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Unit information: Environmental Geoscience 1 in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Environmental Geoscience 1
Unit code EASC10002
Credit points 40
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Hendy
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

N/A

Co-requisites

EASC10001 Geology 1

EASC10007 Computing for Earth Scientists

EASC10008 Introduction to Field Skills in Earth Sciences

School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description

This unit provides an overview of the natural environment that we inhabit, particularly the processes that shape the evolution of our environment, both past and future, the effect of the environment on society and the effects of human activities on our environment. A range of issues are explored in depth, from fundamental scientific principles to assessment of options for solving environmental problems.

Lectures start with a discussion of the global geophysical and biogeochemical cycles that operate on the Earth and control the large-scale behaviour of the atmosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere and the cycling of energy, water, carbon and nitrogen. The impact of the environment on human society is then explored by examining a range of natural hazards and how these can be monitored, assessed and their effects mitigated. Next, anthropogenic exploitation of natural resources is examined via water resources, non-renewable mineral and fossil fuel resources, including issues ranging from their origin to environmental problems associated with their extraction and utilisation. Subsequently the unit presents an overview of natural and human-induced global environmental change, including analysis of ongoing changes and implications for the future. The unit concludes with a component to develop the statistical skills necessary to provide quantitative analysis of the issues raised throughout the unit.

Practical classes provide an opportunity to examine environmental systems and problems in the field and laboratory, and students are introduced to a range of approaches to the quantitative study of environmental systems.

Fieldwork includes day-trips during term-time. You will collect data from your own laboratory experiments and work with numerical models to analyse quantitative environmental data.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding of:

  • the natural environment that we inhabit, particularly the processes that shape the evolution of our environment, both past and future,
  • the effect of the environment on society and the effects of human activities on our environment.
  • a range of issues from fundamental scientific principles to assessment of options for solving environmental problems.
  • global geophysical and biogeochemical cycles that operate on the Earth and control the large-scale behaviour of the atmosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere and the cycling of energy, water, carbon and nitrogen.
  • natural hazards and how these can be monitored, assessed and their effects mitigated.
  • interaction of human society and the environment via non-renewable mineral and fossil fuel resources and renewable water resources, including issues ranging from their origin to environmental problems associated with their extraction and utilisation.
  • natural and human-induced global environmental change, including analysis of ongoing changes and implications for the future.
  • a statistical approach to analysing environmental change

Able to:

  • critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data, to frame appropriate questions and make judgements, to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem;
  • evaluate one's own progress and performance;
  • manage time and work to meet deadlines for independent and team work;
  • examine environmental systems and problems in the field and laboratory,
  • select appropriate approaches for quantitative study of environmental systems,
  • collect data from your own laboratory experiments and work with numerical models to analyse quantitative environmental data.
  • make straight-forward statistical tests

Teaching details

The unit will be taught through a combination of

  • asynchronous online materials and, if subsequently possible, synchronous face-to-face lectures
  • synchronous office hours
  • asynchronous directed individual formative activities and exercises
  • guided, structured reading
  • practical work in the laboratory
  • fieldwork

Students who either begin or pursue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete practical, field work, or alternative activities in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements.

Assessment Details

  • Formative online assessment in the middle of TB1
  • 100% summer timed, open-book exam. This exam will include questions on material covered in lectures and practicals from both TB1 and TB2 and will also cover local fieldwork.

Students should note that in addition to passing the summative assessment ALL formative assessment and practical work must be completed in order to be awarded the credit points for this unit.

Resources

If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EASC10002).

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