Environment and Agriculture

This course is part of the programme
Bachelor's programme in Environment (first cycle)

Objectives and competences

The objective of the course is to give student an overview of environmental issues connected with agriculture, their sources, characteristics and consequences. Relations and interconnectedness between agriculture and the environment are presented and understood. Students are made acquainted with examples from Slovenia and the world. The central part of the course is aimed at understanding the agricultural landscape and environment, and their most important elements: land use, intensivity of production, matter cycling and energy flow. Agricultural production is treated from the viewpoint of environment protection and students familiarise with specific environmental problems: land use and degradation, soil erosion, pesticide residues in agriculture and loading with nitrates and phosphates. In addition, students learn about management strategies and ways of reducing the environmental impact of agriculture through various established farming practices, and about approaches to mittigation of negative impacts of changes in the environment on agriculture.


The students are required to have basic knowledge of chemistry, ecology and environmental protection, that they obtain in the course Fundamentals of Environmental Science during the first year of study.


Environmental impacts of agriculture
Impact of global and regional environmental phenomena on agriculture (global phenomena: ozone, greenhouse effect and climate change)
Impacts of agriculture on environment: * Agri-environmental indicators * Current state in Slovenia
Agricultural wastes
Life-Cycle Assessment in Agricultural Systems
Strategies of decreasing negative impacts of agriculture on the environment: * Good agricultural practice * Integrated farming * Organic farming
Reducing the impact of climate change on agriculture
Agriculture and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

Exercises are in the form of field viewings of specific environmental impacts of agriculture, such as changes in water bodies, impacts of pesticides, changed landscape etc., as well as examples of good environmental practices in agriculture.

Intended learning outcomes

Students learn to identify and differentiate between different forms of pollution caused by agricultural activities, and get to know the impacts of pollution and changes in the environment (primarily climatic change) on agriculture. After the course, they can assess the environmental impacts of agriculture in general or of a specific farm and foresee suitable solutions as well as possible impacts of environmental changes and measures for their mitigation.



  • Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment / ed.: Muhammad Farooq, Nirmali Gogoi, Michele Pisante. 1st Edition - April 14, 2023, Elsevier, 9780323905008 Catalogue


  • Kupchella, C. E.; Hyland, M. C. 1993. Environmental Science – Living with the system of nature (3rd edition), ISBN-0-13-282740-9, Prentice Hall, N. Jersey. Katalog
  • Novotny V, 1999: Diffuse pollution from agriculture – a worldwide outlook. Water Sci Tech 39(3):1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0273-1223(99)00027-X
  • High nature value farmland: characteristics, trends and policy challenges. 2004. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. ISBN 92-9167-664-0. Katalog
  • Miteam učilnica, Moodle učilnica, prosojnice predavateljev.


Written examination (33,33%), oral examination (33,33%), colloquium on field work (33,33%).

Lecturer's references

Dr. Ario de Marco is a Full professor in the field of Biotechnology at the University of Nova Gorica.

  • de Marco A (2018) Nanomaterial bio-activation and macromolecules functionalization: the search for reliable protocols. Prot Expr Purif, 147:49-54
  • Popovic M, Mazzega E, Toffoletto B, de Marco A (2018) Isolation of anti-extra-cellular vesicle single-domain antibodies by direct panning on vesicle-enriched fractions. Microbial Cell Fact, 17:6
  • de Marco A (2017) Acting on folding effectors to improve recombinant protein yields and functional quality. Meth Mol Biol (Heterologous Gene Expression in E. coli), 1586:197-210
  • Crépin R, Gentien D, Duché A, Rapinat A, Reyes C, Némati F, Massonnet G, Decaudin D, Djender S, Moutel S, Desrumeaux K, Cassoux N, Piperno-Neumann S, Amigorena S, Perez F, Roman Roman S, de Marco A (2017) Nanobodies against surface biomarkers enable the analysis of tumor genetic heterogeneity in uveal melanoma Patient Derived Xenografts. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res, 30:317-327
  • Ambrosetti E, Paoletti P, Bosco A, Parisse P, Scaini D, Tagliabue E, de Marco A, Casalis L (2017) Quantification of circulating cancer biomarkers via sensitive topographic measurements on single binder nanoarrays. ACS Omega, 2:2618-2629