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Modelling is a fundamental component of Environmental Science, being used for prediction, monitoring, auditing, evaluation, and assessment. This subject introduces students to a wide range of models used by environmental scientists including models of climate change, population dynamics, pollution, hydrology, habitat and species distributions. Both deterministic and stochastic models are used as examples. The subject explains how to develop conceptual models that can then be quantified and analysed using mathematical and statistical methods. Topics covered include development of the basic model structure, estimation of parameters and calibration, methods of analysis, sensitivity analysis, model evaluation and model refinement. The subject teaches students how to simplify apparently complex problems.
Intended learning outcomes
The subject aims to provide students with:
- an appreciation for the role of modelling in environmental science;
- an overview of the range of environmental models in use;
- the skills required to model environmental systems and processes;
- an introduction to the construction and mathematical analysis of environmental models; and
- a high level of ability to analyse and evaluate environmental models.
Generic skills gained from this subject include:
- synthesis of information from a range of sources;
- appropriate simplification of complex problems to make them amendable to analysis;
- high level written communication and presentation skills;
- high level oral communication and presentation skills;
- the ability to exercise critical judgement, think rigorously and independently, account for decisions, and solve problems; and
- application of advanced analytical methods.
Last updated: 2 December 2019