Methodology and Sampling in Environmental Management

Course content

Practical sampling of soil, water and bioindicators in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments, followed by laboratory analyses and statistical analyses, including planning of sampling and chose of methods in relation to the purpose of the sampling. Emphasis will be on comparison and discussion of the suitability of different methods in relation to strengths and weaknesses of collected data, time consumption and scientific experience. There will be strong focus on reporting and presentation of the different sub-projects included in the course. Principles of Environmental Impact Assesment (VVM), the EU habitat directive, Natura 2000 and use of indices of diversity and indicator species are also addressed. Subjects addressed by guest teachers may also comprise waste water handling and air particle pollution, and an outline of the job market in nature management in Denmark.


MSc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Biology with a minor subject

Learning outcome

Having concluded the course, the participants are expected to be able to plan and conduct adequate sampling of water, soil and plant material in relation to environmental problems, to perform correct statistical data treatment and presentation of the results and to communicate the findings and conclusions written and oral to end-users.


Theoretical and practical knowledge about common-practice sampling methodology to evaluate nature quality, diversity and pollution of some of the most important natural environments (terrestrial ecosystems, sea), including which bioindicators and physical-chemical parameters that are most relevant in specific cases.


Improved hands-on experience with field sampling, laboratory analyses and statistical data treatment. Planning of sampling and choise of methodology in relation to the environmental problems in focus. Critical analysis of results obtained in relation to methodology, available resources and expertise. Improved experience with presentation of findings.


Ability to independently plan, conduct and report environmental analyses. Qualifications to critically evaluate similar investigations, reported by others.

The course runs for 9 weeks with lectures and mandatory (minimum 80% presence required) field work, exercises, laboratory and group work. Field work comprises collection of samples and data in terrestrial and marine environments. Analytical work in groups takes place in laboratories; and is complemented with statistical data analysis, discussion hours and project work leading to completion of reports. Group size minimum 4 students.

Completed BSc in Biology or equivalent.

Continuous feedback during the course

consisting of 10-20 lines of written, constructive feedback on positive and negative elements in each of the four mandatory reports handed in by the students. 

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Type of assessment details
Four reports must be delivered (one terrestrial nitrogen pollution, one on terrestrial heavy metal pollution, one on plant/insect diversity assessment and one of marine aspects) according to a set schedule. Two of the reports shall be made individually.
The four reports are equally weighted, and they must be passed separately and in the same exam period.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner
Criteria for exam assessment

In order to obtain the grade 12 the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning Outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 14
  • Preparation
  • 83
  • Excursions
  • 15
  • Project work
  • 75
  • Seminar
  • 19
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
No limitation
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board for the Biological Area
Contracting department
  • Department of Biology
  • Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Anders Michelsen   (7-6a776d6e7b7c76496b727837747e376d74)

Anders Michelsen, Lasse Riemann, Inger Kappel Schmidt and guest teachers.

Saved on the 28-02-2022

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