Contemporary environmental changes in the landscape


Environmental and Regional Studies (3rd level)

Biodiversity and ecology (3rd Cycle)
Paleobiology and sedimentary geology (3rd Cycle)
Regional studies (3rd Cycle)

Course code: DI005
Year of study: without

Course principal:
Assist. Prof. Aleš Smrekar, Ph.D.


Workload: lectures 30 hours, seminar 10 hours, field work 20 hours, individual work 120 hours.
Course type: common elective
Languages: Slovene, English
Learning and teaching methods: lectures, field courses, seminar, work on selected case studies, individual work within the framework of the chosen research, e-learning.


Course syllabus (download)


Second-cycle Bologna degree in the relevant track or a university (level VII) degree.


Content (Syllabus outline):

  • understanding of natural and anthropogenic processes in contemporary landscape (with the components of the environment and their diversity),
  • the principles and objectives of the environmental protection in landscape,
  • social values and the role of environmental awareness through the development of environmental thought,
  • the basic legislation, which deals with landscape (national and EU),
  • legislative procedures of spatial interventions,
  • environmental pollution by activities and landscape elements (conflict of interests between different activities in the landscape),
  • actions to reduce environmental burdening in landscape,
  • environmental monitoring by using environmental indicators,
  • methodological practices.



  • Elliott, C., Udovč, A. 2005. Nature Conservation and spatial planning in Slovenia: continuity in transition. Land use policy 22. Ljubljana.
  • Glasson, J., Therivel, R., Chadwick, A. 2012. Introduction to environmental impact assessment. New York.
  • Hong, S. K., Nakagoshi, N. (ed.) 2017: Landscape Ecology for Sustainable Society. Springer.
  • Kirn, A. 2004: Narava – družba – ekološka zavest. Ljubljana.
  • Meadows, Do., Randers, J., Meadows, De. 2004: Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update. White River Junction.
  • Mercuri, A., M., Florenzano, A. (ed.) 2019: The Long-Term Perspective of Human Impact on Landscape for Environmental Change and Sustainability. MDPI.
  • Redclift, M. 1999: Pathways to sustainability : Issues, Politicies and Theories, Planning Sustainability London-New York.
  • Applicable laws and other regulations relating to environmental protection and landscape planning.
  • Selected papers from scientific journals.


Objectives and competences:

The basic aim of the course is to provide students with an interdisciplinary knowledge of contemporary understanding of landscape as an integrated system, which was significantly and uncritically intervened by humans. Students understand the strengthening of sustainable paradigm in recent decades which is increasingly supported by European and national policies and obtains theoretical and practical knowledge of environmental protection, which are intensively changing.


Participation in the course will bring the student:

  • the knowledge of the issues of environmental protection,
  • the knowledge of understanding the landscape as the fundamental spatial unit,
  • the ability for searching proper resources and implementation of the selective information,
  • can critically recognises, understands and interprets the topical social issues of environmental consequences of human intervention in the landscape,
  • can practically analyse environmental problems and propose appropriate solutions that help to create a sustainable landscape.


Intended learning outcomes:

  • overview of student’s basic knowledge about the protection of the environment and the landscape and its interdisciplinary upgrade,
  • understanding the (non)renewability of natural resources,
  • information about the state of the environment and the effects of human activities in landscape,
  • the knowledge of contemporary approaches to environmental protection,
  • the ability to use the most appropriate methodological approaches,
  • the understanding of the legislative framework of European and Slovenian rules and processes, which help to develop policies,
  • a comprehensive evaluation of the contemporary landscape,
  • the practical knowledge of critical identification, evaluation and design of sustainable interventions in the landscape.



Oral exam (50 %), seminar (50 %).