Module Information

Module Identifier
BR22810
Module Title
Monitoring the Environment
Academic Year
2017/2018
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
Reading List
External Examiners
  • Dr Robert Baxter (Senior Lecturer - University of Durham)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 x 1 Hour Lectures
Practical 5 x 4 Hour Practicals
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Report.  Based on data from laboratory practicals and from dataset provided.  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   50%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. demonstrate a knowledge of the importance of QA/QC procedures.

2. discuss the role of risk assessment in setting environmental standards

3. appreciate the underlying principles and uncertainties associated with common analytical procedures.

4. demonstrate competence in sample analysis

5. undertake data manipulation and interpretation of datasets.

Brief description

This module introduces the concept of environmental standards and some of the problems associated with the acquisition of reliable data for environmental assessment. It considers issues associated with sample collection, laboratory analyses (both chemical and microbiological) and data interpretation. The integral links between investigation protocols and outcomes, and the need for quality assurance/control procedures are emphasised. A range of common analytical procedures and their underlying scientific principles are considered.

Content

Lectures

The evolution of environmental quality standards (both chemical and biological) for land, air and water is discussed with reference to the implications variations in the properties of these media for risk assessments. Design of monitoring programmes and methods for taking, storing and preparing samples are then considered. Principles underlying a range of techniques (both chemical and biological) used in monitoring soil, air and water quality are outlined. Analytical techniques covered include chromatography, spectroscopy, bioassays and microbiological assays. Overall, there is a strong emphasis on the how methodologies affect the reliability of data produced, on the importance of quality control measures, and on the links between measurement protocols and environmental quality standards.

Practical classes

A series of laboratory classes gives students practical experience in the analysis of environmental samples involving a range of procedures. These sessions will also introduce examples of data processing , QA/QC measures and data interpretation for a case study based on samples obtained from a local estuary.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Data handling skills will be developed and assessed in coursework reports
Communication Development of written communication skills in the subject assessed in coursework and examination
Improving own Learning and Performance Scholarly review of recent peer-review and web-based publications in the topic for coursework and examination.
Information Technology Word processing, spreadsheet manipulation and presentation of data. Assessed in coursework report.
Personal Development and Career planning Familiarisation with quality control/quality assurance issues essential to career in science.
Problem solving Practical classes will provide opportunities to develop problem solving skills. Assessed in coursework reports and examination.
Research skills Coursework reports require preparation using library and web resources and this will be assessed.
Subject Specific Skills Subject specific concepts relating to environmental standards and monitoring will be developed and assessed in coursework/ examinations.
Team work Group working in laboratory practical sessions.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 5