Module Identifier GG23710  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Michael J Hambrey  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Lecture   16 Hours 8 x 2 hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: Preparation of poster30%
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: Essay of 2500 words plus figures and references from a choice of six or more topics.70%
Supplementary Assessment Essay of 4000 words from a choice of six or more topics.100%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate:-


(See website for major themes and basic factual material)

1. Introduction
(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.


Transferable skills

1. Each student will be required to produce a poster to a high professional standard, allowing them to demonstrate their design skills. Written communication will be tested mainly in the essay.

2. Personal 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 website.

3. 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.

Reading Lists

Armstrong, T., Rogers, G. & Rowley, G. (1978) The Circumpolar North Methuen & Co., London ISBN 0-416-16930-9
Dowdeswell, J.A. & Hambrey, M.J. (Nov. 2002) Islands of the Arctic Cambridge University Press
Hanson, J.D. & Gordon, J.E. (1998) Antarctic Environments and Resources Longman, Harlow, Essex. ISBN 0 582 08127 0
Harris, C. & Stonehouse, B. (eds.) Antarctica and Global Climatic Change Belhaven Press, London. ISBN 1 85293 187 6
Laws, R. (1989) Antarctica - The Last Frontier Boxtree Ltd., London ISBN 1-85283-247-9
Sugden, D. (1982) Arctic and Antarctic - a Modern Geographical Synthesis Blackwell, Oxford ISBN 0-631-13613-4
Walton, D. W. H. (Ed.) (1987) Antarctic Science Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0 521 26233 X


This module is at CQFW Level 5