Faculties and centres
Land management and planning to avoid the loss of Biodiversity is undoubtedly, one of the main challenges of the societies of the 21st century. The exploitation of different natural resources has caused disturbances and impacts that affect both the ecological status and the sustainability of many territories. New regulations impose on people, companies and administrations, the requirement of drafting documents of: Environmental Impact Assessment of projects, Strategic Environmental Assessment, Landscape Studies and Landscape Integration reports. These administrative requirements offer biologists, and other experts in ecological assessment, many professional possibilities to develop their skills. Whether as an independent consultant, as a public administration staff expert, or as a scientist, the possibility of seriously addressing the analysis, diagnosis, evaluation, and mitigation of projects, or actions, which in many cases negatively affect the ecosystems is a current goal.
Students are provided with an introduction to these professional activities, as well as the required technical skills, so that they are able to integrate the knowledge acquired during the Degree. The final objective will be to generate analysis, diagnosis and assessment documents, sufficiently robust, that satisfy the demands of control and verification of a multitude of activities. All this, in search of a truly sustainable development.
The focus is on the Territory, basically characterized as the scenario in which the interactions between human societies and their natural context take place and which requires an identification of environmental impacts and a definition of guidelines for the management of land uses on it, and within a specific legal framework.
It is important to emphasize that it is a subject that will constantly support on introducing the student to a real, not theoretical, management scenario. Therefore, not only a part of this land reality is studied, from a biotic perspective. It is analyzed within the framework that defines the general, international or EU environmental impact legislation, and also within the particular territorial scope examined, as well as for the type of economic, social, or cultural demands, in a participative and equitable approach.
The access to the information available in public databases or open access web sites allows to handle the information available on Land and ecosystems characteristics already elaborated. That is why it is introduced as a central pillar of the subject the use of Geographic Information Systems (G.I.S.) in a basic but very applied way. The techniques related to Remote Sensing are also essential tools both in the inventory phases, as well as spatio-temporal modelling, and / or cartography.
The knowledge acquired in the subject will make it possible to take better advantage of other options of the environmental itinerary, integrating them with the aforementioned tools. The subject represents an essential step in the basic applied trainning in environmental matters and will be very useful in the participation in further masters degrees, both from a specific or multidisciplinary perspective.
Know the basic procedures for the inventory of the ecological characteristics of a territory.
Identify the descriptors or basic ecological indicators that allow to synthesize and abstract the basic functioning of ecosystems in a territory.
Become familiar with the mechanisms of interpretation of land-use or vegetation coverage mosaics of a territory and its space / time connection with basic ecological processes (for example, the Water Cycle).
Analyze and explore the potential and limitations associated with the main tools of observation of the earth's surface (vertical aerial photos, orthophotos, remote sensing coverage and satellite photos).
Obtain a basic knowledge of the environmental legislation that imposes the need for administrative instruments of territorial and environmental assessment and to which the activity of biologists who work in this field should be subjected.
Develop the ability to creatively and effectively address the uncertainties of work in these areas, within the framework of environmental sustainability.
Develop the capacity to promote the active participation of society in the objectives of environmental sustainability
Assimilate practically the need for interdisciplinary work in the environmental field