|Module Title||LABORATORY AND FIELD TECHNIQUES|
|Co-ordinator||Dr Bill Perkins|
|Other staff||Dr Nick Pearce|
|Pre-Requisite||Only available to Environmental Earth Sciences students in their second year|
|Course delivery||Lecture||12 Hours 4 x 3 hours|
|Seminars / Tutorials||3 Hours 1 x 3 hour Project Presentations. Surgery times will also be available for support of laboratory practical work.|
|Practicals / Field Days||39 Hours 5 x 3 hours analytical practicals, 4 x 3 hours data handling, 1 x 3 hours field collection, 3 x 3 hours analysis of project materials.|
|Assessment||Laboratory report||5 laboratory reports: 10% each||50%|
|Continuous assessment||1 continuously assessed computer data handling reports||15%|
|Group project||1 group project report (comprising oral presentation: 15%, and written report to be handed in at the end of week 11: 20%).||35%|
|Resit assessment||No provision for resits.|
Module Outline (Lecture Themes)
The module is divided into three sections:
1. Training in chemical analytical techniques and field sampling;
2. Training in data handling;
3. Group project work.
The major part of the course is concerned with a training in the methods of field sampling and chemical analysis. One three hour session is devoted to the methods of soil/vegetation/water sampling. There are 5 laboratory exercises which have been structured around specific analytical techniques. Each student will gain experience of gravimetric analysis, titrimetric analysis, flame photometry, atomic absorption spectrophotometry, uv-visible spectrophotometry. Many of the practical exercises are performed in small groups (usually no more than four students per group) although some are carried out on an individual basis. These practicals are continuously assessed.
There is a series of sessions devoted to the use of computers for statistical/graphical handling of geochemical data. Students gain experience in the use of Excel? for the manipulation of data sets. This section of the course is assessed following the production of short reports with graphical output produced from the spreadsheet package.
The final element of the course is a group project. The class is divided into groups/teams of students and set an exercise to complete. This exercise involves elements of field planning, collation and processing of samples and cost analysis. The results of the projects are presented to assessors, during the final session of the term, in both oral and written form.
To train students in the correct and safe use of analytical equipment. To make students aware of the operation and chemical principles of analytical techniques. To demonstrate the procedure applied to the collection of geochemical samples in the field. To introduce students to the methods of computer-based data handling. To develop presentation skills in both written reports of laboratory practicals and group project work. To introduce students to the skills required for oral presentations.
Module objectives / Learning outcomes
To equip students with a clear understanding of the principles of operation of analytical instrumentation. To promote an understanding of the limitations of certain data sets. To encourage students to evaluate the ecomomics of environmental geochemical surveys. To encourage students to present data in a clear and concise fashion.