Module Information

Module Identifier
GS30320
Module Title
Environmental geochemistry and biogeochemistry
Academic Year
2021/2022
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment .25 Hours   Group presentation  25%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Unseen exam  75%
Supplementary Assessment .25 Hours   Group presentation  25%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Unseen exam  75%

Learning Outcomes

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

Understanding of geochemical element and species behaviour in the secondary environment associated with specific anthropogenic activities

Understanding of the impact of biological processes on the fate of geochemical species and contaminants in the environment

Understanding of how environmental contaminants can be remediated by biological and non-biological processes.

Knowledge of the role of environmental geochemistry and biogeochemistry on human and animal health

Brief description

Environmental pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world today. This module will develop detailed understanding of the themes of environmental geochemistry and biogeochemistry to equip students with the skills to understand the processes involved in the generation of geochemical pollutants and mechanisms which can be used to clean up or remediate the environment.

Content

The module will be split into 2 main sections. The first will focus on key anthropogenic sources of geochemical species and contaminants in the environment and the primary abiotic reactions involved. The second part will introduce to role of biology in the cycling or geochemical species in the environment and the use of microorganisms for the remediation of contaminants in the environment.


An introduction to environmental geochemistry and biogeochemistry.

Sources of geochemical species and contaminants in the environment.

- Mining and the environment

- Smelting and the environment

- Power generation and environmental pollution

- Other sources of environmental pollution


Biogeochemistry – the cycling and remediation of geochemical species in the environment.

- Biological controls on geochemistry

- Biogeochemical cycles

- Biomineralization

- Bioremediation of inorganic contaminants

- Organic compounds and bio-remediation

- Environmental geochemistry, biogeochemistry and health

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Geochemical and biogeochemical data sets and studies will be presented throughout the module and discussed in order to develop critical and analytical thinking. This will be assessed via the exam and the oral presentation.
The module has a group presentation component and will involve planning and coordination within a group environment in order to achieve collective goals.
The material presented in the module is focused on real world environments and contemporary environmental problems imbedded directly in real world sense, and is assessed via the written exam and the oral presentation.
Students will prepare for the group work using the Teams platform, and develop the presentation using PowerPoint or similar programmes and will thus developing digital copiability skills.
The nature of geochemistry and biogeochemistry as a subject means that the module will have problem solving as a consistent theme throughout. The source and cycling of geochemical species can be both biotic and abiotic and problem solving is inherent within the material presented. This will be assessed via the written exam.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6