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This unit is an introduction to global environmental change and provides a wide range of examples how humans change there environment. The module covers the following aspects of global change: Tropical deforestation, desertification, sea-level rise, and climate change. We will explore the evidence provided for each of these aspects of global change and discuss their projected impacts. The aims of this unit are: 1) to consider past human impact in prehistoric and historical times; 2) to take selected human impacts on environments today and investigate the intentional and unintentional human modifications to the environment; 3) to review the likelihood of future human-induced global environmental change and the predicted effects; 4) to introduce students to recent methods in geography used to monitor and model aspects of global environmental change.
The module builds upon student knowledge covers research project design, data collection and data analysis. Students are introduced to a range of laboratory and field techniques in physical geography along with statistical analyses and presentation skills. They gain experience in describing and interpreting results derived from laboratory techniques concerned with reconstructing the depositional history of sediments, chemical analysis of sediments from a variety of sources and the simulation of geomorphological processes. Students are also introduced to dissertation research. The module culminates in a poster presentation (including short oral introduction to poster) on one of the projects they have undertaken.
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.