Course code MINA100

MINA100 Introduction to Environment and Natural Resources

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2021 - 2022 .

Course responsible: Åsgeir Rossebø Almås, Vegard Martinsen
Teachers: Mona Henriksen
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in August block. This course has teaching/evaluation in August block and Autumn parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2009-2010
Last time: 2021H
Preferential right:
Course contents:
MINA100 is the introductory course for the bachelor program «Environment and natural resources». The course sheds light on interdisciplinary issues and focuses on the connections between climate and the environment and how human activity affects the natural environment. Ecosystem functions, food production, pollution and water quality are important topics that are addressed. The course emphasizes system understanding and critical thinking where sustainable development, climate change, pollution, global perspective, population growth, urbanization, people, nature and the valuation of the nature are central. The course consists of 1) lectures and discussions on environmental science related to the UN's sustainability goals and covers the most central and most frequently debated topics related to environmental and resource issues, sustainability and global change; 2) seminars based on current environmental science issues where students immerse themselves in one or more topics covered in the lectures and 3) group work and semester assignment on selected topics related to resource and land use, pollution and climate. The group work culminates in a written report and an oral presentation in plenary.
Learning outcome:

After passing the course, students must possess the following knowledge and skills:


1. Students can define and describe key concepts within environmental science subject areas taught in the course.

2. Students have knowledge of the UN's sustainability goals and can give examples of why environmental science knowledge is important to achieve these goals.

3. Students know and can explain why interdisciplinarity is important for studying and understanding the connections between climate and the environment and how human activity affects the natural environment.

4. Students know the importance of key biogeochemical processes and how human activity such as pollution, population growth and land use affect the natural environment.

5. Students have knowledge of and can explain why basic subjects such as mathematics, chemistry and biology are important in environmental science.


Through lectures, seminars and group work with subsequent written submission, students can apply environmental science knowledge to analyze and evaluate simple but central challenges and opportunities related to human activity and sustainable development.

Learning activities:
Lectures and seminars. Groupwork. Excursion. Group work/projects/exercises.
Teaching support:
The course has a website in Canvas where you will find information. The teachers will be available for questions during the office hours. Some teachers at MINA will supervise the group project throughout the courses.
Cunningham, W. & Cunningham, M., 2020. Principles of Environmental Science, 9th Edition. Selected articles and lecture notes.
Recommended prerequisites:
Read at lest one "popular" book on cosmology, ecosystem, environmental issues or evolution. Examples: J Diamond (Guns Germs and Steel, or Collapse), Tim Flannery (Here on earth), James Lovelock (Revenge of Gaia, or another), Markus Lindholm (Evolusjon, naturens kulturhistorie)
Mandatory activity:
August block: Excursion, development of the first draft for a term paper, presentation of the draft in plenum. Autumn parallell: Submission (and oral presentation)of termpaper in the middle of the semester with opportunity for revision before the end of the semester. Participation at seminars including introductory lectures and subsequent group presentations of selected articles.

Total assessment:

  • Oral exam (30 minutes) counts 75%
  • Portfolio assessment: Written term-paper and presentation counts 25%.

Both parts of the exam has to be passed. Grading system A-E / Not passed.

Nominal workload:
250 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
Three weeks in the August block and 4 hours/week in the Autumn parallell. Excursion: 3 days. Lectures/seminars,semester assignment with group work and guidance from teacher.
The examiner will approve the exam questions,themes for the assignments, and the written reports.
Examination details: :