Freshwater Quality Monitoring with Biota and Particulate Matter

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Water quality has traditionally been assessed on the basis of physical and chemical measurements but numerous alternative approaches based on the flora and fauna of surface waters have also been proposed. The main approaches used in biological and ecological monitoring are described and the scientific basis behind such methods is considered in order to identify the key criteria for their successful implementation in water quality monitoring programmes. The key biogeochemical processes in rivers and lakes, emphasising the critical information required to interpret water quality monitoring data, are also presented.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Identify the influences of human activities on biological communities in surface waters.
  • Propose, with reasons, suitable indicator organisms in rivers and lakes.
  • Distinguish between biological communities and individual species as approaches for water quality monitoring.
  • Identify the influences of human activities on the composition and behaviour of particulate matter in rivers and lakes.
  • Select examples of the use of particulate matter to monitor contamination in rivers and lakes.
  • Select the advantages and disadvantages of using particulate matter for monitoring contamination in surface waters.

Fee information

The course fee is €400 for EU applicants and €800 for Non-EU applicants. For UNEP GEMS/Water sponsored students the course fee is €100. These candidates from developing countries should complete the Reduced Fee Form available on the website of the Centre. Applicants will be University College Cork (UCC) fully registered students and they will have access to the Learning Environment Canvas, through which the courses are delivered, and other resources of UCC such as the onlineLibrary.

How to register

Candidates should send to gemscdcadmin@ucc.ie the following documentation:

  • Application form available here.
  • Copy of Birth Certificate (or Certificate of Marriage if the name was changed).
  • CV.
  • Transcripts or parchment in English from your master’s degree/bachelor degree.
  • If English is not your first language, you should also supply an English Language Exam certificate.