Module Information

Module Identifier
RD22810
Module Title
Human Impact on the Environment
Academic Year
2015/2016
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
External Examiners
  • Mr Henry J S Finch (Principal Lecturer - Royal Agricultural University (RAU))
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 2 x 3 Hour Practicals
Lecture 11 x 2 Hour Lectures
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   'Seen' essay paper.  Choice of 2 essay titles from 3.  100%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Discuss the factors influencing human population growth and control and the implications for food production, agricultural systems, energy consumption and production

2. Evaluate the global impact of human activity on ecosystems and on global biodiversity

3. Assess the impact of human activity on major natural systems; on soils, fresh-water and marine systems, atmosphere and climate

4. Discuss the nature of the interrelationships between the major environmental systems and the implications that this has for controlling the scale of human impacts upon them as population increases in size

Brief description

This module identifies and examines the major impacts of the human population on the environment. Emphasis will be placed on the impact that population growth has had, and in particular will potentially exert on the biota, water, soils and atmosphere and the interrelationships between these systems. The development of our understanding of the complex nature of environmental systems is examined with appraisal of how our increasing knowledge may influence human attitudes to, and future use of, environmental resources.

Content

Global population: factors influencing population growth, predictions for population size and distribution during this century.
Food supply: factors influencing and limiting global food production (agricultural and fisheries), predictions for future production.
Energy: supply and demand, environmental impacts of fossil fuel use, predictions for fossil fuel availability. Alternative energy sources and the environmental implications of their use.
Landforms and soils: quarrying, open cast mining, construction and their impact on landforms. Soil degradation, causes and implications.
Water supply: impacts on the freshwater resource of a growing human population.
Biodiversity: species loss, contributing factors, methods for assessment. Deforestation, impacts on wetlands. Impacts on marine systems.
Atmosphere: Local, regional and global impacts on the atmosphere. Local air pollution; acid deposition; ozone depletion; climate change, interrelationships with other environmental issues and predictions for the future scale of these impacts.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication The opportunity to develop in-depth analyses of issues in extended essays of this type is unusual for students on these schemes.
Improving own Learning and Performance Assimilation of material from a range of sources and development of mature argument will be required as part of the essay production.
Information Technology
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving
Research skills Use of the ‘seen’ exam paper in intended to encourage students to read more widely and in greater depth than might otherwise be the case.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 5