Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (32 hours), Exercise (32 hours)

Knowledge of general and applied ecology, inorganic and organic chemistry, environmental chemistry and environmental risk assessment. Finally, an understanding of the spoken and written English language is necessary since the slides the teacher will use in class will be frequently in English, as well as extracts from publications, scientific texts and manuals.

Final Examination: 

Final oral exam
In the final test, the teacher assesses the level of understanding of the critical and technical nodes of the discipline.
The teacher evaluates in particular the depth of analysis, argumentative rigor, completeness, originality, expressive capabilities, depth of analysis.
The “Cum Laude” mark is awarded when the student shows optimal levels of preparation and processing of the information acquired

Voto Finale

Educational objectives
The course aims to provide the student with tools to understand the role and functioning of multimedia models for predicting the environmental fate of organic contaminants. The course is part of the Chemical Risk curriculum of the Master's Degree and is an ideal complement to the Environmental Risk Assessment course.

Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
1. discuss the main basic concepts needed for model building;
2. illustrate the main modeling approaches for predicting the environmental fate of contaminants;
3. build and apply models of environmental fate for different scenarios
4. evaluate the models used at European level for the regulation of substances

The course deals with the main predictive approaches to assess the exposure of ecosystems to contaminants. From model building for the study of different environmental media to its application at different levels of complexity. The main international approaches (EU, USA) will be discussed, as well as the illustration of some example cases. In details:
Part 1 (12 hours)
1. Models for predicting the environmental fate (indexes and ranking systems, chemodynamic models, physical models, etc.)
2. Classification and illustration of the main modeling strategies.
3. Definitions and basic concepts. Properties of chemicals and environmental fate. Environmental compartments: properties, composition, definition of scenarios at different time and space scales. Air, water, soil, sediment, particulates and suspended solids. Other sectors (rain and snow, vegetation, aquatic and terrestrial animal biomass).

Part 2 (12 hours)
4. Partition coefficients and equilibrium among the phases, degradation reactions, advection phenomena, bioaccumulation. Residence time. Transport phenomena between phases. Resistances among the different environmental phases.
5. Model levels (I-IV), equilibrium/disequilibrium, steady/unsteady state. Creation of a model: definition of a scenario, development of the mass balance and the necessary parameters.

Part 3 (8 hours)
6. Estimation of the parameters. Calibration and validation.
7. Examples of multimedia models, physical air dispersion models.
Integration between models and GIS.
8. Models used at European level for the regulation of chemical substances (EUSES / FOCUS GW / FOCUS SW).
9. Models for remediation of contaminated sites.

Part 4 EXERCISES (32 hours) The exercises will allow you to build environmental models suitable for calculating the concentration of contaminants in different environmental scenarios (soil, surface water, plant and animal biomass, etc.).

Mackay D. (2001) Multimedia Environmental Models: the fugacity approach, Lewis Publishers, 2nd ed.
The slides in pdf format will be made available on the e-learning site

Frontal lessons and computer exercises.
In lectures, the various topics will be carried out through PowerPoint presentations (with slides in English) projected in the classroom. In the presence of foreign students, the course will be provided in English.
Examples of specific problems will be illustrated, such as the modeling of the environmental fate of some molecules belonging to various classes.
During the exercises, the students will work individually and assemble multimedia models under the guidance of the teacher and an exerciser as well as using existing models to evaluate problems of environmental fate in various situations. A final report is expected, which must be presented at the time of the oral exam.

The purpose of the exercises is also to allow the student to make a self-assessment of their own learning and, at the same time, to allow the teacher to verify the advancement of knowledge in the construction and functioning of environmental fate models.

Contact the teacher by e-mail to make an appointment (antonio.diguardo@uninsubria.it)