|| GG23710 |
|| POLAR ENVIRONMENTS |
|| 2001/2002 |
|| Professor Michael Hambrey |
|| Semester 1 |
| Course delivery
|| Lecture || 10 Hours 5 x 2 hours; current issues |
|| Seminars / Tutorials || Two or three 3-hour sessions: 'mini-conference' comprising talks and posters by students. |
|| Continuous assessment || Essay of 2500 words plus figures and references from a choice of six topics. || 100% |
|| Resit assessment || 2 hour written examination. || 100% |
1. Each student will be required to contribute to group-prepared talks, and deliver their findings to the whole class. Poster presentations will encourage students to prepare work to a high professional standard, and allow them to demonstrate their design skills. Written communication will be tested mainly in the examination.
2. Personal and group initiative will be encouraged. Students will be asked to choose their own polar topic and search out relevant material, although staff will be willing to provide some guidance. Some suitable materials can be down-loaded from the module
3. Central to the poster presentation is working as a team (say 2 to 4 people). Each group will need to identify their own responsibilities.
4. Other transferable skills include use of bibliographic databases, use of Internet to examine work of polar organisations, computer-based presentation of poster materials and scientific synthesis.
(See website for major themes and basic factual material)
(i) Arctic/Antarctic contrasts
(ii) Historical background and exploration
(iii) Importance of polar regions
2. Geological evolution:
(i) Arctic (northward drift and tectonic fragmentation)
(ii) Antarctic (long-term polar positioning and the core of Gondwana)
(iii) Evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet
3. Present-day environments
(i) The cryosphere (glaciers and sea ice; the periglacial zone)
(ii) The geosphere (earth surface processes)
4. Polar politics and environmental management
5. Role of Polar regions in global environmental change (climatic change; sea level fluctuations; atmospheric pollution.
6. Economic resources
NB. The arrangement of topics is not necessarily indicative of the final balance of this module. Note also that the lecture sessions are intended to provide supplementary material on special themes, to support the core material which is on the module website.
To provide a summary of the physical processes operating in both polar regions
To understand the factors controlling these processes;
To examine the response of human populations to the polar environments, both historically and at the present day;
To appreciate the significance of polar regions in the context of global environmental change;
To analyse the political framework under which scientific and commercial activity takes place.
Module objectives / Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate:-
a broad understanding of the geology of, and the physical processes operating in the Arctic and Antarctic
identify how these processes affect the activities of human, populations
insight into the way in which polar politics impinge on economic development of polar regions
how global environmental change will influence the polar regions, and vice versa
their capability of giving professional presentations using a wide range of skills
Hanson, J.D. & Gordon, J.E.. (1998)
Antarctic Environments and Resources. Longman, Harlow, Essex. ISBN 0 582 08127 0
Sugden, D.. (1982)
Arctic and Antarctic - a Modern Geographical Synthesis. Blackwell, Oxford ISBN 0-631-13613-4
Armstrong, T., Rogers, G. & Rowley, G.. (1978)
The Circumpolar North. Methuen & Co., London ISBN 0-416-16930-9
Laws, R.. (1989)
Antarctica - The Last Frontier. Boxtree Ltd., London ISBN 1-85283-247-9
Walton, D. W. H. (Ed.). (1987)
Antarctic Science. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0 521 26233 X
Harris, C. & Stonehouse, B. (eds.).
Antarctica and Global Climatic Change. Belhaven Press, London. ISBN 1 85293 187 6