GEO365 Drylands Environment Fieldclass

Level 3
Credits 20
Availability Approved for BA Geography; BSc Geography; Environmental Mathematics; Environmental Science; BSc Archaeology/Geography
Semester Autumn
Prerequisite GEO232
Size limit 30 students
Description This module will allow students to work within a unique range of dryland aeolian and fluvial process domains and undertake work culminating in the design, implementation and production of a report based primarily on student-led fieldwork; but also including some follow-up laboratory work. Introductory sessions and project design will take place in Sheffield prior to the field visit. The field class itself will include a range of field-based environmental introductions, group and individual student field data collection and analysis, and student-centred research presentations. Follow-up work in Sheffield will include laboratory and data analysis as necessary, individual student project write-ups, and a final module overview session.
  1. Provide an introduction to the nature of dryland environments and the processes that shape them, including human interactions
  2. Provide direct experience of one dryland environment.
  3. Provide advanced instruction in project design, implementation and presentation
Learning Outcomes By the end of the module, a student will be able to demonstrate:
  1. Knowledge of the physical characteristics, processes, geomorphology and human-environment links in one dryland region.
  2. The ability to plan and undertake a project to investigate environmental processes in a dryland environment.
  3. An in-depth understanding of the operation of at least one major environmental process in drylands though fieldwork, data analysis and interpretation through group and individual learning.
  4. Presentation skills commensurate with the need to communicate detailed research findings.
Outline Contents
  • Introduction and project selection in Sheffield
  • Introduction to field area and inquiry-based learning; group project work in field and in classroom
  • Group presentations of findings
Delivery Methods Lectures, Seminars, Fieldwork
Student Contact Hours
  • Lectures/seminars - 18 hours
  • Field class - 10 days (Zzyzx, California)
Supporting Texts
  • Parsons, A.J. and Abrahams, A.D. (eds.) (2nd edition, 2009). Geomorphology of Desert Environments
  • Thomas, D.S.G. ed. (3rd edition, 2011) Arid Zone Geomorphology - Process, Form and Change in Drylands
Assessment Methods Project (50%), Presentation (30%), Reflexive report (20%)
(convenor underlined)
Professor Mark Bateman, Professor Tony Parsons

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