Environmental Measurement Laboratory

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Number Unit Lecturer
701-1673-00L Environmental Measurement Laboratory  D. Or,
P. U. Lehmann Grunder

Syllabus 2016

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Summary 2016

Measurements are considered as “the sole judge of scientific truth”, they provide the basis for deductions when theory and predictions are not yet possible, and enable characterization and monitoring of complex terrestrial systems. The lectures, field- and laboratory experiments will provide students with hands-on experiences and training in application of modern measurement methods to identification of key system parameters and direct measurements of above- and subsurface properties and processes.

Course objectives

  1. To introduce students to complexities and challenges of characterization of natural systems and key environmental processes
  2. To provide the scientific basis for how environmental sensors work and how they are used for landscape and subsurface characterization
  3. To evaluate and select appropriate measurement methods and sampling design to quantify key environmental variables & processes
  4. To study how sensors are deployed in the field, acquire and analyze data, and understand sensor networks and use of derived information
  5. To interpret and analyze laboratory and field data and report main integrated findings deduced from various types of measurements
  6. To enhance problem-solving skills of student experiences with laboratory and field experiments and class projects


Soil and Terrestrial Environmental Physics, ETH Zurich (for D-USYS and D-BAUG)

Prof. Dani Or (; 044 633 60 15)
Dr. Peter Lehmann (; 044 632 63 45)
Mr. Daniel Breitenstein (; 044 633 60 74)
Mr. Hans Wunderli (; 044 633 63 40)


Mr. Andy Raffainer ()

Mountain Hydrology and Mass Movements, WSL (for D-USYS only)

Dr. Mike Schwank (; 044 739 22 15)
Christian Ginzler (, 044 739 25 51)

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ ( For D-USYS only)

Dr. Heye Bogena (; +49 246 161 67 52)

Agroscope Rckenholz(for D-BAUG Only)

Dr. Armin Keller (), +41 44 377 7207)

Time & Location

Tuesday 13:15 - 17:00 CHN E 46 (lecture)


for DBAUG:
80% on lab reports
20% on participation

for USYS:
60% on lab reports
40% for homework

Laboratory reports

Report: Effect of soil layering on water and temperature dynamics (analysis of data collected in deployed monitoring network) - Reports are due end of November; write-up should be neat and concise (4-­‐6 pages, excluding graphs), try to adhere to the following format:
Title - (don’t forget your name and date).
Introduction - A brief discussion of the topic and the lab's objectives
Materials and Methods - Keep it short; write essentials only
Results - Include tables of raw and/or transformed data; equations and graphs.
Discussion -  Think, check if results make sense; explain their significance and the associated physical process;
integrate concepts; discuss assumptions and limitations
Literature Cited -  List in alphabetical order literature you have consulted and mentioned in thereport

Homework (for D-USYS only)

Analyses of data series examples presented in the lecture (Geophysics, Forest characterization, Soil monitoring networks, Remote sensing)

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