Course code MUA310

MUA310 Urban pollutants and chemical food safety

There may be changes to the course due to to corona restrictions. See Canvas and StudentWeb for info.

Norsk emneinformasjon

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2021 - 2022 .

Course responsible: Jan Ludvig Lyche, Roland Peter Kallenborn
Teachers: Elin Lovise Folven Gjengedal, Trine Hvoslef-Eide, Petter Deinboll Jenssen, Arve Heistad
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science
Teaching language: EN, NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
June block 
Course frequency: annualy
First time: 2021H
Preferential right:
Course contents:

As a part of the international strategy of promoting new circular bioeconomic features in the value chains of our western societies, Urban agriculture (UA) is currently highlighted as new national and international political and scientific strategies in modern urban development. Due to the obvious benefits of utilizing and recycling local resources as substrates as well as "short-traveled" product distribution patterns, UA is considered a highly sustainable, "green" approach in the complex network of circular bioeconomy. However, the Urban environment is also considered a significant source of anthropogenic pollutants. Throughout centuries urban areas have been utilized for domestic, municipal, industrial, and storage purposes and these activities are "stored" in the urban soils and infrastructures. Hence, in order to truly develop a sustainable UA strategy with minimal exposure risk of anthropogenic pollutants to potential human consumers, anthropogenic urban pollutant aspects need to be implemented in local and international UA strategies.

Thus, the graduate-level lecture on urban pollution will cover all relevant aspects of Urban pollutants. A detailed introduction on sources, trends, and consequences of urban pollution with special emphasis on application of Urban resources in UA (including planning and establishing recreational areas and publicly available locations). All relevant aspects including historical considerations, infrastructure elucidation, compound identification, source elucidation, toxicology, and risk evaluation will be covered.

Learning outcome:

After completion, the candidates should have general knowledge on the potential challenges of anthropogenic pollutants in Urban environments but in particular for the development of suitable UA infrastructures and developments. Furthermore, the candidates will be familiar with pollutant assessment strategies, environmental toxicology prioritization and potentially available of remediation and removal methods. The students will become familiar with the validation of methods for specific applications and will be able to select appropriate strategies for a specific application within the field of pollutant assessment in UA.

GENERAL: Basic knowledge of  sources, and removal of pollutants in urban environments. Information on measures and use in technical control, environmental chemistry, regulatory measures, and food safety is discussed.

KNOWLEDGE: After completing the course, candidates are expected to have knowledge on types of pollution, priority environmental toxins, different sources of pollution, different techniques for contaminant validation, removal strategies, and identification of unknown compounds in the urban environment.

SKILLS: After completing the course, solid knowledge of environmental toxins, determination methods for such substances, regulatory measures, effects validation, and consequences in urban agriculture are expected. Students must be able to validate various measures and must be able to choose academic strategies within effect and concentration determination. A large degree of self-study and independent practical contribution to the course is expected.  

Learning activities:

The course is designed as a combination of  introductory lectures, flipped-class room exercises, practical group work, and site excursions where relevant local and international examples will be discussed, and problem-oriented solutions will be suggested/ recommended as a part of the practical group work. 

Lectures (mandatory) and seminars where students are expected to be involved in a constructive and active way are the basis for the course. The seminars will be arranged as a "flipped classroom" and students will prepare and discuss practical aspects in toxicology, impact assessment, regulation and identification of environmental toxins in the urban environment. An individual thematic report must be submitted and presented in plenary (represents 50 % of the final grade).

Teaching support:
Office hours are announced at the beginning of the course start.Dedicated work meetings will be arranged for each student group. All groups have access to updated professional literature and reports for their specific topic areas.Regular seminars will be held for discussions and reporting work.The canvas page will be actively used by teachers and students for discussions and information.
Lectures and selected scientific publications. Announced at the start of the course /Canvas.
KJM100 General chemistry, or equivalent.
Recommended prerequisites:
Toxicology, plant science, urban planning.
Mandatory activity:

Individual report with oral presentation, counts 50 %.

Oral examination counts 50 %.

Nominal workload:
Lectures: 30 hours. Seminar: 30 hours. Self-study / reporting: 65 hours, including semester assignment.
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Type of course:
4 hours of lectures & 2 seminars per week.
Internal and external examiners approve written reports and oral presentation.
Examination details: Combined Assessment: A - E / F