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This module introduces the three main Earth systems: the geosphere,atmosphere and biosphere. A sound understanding of the processes within each system, and of the interactions between them, forms the essential foundation for any more advanced study of physical geography. The geosphere section deals with the origin of Earth, describes the distribution of different rock types and introduces the concept of plate tectonics. The atmosphere section deals with flows of energy and moisture and their role in controlling climate over both space and time. The biosphere section deals mainly with flows of energy and nutrients and focuses on the way that life on Earth interacts with the other Earth systems.
Every geographer should have an understanding of the processes that form the landscape, the ways such processes have operated in the past and how they may change in the future in response to human activities and climatic change. Emphasis is given in the module to processes and how they vary across the Earth¿s surface, factors that affect Earth surface systems in different environments, and the likely consequences of human interference with natural processes. There are two main themes: 1) geomorphological and hydrological processes and their interaction with climatic change and society; and 2) natural environmental change on long and shorter timescales.
Rivers are important features of the landscapes of most climatic zones of the world. This module explores the hydrology and geomorphology of rivers and how they differ spatially and through time in response to climatic factors, human activities and climatic change. Topics examined include: the principles of river flow; methods of river flow measurement; river channel shape; meandering and braiding; drainage networks; sediment transport (as bedload, suspended load and dissolved load); river pollution; using sediment to identify the sources and history of erosion; and the impact of climatic change and land-use on flooding and water resource issues. Considerable emphasis is placed on practical work both in the field at local river sites and in the laboratory. An underlying theme of the module is the way geographers in the fluvial field have applied their theory and knowledge to understand and help to mitigate environmental issues and problems.
The module is concerned with identifying and defining geographical questions within the Alpine environment of the Austrian Tyrol and applying relevant geographical skills, knowledge and techniques to these questions. This fieldwork-based module focuses on the physical geography of Alpine environments, notably glacial and periglacial geomorphology, recent glacial history, Alpine hydrology and river action, the biogeography of glacier forelands, and the growing human (tourist) impact on Alpine environments. 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 a preparatory meeting, a one-week field course, which typically runs in the last week of the summer vacation immediately prior to Level 2 enrolment, and 4 hours of analytical classes during Teaching Block 1 prior to submittal of project reports in early February.
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.)
This module is only available to Geography students enrolled on a Joint Honours degree. In this module the student is required to conduct a piece of independent primary research culminating in a 6,500 word (maximum) dissertation report. Supported by a staff member as mentor the student is expected to invest 15-20 days conducting individual, primary research. The remainder of the hours will be spent on analysis and write-up of the dissertation. A pre-requisite to this module is the generation of a research proposal by the student (a standard proposal form will be provided) which must be approved by the Geography Board of Studies. This module is not available to Single Honours Geography students or visiting/exchange students.
The module examines the range and nature of humid tropical environments and landscapes and how they respond to climatic factors and climatic change. Section I focuses on the climatic environment. Section II investigates hydrological and geomorphological processes within the humid tropical zone and the impacts of logging. Section III is devoted to climatic change and its forcing factors and their interactions with vegetation in the humid tropics at a variety of timescales. Section IV considers landforms and landscapes in the humid tropics, with Individual lectures focusing upon landscape form and drainage networks; tropical karst and coral reef islands.
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.