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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Physical Geography Fieldwork: Iceland (GEGR10072)

Course Outline
School School of Geosciences College College of Science and Engineering
Course type Standard Availability Not available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken) SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits 20
Home subject area Geography Other subject area None
Course website Taught in Gaelic? No
Course description This course builds on second year course work and fieldwork to develop the practical aspects of Physical Geography through the study of environmental change. It is based in one of the finest areas of the world for the study of both the processes and landforms of glaciation and volcanism. Uniquely within the Old World the timing and cultural context of the first human settlement, by the Norse in the ninth century AD, is known in detail. Iceland has the best-developed tephrochronology in the world, and this powerful dating technique offers a remarkable aid to understanding both environmental change and human-environment interactions. Icelandic studies have wide significance because processes active in Iceland today shaped large areas of the Northern Hemisphere during the Pleistocene glaciations. In addition the characteristics of the island's biota provide fundamental tests for theories of island biogeography and glacial refugia, that are in turn important to the understanding of evolution and continental scale biogeographical patterns. Historical, cultural and economic aspects of Icelandic society are also assessed because these human dimensions are vital to the wider understanding of environmental change, and offers unique insights into the interplay of culture and environment in marginal areas. Ten days is spent in the field, five of which are devoted to project work.
Entry Requirements
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: The Nature of Geographical Knowledge (GEGR09012) AND Geography Matters (GEGR09013) AND Research Design in Geography (GEGR09011) AND Quantitative Methods in Geography (GEGR09004) AND Qualitative Methods in Geography (GEGR09005) AND ( Geography Fieldwork: Foundations (Human) (GEGR09008) OR Geography Fieldwork: Foundations (Physical) (GEGR09009) OR Geography Small Research Project (GEGR09007))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs 300
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2010/11 Semester 1, Not available to visiting students (SS1) WebCT enabled:  No Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
No Classes have been defined for this Course
First Class First class information not currently available
Additional information 3 x 2 hour lectures plus tutorials and a seminar series. 10 days field work in Iceland during the summer vacation
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Students will develop a detailed understanding and knowledge of the processes and landforms of glaciation and volcanism.

Students will analyse environmental change through the study of system behaviour, including assessments of feedback loops, internal and external linkages, thresholds, sensitivity, rates of change and recovery.

Students will learn how the practical aspects of physical geography are developed through the detailed study of a glacial system from the accumulation zone to the outermost limits of its Holocene fluctuations, catastrophic jokulhlaups, or human-environment interactions at the margins of settlement. Reading of recent literature will enable students to understand the ways in which this subject is developed and the range of standard techniques employed

Students will have the opportunity to work on extended individual and group projects. They will tackle professional level issues which contain a degree of unpredictability. They will critically identify and analyse complex problems as part of this.

Students will practise the valuable transferable skills of team working, project design and implementation, and autonomy and initiative.
Assessment Information
Class assessment: As outlined in course handbook

Degree assessment: Field data report; Final research report (Total 4,000 words)
Special Arrangements
Only available to students registered on 4th year MA Geography, BSc Geography and MA Geography with Environmental Studies programmes.
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Keywords Not entered
Course organiser Dr Andrew Dugmore
Tel: (0131 6)50 8156
Course secretary Mrs Catherine Campbell
Tel: (0131 6)50 9847
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copyright 2011 The University of Edinburgh - 31 January 2011 7:46 am