KE7030 - Frontiers in Geoscience

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What will I learn on this module?

Through a week-long fieldwork, you will learn advanced methods of collecting, handling, selecting and presenting data, as well as an appreciation of method limitations.

You will make your own measurements of spatial variability in key Arctic environmental variables (e.g. hydrochemistry, vegetation structures for atmosphere- land surface modelling, coring for paleoenvironmental reconstruction), which will provide data you will use in subsequent modules. For the rest of the semester through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops you will learn about research topics at the frontiers of knowledge in earth sciences such as future and past climate changes: what are the big unknowns, what are the urgent problems that need addressing in the near future, and what are some of the ways forward.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, practicals and fieldwork. Lectures and seminars will provide the necessary background knowledge which will be further discussed and consolidated during interactive research seminars and practicals. Practicals will allow you to refine or develop skills in Matlab, skills which can be used in all modules. In addition to directed learning, you will learn independently through using the module reading list and accessing web resources. Independent study is supported by informal contact with staff, e.g. by email, and online discussion on the eLearning Portal.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Formative feedback on your presentation ideas and funding proposal will be provided through peer feedback during fieldwork, seminars and practicals. Teaching staff operate an ‘open door’ policy for students meaning you can approach them anytime during normal office hours, or via email, to answer questions, receive feedback and support your learning on the module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding: * MLO1: Critical evaluation of major outstanding issues in physical geography * MLO2: Apply state of the art research methods to investigate major scientific questions in earth sciences Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities: * MLO3: select appropriate experimental design, sampling protocols and procedures. * MLO4: critically evaluate and combine data and methods and assess their limitations. Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA): * MLO5: effectively communicate the results of their research in scholarly written, verbal and visual form.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a group poster presentation of a fieldwork activity (MLO3,4,5 (40%)), and a 3 page funding proposal on a topic of your choice that addresses a fundamental problem in physical geography (MLO1,2,5 (60%))





Module abstract

In this module, you will gain an understanding of fundamental issues in physical geography and the state-of-the-art of scientific knowledge in geosciences. The module will be highly interactive and will involve a fieldtrip in the Arctic where you collect, analyse and present data. In addition, during the semester you will take part in interactive seminars, practicals and discussions where you will explore central questions in earth sciences guided by experts in the fields of climate modelling, environmental monitoring, biogeochemistry, ecology and palaeoenvironmental science. You will develop employable skills related to fieldwork, groupwork, critical thinking, and ability to identify and solve complex problems

Course info

Credits 40

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time

Department Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

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