Environmental special course and workshop at HENVI , 4 credits


Why does society need environmental research

HENVI organises annually an environmental special course and a workshop, which are linked to the theme of the HENVI Science Day. We invite the speakers of the Science Day to act as visiting teachers of the workshop.

--> Programme of the HENVI Science Days 2011

Course information

Course info

Environmental special course at the Helsinki University Centre for Environment

4 ECTS credits

Organiser Helsinki University Centre for Environment HENVI
Teachers and coordinators

Responsible teacher
Janna Pietikäinen, university lecturer of environmenatal teaching

Responsibility for the HENVI Science Day
Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki, coordinator of environmental research.

Registration is required

WebOodi sign Registration time has ended

This course is for students of social sciences, humanities and natural sciences. If the number of registered students is larger than can be accepted to the course (max 24), we will select the students according to the chronological order of registration with the criteria that we take students equally from social sciences, humanities and natural sciences.

Aim The aim of the workshop is to help students with different backgrounds (i.e., natural sciences, humanities or social sciences) to deepen their understanding of issues dealing with environmental reseach and its role in the society and decision making. We aim at concentrating on subjects represented by those invited speakers of the HENVI Science Day who act as workshop teachers.
Working group topics The preliminary topics are
  • 1) Evaluating policies to mitigate climate change: supervised by Kimmo Ollikka, visiting teachers prof. Markku Kulmala, Don Wuebbles,
  • 2) Integrating environmental issues to decision making, supervised by Jarkko Levänen, visiting teacher professor Lassi Linnanen,
  • 3) Society-nature co-evolution transforming nature, and transforming society, supervised by Kati Vierikko, visiting teacher professor Marina Fischer Kowalski.
Course structure and timetable

1. Starting day Tuesday 15 March at 14.15-17
Viikki B-building (i.e. Forest Sciences building) lecture hall 4
Latokartanonkaari 7, Viikki Campus

See 'Forest Sciences' on the aerial photo.

Everybody must be present here. The objective and working methods of the course are introduced

  • Introducing the Helsinki University Centre for Environment, the course coordinators and HENVI Science Day
  • Presentation of the workshop and course aims
  • Introducing the visiting workshop teachers
  • Presentation of supervisors and the workshop themes. Forming of working groups and launching the work
  • Get-together in groups. Making timetables and deciding on distribution of work in groups.

2. Group work: web based in Moodle

Group work is done as internet based e-learning using closed group work sites in a web-based teaching platform Moodle. The course coordinator and the supervisors of groups meet all the groups regularly either face-to-face or on the group web site in order to follow the work and give comments and further help.

Link to moodleDirect link to the course site in Moodle for participants

When entering the site for the first time you need an entering key, which has been sent to enrolled students by email on 11 March, and can be obtained from course coordinator.

3. Written work

Each group writes a multidisciplinary report of the current knowledge in the selected theme according to literature and recent research. The work is supervised by course tutors.

Deadline for turning in the written reports: 31 March 2011.

4. Reading and reviewing the reports

NB. The groups read each other's reports for the discussion in the workshop.

NB. 1. Bolajoko Bada, Lisa Gawriyski, Tuomo Nieminen, and Viivi Wanhalinna: Evaluating policies to mitigate climate change.

NB. 2. Tuomas Autio, Quynh Nguyen Ton Nu, Reija Mikkola, Tähti Pohjanmies: Environmental Decision Making - Lessons learned from the business world.

NB. 3. Eeva Huttunen, Gerald Krebs, Odenna Sagizbaeva, Theresa Willerstorfer: Society-nature interactions in sustainable cities: Helsinki as a case study.


5. Workshop

Friday 8 April at 8-10
Helsinki University Main Building, City Centre Campus

Read the reports of the other groups before the workshop. The workshop takes place on Friday 8 April at 8:00-10:00. The place is lecture hall 7, 3rd floor, Helsinki University Main Building, Fabianinkatu 33 (the same place as Henvi Science days).

NB. The timetable and the visiting teachers of the workshop are

8:00 - 8:35 Group 2: Professor Lassi Linnanen

8:40 - 9:15 Group 3: Professor Marina Fischer-Kowalski

9:20 - 9:55 Group 1: Professor Donald Wuebbles

The visiting teachers give their comments and discuss on the students' reports and questions posed by the students. They may also raise other important aspects that relate to the report.

6. Reporting of the HENVI Science Days

Students are responsible for reporting on presentations and discussions of the the HENVI Science Days 7-8 April. The reporting is done by writing a summary of one presentation or presentation comments (2) by each student. This reporting work is done individually. HENVi produces a Science Days Proceedings publications and our students have the opportunity to include their reviews in the publication. Students, please, see your responsibilies in task list in moodle.


Evalution The report prepared in the groups is evaluated and a common grade is assigned to all group members (50 %). In addition the summary of the science day presentation is evaluated individually for each student (50 %).

The course is open to all university students. We aim to form multidisciplinary working groups with students from natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. Accordingly we hope to get registrations from all faculties and disciplines.

Course on the web The course group work and preparing the reports for the workshop is done using the learning platform Moodle.




The previous workshop themes.

--> Workshop 2010: Man-made substances and the environment


--> Workshop 2009: Water use and climate change