Skip to main content

Module

GEO2136 : Global Environmental Change

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Darrel Maddy
  • Lecturer: Dr Louise Callard, Professor Steve Juggins
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

•       To develop an understanding of global environmental change during the Quaternary.
•       To develop an awareness of geological time and the evolution of the Earth's natural systems.
•       To understand the human adaptations and cultural development, and the impacts of humans on the environment.
•       To understand how natural system change is deciphered using the tools of modern science for palaeoenvironmental investigation.
•       To provide broad grounding in knowledge and skills necessary for Stage 3 modules palaeoenvironmental modules and dissertations.

Outline Of Syllabus

In each semester the module will be delivered by means of lectures and practical sessions. Lectures will deliver the knowledge base while practicals with give hands-on experience of a range of proxies useful in palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, and in the analysis of geochronological and palaeoenvironmental datasets. Themes explored in the module include:
•       Introduction to the Pleistocene: Establishing a broad global framework using isotopic records from the oceans.
•       Ice-core proxies and millennial-scale change.
•       Establishing land-ocean correlation: An introduction to geochronology.
•       Continental Records: Interpreting the sedimentary record of the “Cold Stages”.
•       Continental Records: Interpreting the palaeoecological records of the “Warm Stages”.
•       Reconstructing Environmental Change during Termination 1
•       Introduction to the Holocene: climate, environment, human development and impacts.
•       Proxy records of Holocene environmental change.
•       Early Holocene climate and environmental change: LG-Holocene transition, vegetation change and sea-levels, human adaptation during the Mesolithic.
•       Human responses to changing environments: Early agriculture and agricultural dispersions, environmental constraints and impacts.
•       Late Holocene environmental change: Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age; western colonisation, land-use change and its ecological consequences.
•       Human impact on the biosphere and global geochemical cycles during the Anthropocene, planetary boundaries and tipping points.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion225:0050:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials181:0018:00Pre-recorded lecture material
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading254:00108:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical101:0010:00Synchronous online practical teaching
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities141:0014:00Structured practical work (non-synchronous)
Total200:00
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
GEO2230Global Environmental Change (Sem 1 Study abroad)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Any attempt at successful reconstruction of Quaternary environments requires proficient practical skills surrounding the range of methods employed, underpinned by a significant academic knowledge base which addresses the theory behind the methods and awareness of the wider conceptual and theoretical issues. Here we consider it essential to assess all these elements and to place equal weighting on the practical and more academic skills. The practical / coursework portfolios will assess technical skills including data production and analysis together with the more theoretical and conceptual aspects of palaeoenvironmental reconstruction.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M50Individual practical / coursework portfolio (2000 words)
Practical/lab report2M50Individual practical / coursework portfolio (2000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

We consider it essential to assess all elements of the module and to place equal weighting on the practical and academic skills. Practical / coursework portfolios will assess technical skills including data production and analysis and the more academic theoretical and conceptual aspects of environmental change during the Quaternary.

The format of resits are determined by the Board of Examiners.

Reading Lists

Timetable