2 emissions. focus on sweater alkalization and CO2 storage as bicarbonates.
• the carbon market and voluntary market credits for emissions offsetting;
• participation and communication in Environmental Impact Assessment and climate policies;
• exercise: assessment of atmospheric emissions from point sources
• exercise: assessment of personal emissions of climate-changing gases;
• exercise: DPSIR scheme and indicators.


The course material (pdf files of the slides used in the lessons) will be progressively made available on the relevant page of the Elly portal.
The slides are considered an integral part of the teaching material. Some handouts relating to some central parts of the course will be provided.

Further suggested reference texts:
LANDI G. (Ed), 2009. Guida alle procedure di autorizzazione ambientale: la valutazione di impatto ambientale e la valutazione ambientale strategica. UTET Scienze Tecniche Torino, 268 pp (Bibl Ing-Arch Collocazione ARC4 0360).
IPCC (2023) Climate Change 2023- Sixt assessment report – Synthesis report. Summary for policymakers
IPCC (2022) Climate Change 2022- Sixth assessment report – WG3-Mitigation of climate change. Summary for policymakers
Caserini S. (2019) Il clima è (già) cambiato. Edizioni Ambiente.

Teaching methods

The course is divided into a series of frontal lessons, and group work. During the lessons, dialogue with the classroom will be favoured in order to better critically evaluate the analysis tools and methodologies presented. Concrete cases relating to real plants are discussed. Group work and exercises may require independent work on the part of the students. If possible, a technical visit will be organized.

Assessment methods and criteria

The learning assessment consists of a written test and an oral interview. The written test includes 15-20 closed questions (multiple choice), 2-3 open questions and 1 or 2 exercises. Both tests are aimed at verifying both theoretical knowledge and application knowledge. Part of the learning assessment may concern the discussion of the exercises developed during the course.

Other information