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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Field Course in Tropical Marine and Terrestrial Geoscience (EASC09036)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is based on a two-week trip based at Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory on the north shore of Jamaica at the end of semester 2, following introductory lectures and students' completion of background reading and literature reviews. Marine field studies include coral reef ecology and geomorphology, coastal oceanographic processes and water quality analysis. These will be supplemented by linked terrestrial studies, to include river and groundwater sampling and analyses and trips to investigate Jamaica's bauxite mining industry, the geology of the igneous Central inlier region, and karst processes in the Cockpit Country. Together these will provide insights on the natural and anthropogenic factors controlling river and groundwater composition, and impacts of groundwater discharge on offshore reefs.
Field course locations may change for a variety of reasons, including security risks, increased costs or inability to access field locations. Any changes to the main destinations of the field course will be announced as soon as possible.
For AY 2021-22 the course is available only to 3rd-year Environmental Geoscience students
Course description Background information and instructions for literature reviews are presented, along with extensive reading lists, during three introductory lectures at the start of semester 2 (dates TBC). There is also a tutorial to provide training in software that will later be used in Jamaica.
Students then conduct independent reading and prepare literature reviews on three separate topics, to be submitted prior to the field trip. These dates are staggered across weeks 5-8, both to permit sufficient time for preparation and for marking and feedback prior to the field trip.
The field trip takes place during a two-week period, near the end of and/or shortly after semester 2. Exact dates and travel arrangements depend on final student numbers, on flights and accommodation availability, and negotiating optimal group prices. Details are usually confirmed towards the end of semester 1.
Further Course Information
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs The contribution to the fieldwork costs per student in 2015 was approximarely £776 for all EG students;
All students taking the course as an elective will pay the full price of the course (approx. £1600). Costs will be reviewed on a yearly basis and are subject to change. As flight bookings are required well in advance, payment for the course will be non-refundable, and students must be certain of their decision.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 3, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 8, Fieldwork Hours 24, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 3, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 157 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 100%
Assessment is based on three literature reviews (10% each) completed prior to the field trip, and 4 reports completed during the trip.
Text limits and exact deadlines (weeks 6-8) for literature reviews are care set during introductory lectures in week 1 of semester 2. The weightings and text limits of individual field trip reports vary; details will be confirmed at the beginning of the field trip.

Assessment deadlines:
Literature Review 1 (10%) - Friday week 5 12:00 noon, submit online via Turnitin
Literature Review 2 (10%) - Wednesday week 6, 12:00 noon, submit online via Turnitin
Literature Review 3 (10%) - Wednesday week 7, 12:00 noon, submit online via Turnitin
Field Trip reports (70%) - During fieldtrip (dates TBD)

Assessment and Feedback Information

All details related to extensions procedures and late penalties can be found in the School of Geosciences Handbook, which can be found on the Learn UG Student Information Hub.
Feedback Examples of feedback can be found here:
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. An integrated view and understanding of tropical marine and terrestrial environments and processes, through studies in both marine and terrestrial systems, linked through assessment of natural waters - from rivers to groundwater to a coastal embayment.
  2. A critical understanding of the nature and impacts of natural and anthropogenic factors.
  3. Practise in making oral scientific presentations.
  4. An introduction to a selection of techniques and development of the following skills. 1) Hands-on experience with field sampling and analytical methods. 2) Introduction to biological survey methods and data analysis. 3) Experience of sample collection through to analysis and interpretation of a diverse environmental data set. 4) Experience of coastal oceanographic methods and processes providing a tropical counterpart to subsequent studies in a Scottish sealoch (Oban fieldtrip). 5) Assessment methods for water quality. 6) Development of statistical and data quality assessment methods.
Reading List
Seed reading lists will be provided at intro¿ lectures. A core part of the course is independent literature search in preparation for assessed reviews and fieldtrip reports.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 35 hour(s) per week for 2 week(s). Two-week field trip, with preparatory lectures and reading beforehand.
Course organiserDr Greg Cowie
Tel: (0131 6)50 8502
Course secretaryMs Katerina Sykioti
Tel: (0131 6)51 5251
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