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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Environmental Sensitivity and Change (GEGR08001)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the dynamics of the Earth System, paying particular attention to the concepts of systems, thresholds, feedbacks, sensitivity and fragility. We explore the importance of past events in understanding the present, and vice versa.

This course is open to all university students: priority for places is given to students on the Geography degree programmes, other Geoscience degrees and Sustainable Development.
Course description This course examines the dynamics of ecosystems and the environment from local to global scales, and from decades to millenia. In the course we focus on 1) understanding the drivers of environmental change from decades to millennia; 2) the responses of Polar, Temperate and Tropical regions to environmental change and their roles in further reinforcing change to both climate and ecosystems; 3) human-environment interactions and 4) methods & concepts that enable you to interpret environmental change. We examine the concepts of systems, thresholds, feedbacks, sensitivity and fragility, and how this relates and aids our understanding of environmental change. We explore the importance of past events in understanding the present and future.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Physical Geography (GEGR08010) OR Earth Dynamics (EASC08001)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the scope of environmental sensitivity change and the diversity of scientific approaches to examining past, present and future environmental change
  2. Be able to assess and analyse drivers of environmental change across Polar, Temperate and Tropical Regions
  3. An ability to discuss the merits and shortcomings of major concepts and theories and evidence presented in support of these
  4. Develop reasoned arguments incorporating evidence and literature from an interdisciplinary research field
  5. Take responsibility for your learning via assigned reading, literature research and the preparation of class work and the degree essay
Reading List
There is no set text for this course - the content covered in the course is broad. The best, most appropriate, up to date and relevant information is to be found in the form of scientific papers and book chapters that will be provided throughout the course. Essential readings will be posted online the week before each lecture they are associated with. A list of additional but not essential readings will also be provided.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the scope and main areas of environmental sensitivity and change, and the scientific approaches to principle issues within the focus of the course.
Students will also be able to demonstrate an ability to acquire and apply specialist knowledge.
Finally, students will be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
Special Arrangements This course is open to all university students: priority for places is given to students on the Geography degree programmes, other GeoScience degrees and Sustainable Development.
Additional Class Delivery Information 2 x 1 hour lecture per week plus tutorials. Practicals as required.
Course organiserProf Robert Bingham
Tel: (0131 6)51 4635
Course secretaryMiss Carry Arnold
Tel: (0131 6)50 9847
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