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University of Silesia in Katowice

  • Polski
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degree programme


of Water Environments

Water is an important element of the environment that has a significant impact on the functioning of ecosystems and societies. The increasing problems with the availability of good-quality water resources require rational water management, based on knowledge, consistent with the principles of sustainable development. It seems particularly important in view of the decreasing availability of water resources. Skilful care for water and aquatic environments will allow the expected effects of climate change to be mitigated.

Water is a basic element of ecosystems, a raw material for direct consumption and industrial use. Important challenges facing society in the age of climate change are:

  • introducing the principles of rational management of water resources;
  • rational management of environments related to waters;
  • protection of aquatic habitats;
  • creation of community-friendly downtown water ecosystems i.e. blue-green infrastructure.

Such activities require highly qualified staff. Managing water resources and water related ecosystems requires comprehensive knowledge in the field of natural and social sciences, as well as engineering and technology. Such qualifications should include: the basics of mathematics, physics, chemistry, as well as the basics of meteorology and climatology, hydrology, hydrobiology and hydrogeology, to the extent enabling the use of this knowledge to manage aquatic environments.

Currently, there is a shortage of specialists ready to deal with the challenges of water management. This creates the necessity to prepare competent employees acting as contractors/managers managing waters and environments related to waters. Institutions such as the State Water Holding Polish Waters responsible for managing water resources in Poland, water supply companies, water reservoir managers, local government units and non-governmental organisations point out a serious problem with recruiting new competent employees.

The answer to these problems is the creation of a modern field of study called ”Aquamatics – Interdisciplinary Management of Water Environments” (Aquamatics) at the University of Silesia in Katowiceh.

The aim of these studies is to educate competent water management specialists in their workplaces as members/leaders of a task group, characterised by independent thinking and acting and recognising the primacy of knowledge over emotions.

Education in the field of Aquamatics will be based on the principles developed by Wilhelm von Humboldt:

  • multifaceted approach – individual branches of science complement each other and constitute general knowledge, so they are equally important,
  • learning through experience – educating students through direct involvement in practical activities and research,
  • unity of professors and students – creating joint research teams “students – academic staff”, where the professor has no monopoly on the truth, and the student, in the process of discovering it, is a full partner.

A graduate of Aquamatics will not only understand the problems and threats that cause climate change in aquatic environments but will also be able to solve them by identifying the causes and predicting their ecological effects.

The graduate will be able to take effective measures to reduce the negative effects of hydrological and hydrobiological changes by:

  • making an inventory of surface and groundwater as well as water-related environments,
  • introducing effective methods of monitoring these areas,
  • proposing corrective actions and verifying their effectiveness using statistical methods and mathematical modelling,
  • planning the protection and reclamation of aquatic environments
  • designing small/large retention areas, creating urban green and blue infrastructure areas and rational management of dwindling water resources.

During the course of study, a lot of emphasis will be placed on the ability to use IT tools such as GIS and CAD, use of databases, creating maps and graphics illustrating water issues.

The student will learn to analyse documents related to water management, such as hydrotechnical projects, construction documentation, surveys, expert opinions, decisions and reports. He or she will correctly assess the role of aquatic ecosystems, be able to recognise the most important species of plants and animals related to aquatic environments and understand the relationships between them.

As a future employee of institutions related to waters, the graduate will be able to operate floating equipment and use unmanned aerial vehicles to obtain data necessary for water management.

An important element of education will be project classes aimed at teaching students how to carry out the assigned tasks. During such classes, the student, alone or in a team, will conduct field research with measuring equipment at their disposal. The student will prepare a study based on the results of the measurements and using the scientific literature and data collected in repositories and will be able to present and defend theses proposed in the studies.

Project classes will enable students to familiarise themselves with the principles of project preparation and implementation. The interdisciplinary education in the field of Aquamatics will be complemented by the introduction to the curriculum of labour law aspects, work safety rules, as well as the rules of communicating with various social groups.

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