MSc Environmental Impact Assessment & Management / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Environmental Monitoring and Modelling Concepts

Unit code GEOG70581
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Geography
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

The unit introduces students to a range of techniques for monitoring and modelling the environment, with case studies from hydrology and geomorphology. Topics include environmental monitoring approaches and techniques, types of environmental model, and model calibration and evaluation. Students will gain understanding of these key concepts, as well as a range of practical skills and expertise.

Aims

• To understand the role of environmental models.
• To acquaint students with the types of models used in environmental science.
• To introduce students to the techniques used for environmental monitoring and modelling.
• To appreciate the links between monitoring and modelling in an environmental context

Learning outcomes

By the end of this Course Unit students should:
• Understand the range of techniques used for environmental measurement and monitoring.
• Have developed an awareness of the utility of different environmental models.
• Appreciate the assumptions and problems associated with environmental models.
• Have been introduced to modelling terrestrial and aquatic systems.
• Gained practical experience of modelling environmental phenomena.
• Understand the role of fieldwork in environmental monitoring.

Additionally, during the course unit, students should develop/improve the following abilities and skills:
• Data processing and spreadsheet skills.
• Spatial analysis using a Geographical Information System (GIS).
• Oral and written communication skills.

Teaching and learning methods

The course is delivered through a mixture of lectures, discussions, computer-based practical exercises.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Understand the range of techniques used for environmental measurement and monitoring.
  • Have developed an awareness of the utility of different environmental models.
  • Appreciate the assumptions and problems associated with environmental models.
  • Have been introduced to modelling terrestrial and aquatic systems.

Intellectual skills

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving

Practical skills

  • Practical experience of modelling environmental phenomena.
  • Data processing and spreadsheet skills.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Oral and written communication skills.
  • Data analysis and presentation.

Assessment methods

Students will be assessed on two course work assignments.

Feedback methods

  • Summative coursework feedback available to students via turnitin on both assessments
  • Summary cohort feedback on Assessment 1 delivered in-class
  • Formative feedback through in-class workshops and discussions

Recommended reading

Gray, W.G. and Gray, G.A. (2016). Introduction to Environmental Modeling. Cambridge University Press.

 

Smith, J., Smith, P.E. (2007). Environmental Modelling: An Introduction. Oxford University.

 

Wainwright, J., Mulligan, M. (2013). Environmental Modelling: Finding Simplicity in Complexity. John Wiley, Chichester.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 15
Practical classes & workshops 15
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Claire Goulsbra Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Unit level
This identifies the intellectual demands of the unit. This refers to the level of study being undertaken for a given course unit, as opposed to the year in which a student will take it. For instance many programmes include the ability for students to take a maximum of 20 credits at a lower level within a given year, and in this instance the student may be a 2nd Year student, but taking 20 credits at 'Unit Level' 1.

The level should normally mimic the naming convention of the unit Catalog Nbr (the first numeric defining the unit level), and in many instances may match the level at which students taking the course unit are activated in, within the specific study Term (ie. 2nd Year student taking a level 2 unit). This will not always be the case (ie. year abroad students, visiting students, etc.).

FHEQ level (Framework for Higher Education Qualifications)

Credit Level descriptors are used to help work out the level of learning in individual course units, in the format of National Guidelines. They are guides that help identify the relative demand, complexity and depth of learning, and learner autonomy expected at each level.

Eight Credit Levels are used, of these 4 to 8 represent the types of learning undertaken in Higher Education. Levels 4, 5 and 6 correspond to years 1, 2 and 3 of an undergraduate degree, whilst level 7 of the FHEQ relates to Masters level learning. Level 8 refers to learning at Doctorate level.

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