Department:Lancaster Environment Centre
Course Convenor:Dr CJ Halsall
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Curriculum Design: Outline Syllabusback to top
1-2: Module overview. Introduction to Earth System Science and related importance of biogeochemical processes. Introduction to box-model approach to quantifying the dynamic behaviour of environmental systems. Related concepts, e.g. mass balance, conservative versus non-conservative behaviour, residence times, steady versus non-steady state.
3-4. Chemical weathering and its environmental significance.
5-6. Nature and significance of photosynthesis and respiration in terms of their effects on the Earth's chemical environment.
7-10. Photolysis and free radical chemistry, clouds and cloud chemistry, atmospheric loss processes (wet and dry deposition).
11-12. Examples of biogeochemical cycles, e.g. N, S and Hg.
1. Box-modelling practical.
2. Laboratory experiment on chemical weathering rates of limestone.
3. Acid-rain laboratory experiment.
Curriculum Design: Pre-requisites/Co-requisites/Exclusionsback to top
A-level Maths and Chemistry, or ENV.111 and either ENV.112 or CHEM101 and CHEM102
Educational Aims: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
The main aim of the module is to introduce students to key biogeochemical processes that have a major impact on the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. The importance of biogeochemical processes will be demonstrated through a consideration of their relevance to the new environmental discipline of Earth System Science. The processes will be illustrated using examples of biogeochemical cycles of various elements, on various spatial scales.
Educational Aims: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
Students will be introduced to simple box-modelling concepts and given practice in report writing, and various numerical and quantitative laboratory skills. The module is also aimed at generally reinforcing and extending existing chemistry knowledge and skills.
Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Explain the nature and significance of key biogeochemical processes (photosynthesis, respiration, chemical weathering, free radical reactions, cloud chemistry, atmospheric loss processes).
2. Describe the biogeochemical cycles of selected elements.
Learning Outcomes: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
On successful completion of this module students will be able to...
1. Describe the nature and value of simple box models for quantifying the dynamic behaviour of complex systems, and also construct a simple box model.
2. Undertake a number of basic procedures in a chemical laboratory, including accurate weighing, preparing standard solutions, measuring pH, and carrying out a titration.
3. Write a scientific report, based on a laboratory experimental study and involving numerical manipulation of the resulting data.
4. Interpret chemical equations.
Assessment: Details of Assessmentback to top
The coursework comprises satisfactory completion of a laboratory notebook and a written practical report of an experimental study, involving laboratory measurements, numerical manipulation of the data, interpretation and presentation.
The test is a 1-h multiple-choice test held in the final week of the module.
The exam is a standard Summer Exam (choice of one from two 35-min questions)
Curriculum Design: Select Bibliographyback to top
Jacobson, M.C. et al. (2000). Earth System Science: from biogeochemical cycles to global change. Academic Press.
James, R. (2005). Marine Biogeochemical Cycles. 2nd Edition. Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.
Jones, A., Duck, R., Reed, R. and Weyers, J. (2000). Practical Skills in Environmental Science, Prentice Hall.
Andrews, J.E. et al. (2003). An Introduction to Environmental Chemistry, 2nd edition, Blackwell.
Harrison, R.M. and de Mora, S.J. (1996). Introductory Chemistry for the Environmental Sciences. 2nd Edition. CUP.
Van Loon, G., and Duffy, S.J. 2005. Environmental Chemistry: A global Perspective. Oxford University Press.
Curriculum Design: Single, Combined or Consortial Schemes to which the Module Contributesback to top
Earth and Environmental Science
Earth Science with Geography
Open to other programs where cognate