Aquatic Ecosystems: Processes and Applications

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General information

This course aims to provide scientists and managers with practical experience and ready-to-use skills in analysing processes in aquatic ecosystems and with the proper tools to integrate ecological knowledge into management of these systems.

An experimental set-up will be used as a case to analyse the effects of eutrophication and to familiarise participants with techniques that are common in ecological research. 

Ample attention will be paid to the development of a critical scientific approach, including study design, statistical analysis and data presentation.In a fieldwork study, hydrological, chemical and biological measurements will be integrated into an overall evaluation of the water quality in a river catchment. Modelling tools will be applied in an exercise to evaluate the effects of eutrophication, in a shallow lake and the potentials for restoration, including a cost-benefit analysis.

Learning outcome:

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:

  1. Conduct laboratory techniques used for basic limnological studies. Specifically, you will be able to measure physical-chemical properties, chlorophyll a concentration in seston and periphyton; measure and calculate primary production and community respiration, measure nutrient concentration and turbidity, calculate and measure ash free dry mass, and perform zooplankton counts.
  2. Develop a research question based on the experimental design.
  3. Analyze data using either statistical or modeling techniques to answer your research question.
  4. Produce a report in the format of a scientific article that presents your research question, the data supporting it, and a discussion of your results, including a review of relevant literature.
  5. Critically analyze your colleagues' work in the form of a professional peer review.
Contact Person: Gretchen Gettel (Coordinator) (


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.


Venue: UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
Delft, Netherlands

Westvest 7, 2611 AX Delft



€ 2.775


You should at least have a Bachelor Degree in a relevant field of study, some years of working experience and a good command of the English language.

Application Procedure:

Apply using the online application form.

Application Deadline: 06 May 2016 - 23.59 (CET)

Grant Opportunities:

Most of the UNESCO-IHE online courses are eligible for NFP fellowships, and candidates from NFP countries are always encouraged to apply for one (Deadline NFP: 14 October 2015). Discounts on the tuition fees are also available and apply to the following:

  • 30% for UNESCO-IHE alumni
  • 30% for UNESCO-IHE G-PoWER partners
  • 10% for UN family staff members
  • 10% for groups of 5 or more (provided that the course starts at the same time and a group application has been sent).


Academic level: Lifelong Learning

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