Natural Hazards and Society
This module investigates hazardous aspects of Earth¿s natural environment and how society relates to them. Introductory principles include the definition of natural hazard, disaster, risk and loss, and approaches to reducing risk and managing disasters. Major types of natural hazard are studied in order to understand how they operate, where, and how frequently they are likely to occur. Hazardous consequences are explored, as well as how society can respond to hazardous events. Key aspects include discussion of primary and secondary hazards, prediction, forecasting and monitoring of hazards, and understanding how their harmful effects can be minimised.
Natural hazards considered during this module include volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, landslides, extreme weather events, flooding, avalanches and Mega Hazards. Lecture material considers general principles as well as case studies. Practical classes reinforce concepts learned in lectures.
Geographical Fieldwork Skills: Exploring Geographical Themes in Swansea and south Wales
The module is concerned with gaining experience of the geographical skills needed to explore the physical and human geography environments around us. We use our considerable local and regional geographical assets to explore multiple themes in human and physical geography. The general aims are to observe, analyse and achieve an understanding of the varied geographical landscape and inherent features in Swansea and South Wales. The module is run via up to 10 'pick and mix' field days, with a human, physical or human and physical geography theme. Students will be required to chose 4 of the field days to attend. Students taking this module will gain experience in research design, methodologies, data analysis and presentation methods. Students taking this field course can choose to focus on either the physical or human geography elements or the mixed human/physical days, or a mix of all three. Maximum flexibility is afforded by the range of topics we can explore in the local and regional area. Each day will be accompanied by online and lecture materials. The days will be run at various times in the Semester and students will book on to their chosen field days independently. The theme of the trip is "South Wales: Environments, Landscapes, Heritage and Community".
Sustainable Land Management
Sustainable Land Management course focuses on the understanding and maintaining of the environmental values of LAND and SOIL for food production, water quality, flood defence and climate regulation.
To understand the Sustainable Land Management the basic understanding of SOIL properties, functions will be introduced followed by the main threads and challenges to soil health connected with climate change and incorrect land management. Case studies of Sustainable Land Management in agriculture, fire prevention and mitigation, peatland restoration and land remediation will be showcased and discussed.
The module will contain a series of lectures, workshops and field visit.
Students are recommended to sign up to the GEG277 Environmental Research Methods - Soil, but the knowledge from the GEG277 sessions are not essential to complete the module.
Geographical Methods and Approaches
This core 20 credit module introduces the variety of approaches to Human and Physical Geography that exist, providing an overview of the key methods used in the discipline. These paradigms will be introduced and then you are given the opportunity to 'think through' what kinds of methods chime with these geographical approaches. The module introduces key data methods and their theoretical roots, with an opportunity to 'practice' these key methods extended workshops - both desk based and in the field.
Dissertation Report: Geography
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 7,500 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.
Dissertation Support: Geography
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 outline in TB2. 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.
Wildfires are a natural phenomenon in the Earth System that has shaped the landscapes and ecology of a wide range of Earth¿s biomes for many millions of years. They currently burn 3¿5 million km2 of the Earth¿s surface annually (around 12-20 x the size of the UK). Wildfires (i.e. uncontrolled fires) and managed vegetation fires emit around 8 billion tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere on average each year, with some of these emissions contributing to climate change, but most of them being sequestered again during vegetation recovery. Many fires are an essential driver of maintaining ecosystems whether ignited naturally by lightning or humans as land management tool, and do not present an immediate risk to society or the environment. However, some fires lead to loss of life or infrastructures and can also threaten ecosystems that are not adapted to fire or in which fire regimes are altered by human influence. Fire impacts on society extend beyond direct destruction, such as accelerated soil erosion and water contamination, or exposure to smoke contributing to over 300,000 premature deaths per year. Major fire outbreaks in recent years have received extensive media attention and fuelled concern that climate change is increasing fire activity, threatening human livelihood, destroying ecosystems and accelerating climate change. These conflicting roles of fire pose a huge challenge: how do we balance the natural role of vegetation fires on Earth with the need to protect life and infrastructure?
This module will provide an multifaceted overview of vegetation fires and its role in maintaining ecosystems, how fire is ignited, how climate change, land management, weather and fuel types interact to determine the nature and behaviour of fire, how fire directly and indirectly impacts the natural environment and societies, how the media and societies perceive fire, and how we can manage and co-exist with fire in our changing world.
Given the multidisciplinary nature of fire science, ranging from physical principles to ecology and socio-economic and political dimensions, no textbook exists that covers all these comprehensively. The module thus will use a few textbooks, but also requires engaging critically with the latest scientific literature. It particularly suited to students who focus on physical geography, but it also offers insights and skills relevant to cultural, social and economic geography, and other disciplines.
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.