KE5013 - Environmental Monitoring and Control

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will learn about the nature and properties of soil, air and water, the key processes operating within them and the wider environmental controls influencing their behaviour. The module will enable you to appreciate the dynamic nature of pollution, its impacts on environmental systems and human health, and provide an introduction to approaches for pollution management and mitigation. In addition, you will develop skills in a range of field and laboratory techniques and approaches to data collection and analysis used in environmental monitoring. You will also develop a deeper appreciation of the interaction between physical and human aspects of the environment, enabling you to demonstrate an informed concern about the Earth and its people.

On completion of the module, your improved ability to link theory, practice and application will serve to enhance your employability skills and future employment prospects.

How will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will learn through lectures, fieldwork activities, laboratory practical classes and IT workshops. In addition to timetabled sessions, your independent study will be guided and supported through your engagement with a range of interactive learning resources accessible on-line via the module eLP site, including electronic reading lists.

Lectures will be used to introduce and develop key issues, concepts and principles across the range of topics covered on the module, thus acting as a framework to support your learning. You will develop your practical and technical skills in environmental monitoring and sampling through participation in local field visits, enabling you to explore the links between theory and practice. These skills will be further developed through involvement in laboratory practical classes and IT workshops, where you will also get an opportunity to analyse and interpret environmental data using cutting edge modelling techniques. Many of the practical activities will enable you to develop your ability to work effectively as part of a group or team, which is very important in relation to future employability.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

During field visits, laboratory practical classes and IT workshops, you will engage in small group activities during which you will benefit from peer interaction and support. In these sessions, you will also interact closely with teaching staff who will provide formative support and feedback on activities leading up to the assessment tasks. For the semester 1 group project assessment, for example, you will have the opportunity to submit an early draft of the report for formative feedback prior to the final submission, thus enabling you to achieve your full potential in this assessment task and to use feedback to feed forward into the semester 2 assessment on this and other modules.


Your class materials will be further supported by on-line resources available via the module eLP site. These resources include an interactive reading list with on-line access to a number of key articles and aligned with your weekly lecture programme. Staff teaching on the module have an open door policy during normal working hours and are responsive to communication via e-mail to support your learning.

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: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MLO 1: Discuss the key constituents and properties of soil, water and air, and relate these to the processes occurring within them and the wider environmental controls influencing their behaviour.
• MLO 2: Review the dynamic nature of pollution and the impacts of a broad range of pollutants on environmental systems and human health.
• MLO 3: Outline the considerations and approaches used in the management and mitigation of soil, air and water pollution.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO 4: Select and apply appropriate analytical techniques and methodologies in field and laboratory settings and in relation to data collection, processing, modelling and presentation.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO 5: Work effectively as part of a group or team towards the effective production of a project report.
• MLO 6: Demonstrate effective oral and visual presentation skills.

How will I be assessed?

The summative assessment tasks for this module are: a soil group report (3000 words, 40% weighting), an individual water quality report (1500 words, 30% weighting) and an individual air pollution poster presentation (30% weighting).

The group soils report will enable you to integrate theoretical and practical aspects of soil science and to develop effective group work skills. This report will test the soil-related aspects of MLOs 1 – 4 and MLO 5. The water quality report will enable you to determine spatial and temporal trends in water quality data for a local river and to outline measures that could be adopted to improve water quality. This report will test the water-related aspects of MLOs 1 – 4). The air pollution poster presentation will enable you to devise an air quality management strategy capable of reducing nitrogen dioxide levels in Newcastle upon Tyne to below the National Air Quality Objective values. It will also enable you to present results in a more visual format as well as facilitating development of effective presentation skills. The poster presentation will test the air-related aspects of MLOs 1 – 4 and MLO 6.

Formative assessment will be provided through submission of a draft version of the soils group report (see details below), and by monitoring and discussing student engagement during interactive practical classes.

The group soils report will be formatively assessed prior to final submission in order to encourage highest levels of student achievement. A small proportion of marks (10%) within the group report will be reserved for assessment of individual engagement with the project and will be determined through monitoring of attendance on the field visit and at laboratory practical sessions.

For all three assessments, written feedback, together with the mark awarded, will enable students to feed forward key aspects into assessments in other modules at both levels 5 and 6. The practical and project/enquiry-based nature of the assessments will also support students in thinking ahead towards their final year dissertation.

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

This module focuses on soil, air and water, the key processes operating within them and the wider environmental controls influencing their behaviour. It explores the dynamic nature of pollution, its impacts on environmental systems and human health, and approaches to management and mitigation. You will develop skills in a range of field and laboratory techniques and approaches to data collection and analysis used in environmental monitoring. Teaching will involve lectures to introduce and develop key ideas and issues together with more interactive, smaller group activities during field visits, laboratory practical classes and IT workshops where you will be able to analyse and interpret environmental data using cutting edge modelling techniques. Your learning will be further enhanced through engagement with a range of interactive online resources available via the module eLP site. Assessment will involve a group report focusing on soil contamination, an individual report based on water quality and an individual poster presentation focusing on air quality. You will receive formative support and guidance throughout the assessment process enabling you to achieve your full potential.

Course info

UCAS Code F840

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2019 or September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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