Module Identifier EAM2410  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Henry F Lamb  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Sarah J Davies, Dr John P Grattan, Dr Nicholas J G Pearce, Dr Helen M Roberts, Professor Geoff Duller  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   10 x 2hr seminars  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment ESSAY One 4000 word essay60%
Semester Assessment PRESENTATION One 15 minute presentation20%
Semester Assessment EXERCISE Journal summarizing reading and seminar discussions20%
Supplementary Assessment RESUBMIT  100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Contribute to current debates within Quaternary science.

Recognize the relevance of Quaternary issues to current events and socio-political topics.

Verbally present and discuss these issues demonstrating advanced understanding.

To write well-argued and structured reports and synthesise information effectively.

To undertake independent research on a topic through interrogation of the literature.


Overview and historical development of Quaternary science.   
Underlying mechanisms and processes of Quaternary environmental change, including:
- Milankovitch, orbital theory
- abrupt climatic events (Heinrich events, Younger Dryas, Goldilocks event, Little Ice Age etc)
- extreme events (tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions)
- human- environment linkages (societal collapse, 4.2ka event)
- biodiversity and evolution in the Quaternary, including human biological and cultural evolution
New technologies and applications in Quaternary research (e.g. radiometric dating; ICP-MS, single-grain luminescence, micro X-ray spectrometry)

Brief description

This module will consist of a seminar series discussing current issues in Quaternary Science. The first two seminars will be on historical development of Quaternary science, and will be led by staff. The remaining eight, on specific current issues, will be student-led following advice from staff on topic choice and content.


To develop students┬┐ awareness of current issues in Quaternary science, and to provide a framework within which students can place their individual dissertation topics

To promote their reading and presentation skills.

Module Skills

Problem_solving Analysis and explanation of current research articles.  
Research skills Use of library and IT resources.  
Communication Written communication by essay/report writing and journal. Verbal communication by seminar presentation  
Improving own Learning and Performance By verbal and written feedback from peers and staff.  
Team work Through contributions to seminar discussion.  
Information Technology Use of library and IT resources.  
Application of Number Encouraged, especially when appropriate to the student┬┐s existing skills and the issue in question.  
Personal Development and Career planning Relationship of essay and seminar topics to thesis development and career planning.  
Subject Specific Skills Awareness of current debates in Quaternary research.  

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
MacKay, A. et al. (2003) Global Change in the Holocene pp528. Arnold
Ruddiman, W.F. (2001) Earth's climate: past and future W.H.Freeman, New York
(2001-2005) Developments in Palaeoenvironmental Research Series Volumes 1-8. Kluwer Academic


This module is at CQFW Level 7