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Module

MST1203 : The Marine Environment

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Guenther Uher
  • Lecturer: Dr Sara Marsham, Dr Heather Sugden, Dr Miguel Morales Maqueda
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

To provide a multidisciplinary introduction to oceanography. To introduce students to the fundamental features of ocean geology, seawater properties, and circulation, and the fundamental interactions between environmental factors and marine life, which determine the distribution of primary production on global scales. To appreciate the role of the oceans in the Earth system and the possible impacts of global change on marine ecosystems.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lectures and workshops covering the following themes:
1. History of Earth and oceans; bathymetry, plate tectonics and sedimentation.
2. The oceans and the global water cycle; seawater composition and properties
3. Global heat budget, atmospheric circulation, ocean currents, deep circulation and atmosphere-ocean interactions
4. Waves, tides and coastal circulation
5. Geographical and seasonal patterns of marine primary production; major controls of primary production
6. Oceans and global change:
case studies to include topics such as pollution transport, sea level rise, ocean acidification
7. Revision Session. Dedicated revision session aimed at preparing students for the exam.

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 completion320:5026:40Revision for coursework (summative inc online test). This includes revision of taught material
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion15:005:00Completion of coursework 3 (summative inc online test)
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials281:0028:00Non-synchronous lecture material via canvas
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion212:0024:00Completion of coursework 1 (formative) and coursework 2 (summative)
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading282:0056:00Lecture follow up - wider reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00Synchronous PC workshop - Numerical Methods for Biology and Marine Science
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery81:008:00Online via canvas - Scheduled online seminars for topic driven discussion
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study149:2049:20Follow up of lectures and computer practical: ReCap and supplementary materials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Synchronous online revision session towards the end of teaching
Total200:00
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
MST1207Introductory Oceanography
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials are designed to give students a broad factual knowledge of key oceanographic processes, including properties of the seafloor and seawater. The interaction between marine organisms and seawater will be covered to show students how the chemical and physical properties are important in controlling the biological populations. The use of new technologies in ocean exploration will be covered, along with how they can be used to generate renewable energy from the oceans.

End-of-theme synchronous online module talks will allow for consolidation of topic-focussed material during online discussion with teaching staff. These sessions will allow students to deepen their understanding of selected concepts introduced in lectures, give opportunities for the application of graphical and numerical analysis methods in oceanography, and allow for further discussions.


Directed research, through the use of supplementary online material and activities, and wider reading of the scientific literature will support the information received through asynchronous lectures. Independent study will be guided through the use of these materials and online access to key texts/eBooks. Students will be encouraged to become more independent in their learning at this stage in their programmes to develop key skills such as Active Learning, Goal Setting and Action Planning, Decision Making, and Initiative, which they will require at Levels 5 and 6.

Assessment preparation and completion will allow students to fully prepare for both their formative and summative coursework assessments. They will have the opportunity to consolidate and build upon knowledge gained in the asynchronous and synchronous sessions.

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
Written exercise2M301000 word (or equivalent) Summative coursework 1
Written exercise2M401500 word Summative Coursework - Part 2
Computer assessment2M30Summative Coursework 2 Part 1 – online MCQ quiz
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2AWorksheet based on workshop 1
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The two 1000-word (or equivalent) formative and summative coursework submissions will assess the students’ knowledge of fundamental physical and chemical properties and processes in the marine environment, and their importance for controlling the distribution of marine plankton. In addition, the students use of the relevant resources to support their ideas and their ability to present information in an appropriate scientific format will be examined.

The online MCQ quiz and essay will assess the level of breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the module, including incorporation of additional online resources and student wider reading.

The final 1500-word (or equivalent) written exercise will assess the level of knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the module, including student reading, data analysis and interpretation.

Reading Lists

Timetable