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This module introduces the concept of Quaternary environmental change and the methods used to study them. The module is appropriate for students who would find it valuable to gain an awareness of the nature of archival evidence for recording past environmental changes operating over a range of different timescales during the last 2.4Ma. This course is particularly useful to students who may be considering a Physical Geography dissertation in the field of Environmental Change. Students will be introduced to a range of techniques for assessing past environmental changes. Assessment will be by both examination (50%) and by in-class short answer and multiple choice-type testing in practical classes. Teaching will be conducted through the medium of English, primarily as lecture-based learning. A practical/laboratory taught component (including data analysis) is included in this course. Practical instruction will introduce students to some fundamental laboratory methods and will be conducted and assessed in sub-groups as numbers permit/require.
The module is concerned with identifying and defining geographical questions within the tropical rainforest environment of the Sabah, Malaysian Borneo and applying relevant geographical skills, knowledge and techniques to these questions. This fieldwork-based module focuses on the physical geography of wet tropical environments, hydrological and geomorphological processes, the nature and dynamics of tropical rainforest vegetation and ecology and the impacts of logging and conversion to agriculture, and particularly oil palm and current and predicted climatic change. Land policy and land management practices are a key theme. Some aspects of the human environment are also covered. The fieldweek module introduces students to all aspects of project work (identifying and defining geographical problems; formulation of aims, research questions and hypotheses; formulation of an appropriate research design to answer these questions; choice and use of field measurement techniques and field observation; data analysis and interpretation; oral presentation of findings; and structuring and production of academic written reports). A key aim is to prepare students to be able to undertake a final-year dissertation in physical geography. The module comprises preparatory meetings, a 14 day field course, which typically runs immediately prior to Easter, and 2 hours of analytical classes during Teaching Block 2 prior to submittal of project reports.
The module covers research project design, data collection and some aspects of data analysis. Students are introduced to a range of laboratory and field techniques in physical geography. They gain experience in describing and interpreting results derived from laboratory techniques concerned with reconstructing the depositional history of sediments, chemical analysis of water and sediment from a variety of sources and the simulation of geomorphological processes.
The module prepares students for their independent research dissertation through dissertation fairs, lectures and a series of tutorials focusing upon the formulation and construction of a research proposal. The module also includes three lectures which explore career opportunities for Geography graduates and skills to enhance graduate employability.
The dissertation is an original, substantive and independent research project in an aspect of Geography. It is typically based on approximately 20 - 25 days of primary research and several weeks of analysis and write-up. The end result must be less than 10,000 words of text. The dissertation offers you the chance to follow your personal interests and to demonstrate your capabilities as a Geographer. During the course of your dissertation you will be supported by a student-led discussion group and a staff supervisor, and you will also provide constructive criticism to fellow students undertaking related research projects, learning from their research problems and subsequent solutions. This support and supervision is delivered through the 'Dissertation Support' module, which is a co-requisite.
This module provides structured, student-led peer-group support and academic staff group supervision for students undertaking the 30-credit 'Dissertation Report: Geography' module. This support and supervision is assessed through the submission of a PowerPoint Poster in TB1 and the submission in TB2 of an individually composed, critical and reflective log of the 5 dissertation peer-group meetings and the 4 group supervisory meetings (with a verified record of attendance at meetings). Working within a supervised Student Peer Group, you will also have the opportunity to provide constructive criticism to fellow students undertaking related research projects, learning from their research problems and subsequent solutions. This module complements the 'Dissertation Report: Geography' module, which is a co-requisite.
This module provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their competence as a Geographer by undertaking a critical analysis of a wide variety of literature-based sources in order to develop a cogent, substantial, and persuasive argument. While the Dissertation in Geography normally focuses on the design and execution of an evidenced-based research project that assesses the capacity of students to undertake effective data analysis and interpretation, the purpose of this module is to assess the extent to which students are capable of engaging with the academic literature at the frontier of a particular part of Geography. Students select from a wide range of research frontiers in Human and Physical Geography that have been identified by the academic staff within the Department. Given that this module emphasizes student-centred learning, none of the frontiers will have been covered in other modules, although in many cases modules will have taken students up to some of these frontiers. However, to orientate students and provide them with suitable points of departure and way-stations, there will be a brief introduction to each frontier and a short list of pivotal references disseminated via Blackboard. (Note: The topic selected by you must not overlap with the subject of your Dissertation. If there is any doubt about potential overlap, this must be discussed with your Dissertation Support Group supervisor and agreed in writing.)
The aim of this module is to provide the participants with the relevant skills to place the widely reported anthropogenic influences upon climate into the perspective of a naturally changing climatic system. The module focuses upon the techniques used to reconstruct changes in climate over the last 1000 years and presents reconstructions at differing temporal scales. The module is directed towards students with a basic scientific and mathematical background.
This module provides the opportunity to undertake a substantial individual research project in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change. Support will be provided by a staff supervisor and through student-led discussions. There will also be the opportunity to provide constructive criticism to fellow students undertaking related research projects, learning from their research problems and subsequent solutions. Interim results will be presented orally (July and August). The final results of the research dissertation will be presented in the form of a scientific paper in the format of a leading international journal in the research area and a one-page summary (not assessed) at a suitable level for an intelligent lay person. In addition to submission of the written document, students are required to make a formal presentation on their research findings during the last week of the period of candidature which is assessed and contributes towards the final grade.
This module aims to explain and understand past, present and potential future changes in the Earth's climate and environment. It provides a broad approach to environmental processes and dynamics operating on land, in the oceans and in the atmosphere on a global and regional scale. Emphasis is placed on the evidence available for reconstructing past environmental dynamics, the implications for present-day processes, future predictions and likely impacts.