EARTHSCI 732 : Reconstructing Environmental Change
2020 Semester One (1203) (15 POINTS)
This course explores aspects of the nature of Quaternary terrestrial records of environmental change, with a focus on the Southwest Pacific Rim. The objectives are to:
• Review of present understanding of Quaternary paleoclimates and paleoenvironments in the context of theory, field evidence and research methods.
• Explain the collection, analysis and interpretation of physical and paleoenvironmental data ranging from Quaternary age terrestrial sediments through to tree rings.
• Introduce dating techniques used to establish the timing and drivers of major climatic events during the Quaternary period.
• Introduce to equipment and measurement procedures used to collect and analyse the materials used for reconstructing environmental change.
• Have a broad understanding of the suite of dating tools used to constrain and help explain the timing of the events interpreted from the paleoclimatic time-series.
Appreciate the field and laboratory work that is needed to extract, identify and interpret environmental changes and their drivers.
Capabilities Developed in this Course
|Capability 1:||Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice|
|Capability 2:||Critical Thinking|
|Capability 3:||Solution Seeking|
|Capability 4:||Communication and Engagement|
|Capability 5:||Independence and Integrity|
|Capability 6:||Social and Environmental Responsibilities|
- Understand • Appreciate the complex interrelationships between earth, ice sheet, ocean and atmosphere drive climate cycles and events over the past 2.6 Myrs and how this still limited level of understanding has evolved over the past 30 years. (Capability 1, 2 and 6)
- Explain Understand the use, and interpretation of, a range of paleoclimate reconstruction tools including dendroclimatology, glacial landscapes and associated sediments, biotic remains, and geochemistry including environmental isotopes. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
- Use, Evaluate Have a broad understanding of the suite of dating tools used to constrain and help explain the timing of the events interpreted from the paleoclimatic time-series. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)
- Develop, design and justify Appreciate the field and laboratory work that is needed to extract, identify and interpret environmental changes and their drivers. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
|Assignments - annotated bibliography||10%||Individual Coursework|
|Final Exam||40%||Individual Examination|
|Assessment Type||Learning Outcome Addressed|
|Assignments - annotated bibliography|
This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.
For this course, you can expect 18 hours of lectures/seminars, a 6 x 2 hour tutorial/laboratory classes,  hours of reading and thinking about the content and  hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.
Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).
Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.
The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.
You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.
The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.
All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.
Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at http://disability.auckland.ac.nz
If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.
If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.
This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.
During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.
At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.
Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.
Student Charter and Responsibilities
The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html).
Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.
In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.