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The basic and most important concepts of pollution are presented to the students as well as some preventive and mitigation pollution measures used in the nature and ecosystem management. The most recent approaches to the subject are also presented. Its expected the students to develop critical reasoning and to become able to integrate and disseminate the concepts and personal views on most controversial issues.

The learning outcomes expected are:

1. To understand the concepts on environmental pollution

2. To identify the main global pollution problems

3. To identify the main pollution problems in the Azores

4. To define the environmental factors and processes that determine the distribution of main pollutants

5. To acknowledge methodologies and study approaches for the study and determination of main pollutants

6. To understand the polluant pathways among environmental and biological compartiments

7. To know and understand most common mitigation measures


1. Pollution basic concepts. Conservative & non conservative, persistent & non-persistent pollutants. Heavy metals, POPs, etc. Toxicity. Bioaccumulation and biomagnification. Point sources and diffuse pollution. Prevention and control.

2. Air pollution: History and related antropogenic activities. Air pollutants: origins and effects. GES and Climatic changes. Mitigation.

3. Soil contamination. Main impactant activities. Agriculture and ranching contamination. Mitigation.

4. Water pollution. Main polluting activities and main pollutants. Waste water treatment Systems. Eutrophication. Water quality monitorization.

5. Oil hydrocarbons: Environmental, societal and economic issues. Oil spills. Cleaning and dispersive techniques. Prevention. Difuse pollutants.

6. Halogenated Hydrocarbons. Origins and environmental pathways. Main effects in the organisms.

Teaching Methodologies

Teaching will integrate lectures and a practical component. Lecturing will be a more expositive approach Lectures will be complemented with more iterative approach where the students are invited to study and discuss specific papers on the subject under analysis. The practical component will include some field trips namely to the local landfield and to Wase water treatment plants, either industrial or urban, to visit the facilities and equipment available at the maritime authority to deal with a possible oil spill accident. Its aimed to present to the students the equipment available to address several issues approached in the lectures. The written essay that will be presented and discussed in class will enable the consolidation, integration and application of the knowledge acquired during the course.


Alloway, B. J. (ed.), 2012. Heavy Metals in Soils: Trace Metals and Metalloids in Soils and their Bioavailability. Environmental Pollution, 22, Springer.

Clark, R., 1997. Marine Pollution. 4 th.ed., Claredon Press, Oxford.

Harrison, R. (Ed.),1996. Pollution: Causes, effects and control. 3rd .Ed., The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Libes, S., 1992. An Introduction to Marine Biogeochesmistry. JonhWiley & Sons.

Pepper, I. L., C. P. Gerba & M. L. Brusseau, (Eds.), 1996. Pollution Science. Academic Press.

Pepper, I. L., C. P. Gerba & M. L. Brusseau, (Eds.), 2006 (1996). Environmental and Pollution Science, 2nd. Ed., Academic Press.

Oliveira, J. F., B. Mendes & N. Lapa, 2009. Resíduos. Gestão, tratamento e sua problemática em Portugal. Lidel, Lisboa.

Ramade, F., 1979 Écotoxicologie. Masson, Paris.

Stern, N., 2009. O desafio global. Como enfrentar as alterações climáticas criando uma nova era de progresso e prosperidade. Colecção Gulbenkian Ambiente, Esfera do Caos, Lisboa.



ECTS Credits



  • Orientação Tutorial - 2 hours
  • Teóricas - 30 hours
  • Teórico-Práticas - 30 hours

Evaluation Methodology

  • According to CU programme: 100%