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GL4535: GEOSCIENCE AND THE UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (2022-2023)

Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:27


Course Overview

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all". This course introduces the importance of geoscience in achieving these goals by 2030. This includes carbon capture and storage, geothermal energy, critical minerals for the energy transition and more. The course is interactive with guest speakers and extended question and answer sessions.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Clare Elizabeth Bond

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Either Geology And Petroleum Geology (GL) or Geoscience (GX)

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all". This course introduces the importance of geoscience in achieving these goals by 2030. This includes carbon capture and storage, geothermal energy, critical minerals for the energy transition and more. The course is interactive with guest speakers and extended question and answer sessions. Each week focuses on a different topic. Example sessions include:

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

CCS is a key technology for climate change mitigation, in a transition to ensure clean, efficient and sustainable energy sources whilst ensuring equality of opportunity and social justice. CCS is placed into the context of global climate change and energy transition choices and followed-up with examples of geoscience research on analogue and operational CCS sites.

Geothermal Energy Imaging and Modelling the subsurface

Geothermal energy will likely play a significant role in the Energy Transition. Researchers talk about applying modelling techniques and seismology to understand and image sub-surface heterogeneities (e.g. fracture networks) to determine potential for geothermal energy. Understanding fracture networks is important for a range of sub-surface technologies including: block mining, predicting mineral and metal deposits, CCS, geothermal energy, hydrogen storage and more.

Critical Raw Materials for the Energy Transition

As we move away from fossil fuels towards low-carbon energy and transport, there is going to be an increase in demand for a range of critical raw materials that are needed to build renewable energy infrastructure and electric vehicles. All of these raw materials will need to be mined. One of the most important components of modern technology is the lithium-ion battery, which is needed for electric vehicles, energy storage, and much modern technology. This session will focus on the critical raw materials that are needed to build batteries: lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese and graphite. We look at the geological settings where deposits of these raw materials are found, and look at the challenges associated with mining them.

Geo Hazards, from volcanic eruptions to landslides and earthquake seismology

Natural hazards place significant strain on key infrastructure, societal well-being, food and water sources. In this session we will look at different techniques for monitoring and predicting natural hazards including the use of unmanned aerial vehicles and seismology.  As climate changes, and extreme weather events become more prevalent landscape and infrastructure are increasingly strained by natural hazard occurrence, this is exacerbated by a growing global population, an expanding built-environment, rural poverty and more.

Geotechnical and Engineering Geology in a Changing World

Geotechnical expertise is essential for major and minor infrastructure projects to ensure sustainable growth, equality and diversity of opportunity, the eradication of poverty, access to food, energy and water resources. The global energy transition and sustainable growth will see an increase in the geotechnical skills that are required to deliver these challenges. Practitioners will introduce examples of work e.g. engineering for resilience to natural hazards and a major offshore- onshore wind energy project.

Radioactive Waste Disposal in Geological Formations

Disposal of radioactive waste in geological formations is both a technical and ethical challenge. To ensure the challenge is met successfully the timescales for site selection and societal engagement are long. Several countries have started on paths towards disposal that have since faltered. The UK is one such country. This session introduces the importance of finding local solutions to radioactive waste disposal, the screening and selection processes, geological characterisation and ultimately site selection.

Geoheritage and geodiversity

The UK, and particularly Scotland, has an amazing geoheritage and geodiversity. This is celebrated and curated in a range of ways. Historically science, and the curation of cultural artefacts and natural specimens, has not been undertaken sustainably or with equitable justice. The British Empire holds a lasting legacy of its presence and these unsustainable practices in many of its institutions. The National Museums of Scotland will talk about this legacy; the archive of geological material and the move to more sustainable practices, access and education for all in the Museum sector. The NW Highlands GeoPark also promotes geoscience we look at how GeoPark’s fit into the UNESCO set of designations, their role in community, economic, social and sustainable development.

Geoscience and Society

In the final session we host a panel discussion to look at the broader impacts of science in society including: equality and diversity, open access research, social justice, science outreach and communication. The panellists can talk from significant professional and personal experience on many of these topics.


Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Lecture during University weeks 26 - 35, 39
  • 1 Practical during University weeks 26 - 35, 39

More Information about Week Numbers


Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Summative Assessments

Oral Presentation: Group

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 5
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Group presentations to industry consultant. Q and A session with students, verbal feedback.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralUnderstandStudents will demonstrate understanding of geological processes analysing these to create reasoned arguments.
ReflectionEvaluateStudents will evaluate data using it to create plans for a series of sustainable geoscience projects.

Tutorial/Seminar Participation

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 30
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Feedback weekly on questions and engagement, verbally in class and via MyAberdeen.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ReflectionAnalyseStudents will actively engage in discussion, analysing information that they will then ask questions on.

Report: Individual

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 20
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralUnderstandStudents will demonstrate understanding of geological processes analysing these to create reasoned arguments.
ReflectionEvaluateStudents will evaluate data using it to create plans for a series of sustainable geoscience projects.

Oral Presentation: Group

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 20
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Group presentations to industry consultant. Q and A session with students, verbal and written feedback.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralUnderstandStudents will demonstrate understanding of geological processes analysing these to create reasoned arguments.
ReflectionEvaluateStudents will evaluate data using it to create plans for a series of sustainable geoscience projects.

Oral Presentation: Group

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 25
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Group presentations to industry consultant. Q and A session with students, verbal and written feedback.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralUnderstandStudents will demonstrate understanding of geological processes analysing these to create reasoned arguments.
ReflectionEvaluateStudents will evaluate data using it to create plans for a series of sustainable geoscience projects.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ReflectionEvaluateStudents will evaluate data using it to create plans for a series of sustainable geoscience projects.
ProceduralUnderstandStudents will demonstrate understanding of geological processes analysing these to create reasoned arguments.
ReflectionAnalyseStudents will actively engage in discussion, analysing information that they will then ask questions on.

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