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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Physical Geography Fieldwork: Scottish Highlands (GEGR10087)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe overall aims are:

To develop research skills, including the identification of research questions, the development of suitable approaches, the use of multiple working hypotheses and hypothesis testing, fieldwork methods, and dissemination of research plans and results via oral presentations and written scientific reports

To assess landscape change in the Scottish Highlands, to understand how the modern landscape has been shaped by a complex interplay of natural and anthropogenic processes over years, centuries and millennia
To understand the importance of marginality, sensitivity, thresholds and the susceptibility of both human and natural systems to cultural change and/or environmental perturbations

To become skilled in the evaluation, synthesis, and interpretation of different lines of environmental, palaeoenvironmental, and cultural evidence.

The course is based around individual research projects and includes two fieldtrips to the Cairngorm Mountains. There will be initial classroom-based lectures introducing key themes and considering the development of Scottish upland environments through the Holocene, human dimensions of change and research design. This will be followed by a field-based introduction to the research projects followed by structured discussions and group working leading to research projects conducted over three further field days and student-lead seminars. Assessment will be in the form of a field notebook and a research report.

Preparation for the field-based research will take place during the first field excursion, and this will involve an overnight stay at a hostel in Braemar. Themes of Late Quaternary landscape evolution, geomorphological and ecological change, and cultural development and land use will be introduced. Student projects (working in groups of no more than three, but producing individual research reports) will be developed during a subsequent four day excursion also based at Braemar.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
At the end of the field course you should have developed your understanding of:
1 Forest and moorland ecology
2 Landscape evolution
3 The legacy of past natural and cultural influences upon the present-day highland landscape
4 The spatial and temporal dimensions of environmental change in archaeological, ecological and geomorphological contexts
5 Key tools for ecological and palaeoenvironmental studies
6 the multidisciplinary nature of environmental reconstruction

You should also have developed your skills in:
1 Project design, hypothesis testing, sampling strategy, and data analysis and interpretation
2 Field mapping, using ecological, morphological, archaeological and stratigraphic data
3 Critical evaluation and synthesis of relevant literature.
4 Team work, and presentation of ideas and results, both orally and in writing.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Anthony Newton
Tel: (0131 6)50 2546
Course secretaryMrs Faten Adam
Tel: (0131 6)51 4657
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