User Tools

Site Tools


You are in Geoinformatics - Creative Commons :: Introduction to Environmental Modelling

Introduction to Environmental Modelling

This course is part of the generic course program of the MSc in Geospatial Technologies, course “Applications of GI within and outside geosciences”.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Tiago Carneiro


This course presents the environmental modelling discipline by problem-based learning.

Environmental modelling deals with the computational representation and simulation of natural systems and their interaction with human activities. These models address humanity's impact on natural resouces, including use of water, energy, land, and its consequences, such as deforestation, climate change, and depletion of biodiversity. Through a series of laboratory classes, we introduce different concepts and techniques for environmental modelling using TerraME toolbox for model development.

Students will implement well-established human and natural models in areas such as hydrology, deforestation, dengue disease propagation, spatial seggregation, and urban dynamics. The course will also investigate the assumptions, results, and conclusions of these models. Laboratory exercises and a final project will be used to grade students.


Students are expected to complete most of their workload outside formal contact hours through personal study, reading and assignments. They must be prepared for 4.5 hours per day of extra-class activities. This way, the overall course workload will sum 150 hours, e. g., 60h of contact classes and 90h of extra-class studies.


  • 20% - Two theoretical exams
  • 30% - Several pratices & readings: In class and at home.
  • 50% - Final project: Model code + wiki page + seminar.
  • Click here to see the: project outline. :!:

Text books


  • Wainwright, J., Mulligan, M. (2004). Environmental Modelling: Finding Simplicity in Complexity, John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
  • Meadows, D. Thinking in Systems, Chelsea Publishing, 2008.
  • Ford, A. Modeling the Environment (2nd edition), Island Press, 2010.


  • Zeigler, B. P., T. G. Kim, et al. (2005). Theory of modeling and simulation. Orlando, FL, USA, Academic Press, Inc.



env-model.txt · Last modified: 2014/10/02 11:25 by tiago