KJM360 Assessing Risk to Humans and the Environment

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Deborah Helen Oughton

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Limits of class size:Minimum 6. Maximum 25

Course frequency:Every other year, even years. Planned next time in 2024.

Nominal workload:Total 250 hours. 80 hours lectures/practical/demonstrations, 120 hours semester assignment, 25 hours self-study

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in June block. This course has teaching/evaluation in August block, June block.

About this course

Effects of environmental stressors on man and the environment. The course will use ionising radiation as a case study, but will cover protection and assessment approaches for any environmental pollutant, and students can choose their own stressor for their case study. Thus the course will be relevant for students within radioecology and other areas of ecotoxicology as it will enable them to put the models and approaches for assessing radiation in to contect with other environmental stressors as well as the protection of man from ionising radiation. Themes: Biological effects, hazard characterisation, dose-effect relationship, dose-models, RBE, biological endpoints, cancer, dose to biota, ecotoxicology, micro-dosimetry. Ecological Impact and Risk Assessment: Environmental risk, risk characterization, species sensitivity distribution, population dynamics. Countermeasures and remediation. Environmental ethics: philosophy and principles. ALARA and BAT principles, international politics and conventions.

Learning outcome

A candidate who has completed the qualification shall have the following learning outcomes in the subject:


  • Understand the basis for evaluations of the ecological impact of pollutants on humans and the environment.
  • Understand the links between science and policy in the management of pollutants.
  • Be able to identify and evaluate the main uncertainties associated with environmental risk assessment and management.


  • Apply various methods and approaches to assess the effects and impacts of environmental stressors.

General competence:

  • Be able to contextualize environmental risks and stressors and understand the interplay between different factors.
  • Lectures, practical demonstrations, training in using models and assessment tools (e.g. ERICA Assessment Tool; Ecological risk Assessment frameworks), Data Management, environmental monitoring.

    Semester assignment (Risk Assessment Case Study).

  • During the two week course the students will have access to all guest lecturers - joint lunches etc. Each student will be assigned two "mentors" for their chosen assignment, who will follow them and offer advice during the writing period. The ERICA assessment tool part of the course will be supported by two teacher trainers to ensure all students get supervision during the hands-on part of the training.
  • MILJØ200 and either FM310 or KJM350
  • Assignment:

    • The semester assignment counts 100%. Grading system: Pass/Fail.

  • External examiner according to NMBU regulations.
  • Attending 80% of lectures and practical demonstrations
  • Lectures: 52 hours.

    Model and tool training/demonstrations: 20 hours.

    Seminars/Presentation assignment: 8 hours.

  • Special requirements in Science