Distance course in
Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment Using Spatial Decision Support Tools
|Certification||Location||Start||Duration||EC||Tuition fee||Registration deadline||NFP registration deadline||Register|
|Certificate||Distance||28 Oct 2013||6 weeks||5||EUR 1000 / 500||30 Sep 2013||07 May 2013||Register|
Decision making in a complex world: the request for (training in) SEA is growing rapidly worldwide and techniques to visually illustrate and assess the implications of spatial decisions are much in demand.
Ad hoc and often uncontrolled development initiatives can have undesired social, economic and ecological consequences. Rapid population growth, pollution, climate change, the exposure to hazards and disasters, and the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services require effective assessment tools to assist sustainable planning and decision making. Environmental impact assessment (EIA) and Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) are basically procedures to support this process. EIA is a systematic procedure established to evaluate the impacts of proposed projects. Although by now EIA is acknowledged and legally embedded in most countries, practice has shown that EIA often occurs too late in the planning process. Since the Nineties SEA for policies, plans and programmes evolved.
The key principles of SEA and EIA are the involvement of relevant stakeholders, a transparent and adaptive planning process, consideration of alternatives, and using the best possible information for decision and policy making. EIA and SEA therefore improve both the (spatial) planning process and the information used in this process. In this course, you will explore how GIS, models and spatial decision support systems can be used to help to identify and structure the problem(s), find and compare possible solutions, and monitor and evaluate the proposed activities. This course provides a unique opportunity to integrate a multidisciplinary assessment of spatial policies, plans and projects. Hands-on experience with real EIA and SEA projects will be a major part of the course.
For whom is the course relevant?
Although participants may have diverse backgrounds, you should share practical experience of, or have an affinity with, the application of EIA and SEA within a spatial planning context. You may be a professional involved in development planning, or working in a governmental or non-governmental organization. You can be a practitioner, reviewer, consultant, expert, a student or professional working in the field of environment.
What will be achieved?
In this course you will work with a set of modern techniques and tools to provide geo-information as a basis for environmental assessment of policies, plans or projects. You will learn the basic principles, procedures and steps in EIA and SEA and their interaction with the planning process. You will acknowledge the importance of stakeholder involvement and value environmental assessment methods, including biodiversity modelling and methods to assess and value ecosystem services. You will explore how GIS is applied in the environmental assessment process. You will develop and assess alternatives and scenarios using indicators and metrics. You will apply spatial decision support tools for site selection and vulnerability and risk assessment.
Learning from a distance, how is it like?
The general approach of the course is task based learning which blends theory and practice. The study load is 20 to 24 hours per week. All materials including (most of) the software will be provided online in ITC's digital learning environment Blackboard. For convenient offline study most materials will be sent on a CD-Rom. We will use email for individual communication and a discussion board in Blackboard for group communication.
Academic level and background
Applicants for the Distance programme should have a Bachelor degree or equivalent from a recognised university in a discipline related to the course, preferably combined with working experience in a relevant field.
As all courses are given in English, proficiency in the English language is a prerequisite. Participants in Distance programme are exempted from an English language test. However, ITC expects their proficiency in the English language to meet the minimum requirements mentioned below.
English language tests: minimum requirements
|TOEFL Paper-based Test (PBT)||550|
|TOEFL Internet-based Test||79-80|
|British Council / IELTS||6.0|
Applicants for the Distance education programme must have elementary computer experience, regular access to internet and e-mail. For some courses additional computer skills are required (see description of specific course).
GIS and remote sensing
Most distance courses, except for the introductory course, require knowledge of, and skills in, working with GIS and/or digital image processing of remotely sensed data.
Candidates are asked to provide proof of identity during the registration process.
- Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher recommended
- Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Course-specific software
ITC expects the hardware to meet the minimum requirements mentioned below.
|When using ILWIS||When using ArcGIS|
|Processor||Any 32 bit processor||Intel Pentium 4, Core Duo, Xeon. Multi-core recommended|
|Internal memory (RAM)||2 GB||2 GB|
|Free hard-disk space for installing||80 MB||2.4 GB|
|Operating system||Windows XP or higher||Windows XP or higher|
|Video||128 MB RAM||64 MB RAM minimum (256 MB RAM recommended)|
|Other hardware||CD-ROM/DVD reader, sound card and speakers or headphones||CD-ROM/DVD reader, sound card and speakers or headphones|
|Minimum internet connection||Reliable connection: broadband or equivalent; minimum download speed 1 Mb/second||Reliable connection: broadband or equivalent; minimum download speed 1 Mb/second|
What more there is to know?
This Distance course is based on a module of one of ITC's degree courses and successful completion will lead to exemption for that module in the degree course.