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Unit information: Environmental Geoscience Research Project in 2015/16

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Unit name Environmental Geoscience Research Project
Unit code EASC30040
Credit points 30
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Buss
Open unit status Not open

EASC20011 Environmental Geochemistry



School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

In this unit students undertake and experience the process of conducting an independent research investigation integrating field, laboratory and computational methods. Each year, 4 or more projects are offered; each project is supervised by one or two members of staff and can be done by 4 to 5 students. Although some aspects of the project work may be conducted as a group (e.g. data gathering during fieldwork), each student completes their own literature review, laboratory experiments, synthesis of data, computational work and write-up.

In preparation for fieldwork students will prepare a draft risk assessment. Comparison with the formal risk assessment will then provide insight into what should be considered when preparing a risk assessment.

Prior to undertaking the project-specific fieldwork, all students participate in a 5 day non-residential group field trip in the local area in which they develop hypotheses, design sampling and analysis strategies, and collect and analyse data in the field.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  • develop hypotheses and viable strategies for sampling and analysis of samples
  • demonstrate investigative and analytical skills relevant to the project
  • identify and access appropriate library- or archive-based information
  • collect and manage information and/or findings, and decide when it is sufficient to meet the aims of the project
  • produce a project report in the form of a scientific paper
  • plan and manage time throughout a research project, from initial fieldwork planning to final production of the report
  • understand the basic principles used in preparing a risk assessment

Teaching Information

Independent work with supervised components in the field and laboratory.

Assessment Information

The project will be assessed on the basis of a group presentation given at the end of the pre-project field trip (15%) and a written report (85%). The page limit for the report is 20pp, excluding references, figures, tables and appendices.

In the event of the unit not being passed students will be set additional work which must be completed over the Summer and submitted at the start of the resit/supplementary exam period.

Reading and References

Background papers will be identified in discussion with a supervisor and PDFs made available on Blackboard where appropriate.

For fieldwork - online geological map of the Bristol area via Edina Digimap.