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School of Environment, Education and Development

Student of environmental monitoring and modelling at The University of Manchester
MSc Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction
Develop your environmental fieldwork skills, data handling and analysis at master's level.

MSc Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Environmental Change & Reconstruction

Unit code GEOG60112
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Geography
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

The unit combines lectures, seminars, a fieldtrip and laboratory practicals to provide students with the following:
• Awareness of  key principles in environmental change and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction
• Understanding of the temporal context of contemporary environmental conditions
• An understanding of the timescales of environmental change studied using the
• sediment record
• A practical introduction several techniques used in environmental reconstruction
 

Aims

To provide students with a background to the study of environmental change and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction using sediments and other proxy records.

Teaching and learning methods

The course is delivered through a mixture of staff-led lectures and discussion sessions, student-led seminars, laboratory practical classes and fieldwork. The course is supported by e-learning resources delivered through Blackboard. Course materials including handouts and lecture slides will be available through the course Blackboard site.  One-to-one interaction and discussion with staff and peers are strongly encouraged.

Knowledge and understanding

Understand the underlying theory and measurement techniques available for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction from sedimentary records over varying timescales.
Review recent and relevant literature, and present that information in
written and oral form.
 

Intellectual skills

Show a critical understanding of the nature of sediment and proxy records of environmental change, and the problems associated with using such records for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction.

Practical skills

Undertake field and laboratory work associated with palaeoenvironmental studies, including sediment coring and the analysis of microscopic environmental tracers.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Presentation and writing skills, team work and cooperative learning (field and lab setting), time management, independent study.

Accreditation

Bell, M. & Walker, M.J.C. (2005) Late Quaternary Environmental Change. Longman.
Bradley, R.S. (1999) Palaeoclimatology: Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary. Harcourt / Academic Press.
Charman, D. (2002) Peatlands and Environmental Change. Chichester: Wiley. Specific to peatlands but Chapter 6 is particularly useful.
Goudie, A. (1992) Environmental Change. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Last, W.M & Smol, J.P. (Eds) (2001a) Tracking environmental change using lake sediments. - Vol. 1 : Basin analysis, coring, and chronological techniques.  Dordrecht; London : Kluwer Academic.   Last, W.M & Smol, J.P. (Eds) (2001b) Tracking environmental change using lake sediments. - Vol. 2 : Physical and geochemical methods  Dordrecht; London : Kluwer Academic.
Lowe, J.J. & Walker, M.J.C. (1996) Reconstructing Quaternary Environments (2nd Edition). Longman.
McKay, A., Battarbee, R.W., Birks, J. & Oldfield, F. (2003) Global change in the Holocene. Arnold.
Mannion, A.M. (1999) Natural environmental change. Routledge.
Oldfield, F. (2005) Environmental Change. Cambridge University Press.
Roberts, N. (1998) The Holocene. (2nd Edition). Blackwells.
Smol, J.P. (2002) Pollution of lakes and rivers: a palaeoenvironmental perspective. London: Arnold. Williams, M.A.J., Dunkerley, D.L., DeDecker, P. & Kershaw, A.P. (1998) Quaternary Environments. (2nd Edition). Arnold.
 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 45%
Report 30%
Oral assessment/presentation 25%

Laboratory report (1500 words plus tables and figures) 30%

Seminar presentation (15 min plus submission of slides and bibliography) 25%

Course essay (3000 words) 45%

Feedback methods

You will receive feedback on your work in a variety of ways:
• Verbal feedback in question and answer sessions during lecture classes and fieldwork
• Verbal and written feedback on seminar presentation
• Discussions and verbal feedback during seminars, lab classes and fieldwork
• Verbal feedback on individual issues through the consultation hours system
• Written feedback on your laboratory report
• Written feedback on your course essay

Recommended reading

Recommended General texts:

Bell, M. & Walker, M.J.C. (2005) Late Quaternary Environmental Change. Longman.

Bradley, R.S. (1999) Palaeoclimatology: Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary. Harcourt / Academic Press.

Charman, D. (2002) Peatlands and Environmental Change. Chichester: Wiley. Specific to peatlands but Chapter 6 is particularly useful.

Goudie, A. (1992) Environmental Change. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Last, W.M & Smol, J.P. (Eds) (2001a) Tracking environmental change using lake sediments. - Vol. 1 : Basin analysis, coring, and chronological techniques.  Dordrecht; London : Kluwer Academic.   Last, W.M & Smol, J.P. (Eds) (2001b) Tracking environmental change using lake sediments. - Vol. 2 : Physical and geochemical methods  Dordrecht; London : Kluwer Academic.

Lowe, J.J. & Walker, M.J.C. (1996) Reconstructing Quaternary Environments (2nd Edition). Longman.

McKay, A., Battarbee, R.W., Birks, J. & Oldfield, F. (2003) Global change in the Holocene. Arnold.

Mannion, A.M. (1999) Natural environmental change. Routledge.

Oldfield, F. (2005) Environmental Change. Cambridge University Press.

Roberts, N. (1998) The Holocene. (2nd Edition). Blackwells.

Smol, J.P. (2002) Pollution of lakes and rivers: a palaeoenvironmental perspective. London: Arnold. Williams, M.A.J., Dunkerley, D.L., DeDecker, P. & Kershaw, A.P. (1998) Quaternary Environments. (2nd Edition). Arnold.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
William Fletcher Unit coordinator

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