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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG2008 The dynamic environment of the Western Algarve

10 creditsClass Size: 35

Module manager: Dr Mark Smith
Email: m.w.smith@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is mutually exclusive with

GEOG2006The dynamic environment of the European Alps
GEOG2007The Dynamic Environment of Mallorca

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module introduces students to field methods in physical geography, focusing on research issues specific to the montane and Mediterranean environments in western Europe and is centred on a week-long field trip to the Algarve during the Easter vacation. Preparatory reading and a lecture introduce the field area and scientific topics. During the first few days of the field trip, students will be introduced to the locale and to a range of different fieldwork skills. These skills will then be put into practice by working in small groups on self-selected projects. The group will plan their research, collect field measurements, analyse and interpret them, and each student will write an individual report on the results on their return.

Objectives

On completion of this module students will have acquired:
1. an understanding of how to plan, collect, analyse and interpret field measurements of environmental phenomena for research in physical geography;
2. knowledge of the geology, landscapes and climates represented in this region of south-west Europe past and present, their impacts on (and interactions with) ecology, evolution, geomorphological and hydrological processes, and relevance to local issues of land management and conservation;
3. an understanding of how to carry out a project which fulfils a set of aims and objectives, and uses statistical and/or modelling methods learned in other modules.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should:
1. have developed an appreciation of the geology, soils, geomorphology, palaeoecology, ecology, climate, agriculture, economy and culture in a region characterised by distinctive climatic, geological and ecological gradients;
2. be able to plan research projects involving field measurements, analysis and interpretation;
3. have applied their theoretical knowledge and skills in physical geography and statistical analysis and be able to use these effectively for independent research.

Skills outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge and skills in planning, taking, analysing and interpreting field measurements for solving research problems in physical geography;
2. Be able to apply statistical and other methods to solving problems;
3. Be able to work together in small groups, negotiate and manage themselves to become an effective team focused on achieving specific goals with the resources and time available;
4. Be able to keep a record of where they have been, what they have done, what they have seen, and how this relates to the theories and methods which they have learned about in lectures, and appreciate the need to relate theory to field observations in order to develop a sound understanding of the landscape, its history, and the events and processes which shape it.


Syllabus

A. Field techniques:
1. Quaternary science (e.g. sediment description and interpretation, stratigraphy, identification of tsunami deposits in wetlands)
2. Geomorphology and Hydrology (e.g. analysis of fluvial, soil and slope processes)
3. Ecology (e.g. vegetation survey, plant identification, autecology)
B. Example topics may include:
1. Identifying sedimentological indicators of tsunami events
2. Karst geomorphology
3. Fluvial geomorphology of a limestone area
4. Mass wasting and slope processes
5. Vegetation succession
6. Formation of Aeolian dunes
7. Coastal processes

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Fieldwork77.0049.00
Lecture11.001.00
Private study hours50.00
Total Contact hours50.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

- Research for field course before the field course (23 hours)
- Completion of field log book during the field class (5 hours)
- Research for individual field report (20 hours)
- Completion of group presentation during the field class (2 hours)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress is monitored by:
1. performance on the field course each day
2. field notebook (checked after first day and midway through the trip)
3. assessed work for the field course.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group Project2500 words50.00
Oral Presentation15 minutes25.00
FieldworkField notebook25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Presentation assessed during field class. Note book given formative feedback during the trip, and assessed when submitted with report on last day of the trip.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 21/03/2016

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