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GG 3052

Course Co-ordinator: Dr N Spedding

Pre-requisite(s): GG 2010 and GG 2508. Available only to students registered for BSc joint programmes with Geography.

Note(s): This course may not be taken as part of a graduating curriculum with GG 3031 or GG 3063.

This course is designed to introduce students to key debates, both past and present, on the nature and scope of the earth and environmental sciences. As such it provides essential background for study of physical geography/geosciences at an advanced level. Content will include key aspects of the history of the earth and environmental sciences (e.g., the discovery of "deep time", the development of ideas about ice ages, the impact of evolutionary theory, the quantitative revolution in physical geography post-1945, the importance of digital technologies, the influence of environmentalism). We relate these to important concepts used to structure explanation in the earth sciences (e.g., uniformitarianism, historical approaches vs. process studies, systems and models). The last third of the course addresses the implications for research (e.g., the possibilities and pitfalls of different qualitative and quantitative approaches). This part of the course incorporates some practical work, including a one-day field trip.

Flexible according to students' interests. Typically 16 hours of lectures, one 2-hour introductory skills session, 4 hours of seminars, 4 hours of practical classes + one day field trip. Teaching is spread across both half-sessions.

1st Attempt: Coursework (67%): one seminar presentation, first half-session (33%); one research practical exercise, second half-session (33%); one 1-hour written examination in January (33%).

Resit: Original coursework carried forward (67%) plus one 2-hour written examination (33%). Under exceptional circumstances, resubmission of failed coursework components, with mark for those components to be capped at CAS 9.