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XX10085: The Earth as an ecosystem

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Programmes in Natural Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Earth as an Ecosystem EX (EX 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
To develop an understanding of natural processes occurring in the environment and how they are impacted by humans.

Learning Outcomes:
After studying this Unit students should be able to:
* Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of environmental science topics;
* Recognise the experimental and analytical evidence for this knowledge;
* Consider the implications of current environmental problems for living organisms and their life support systems.

Learning and studying (T/F/A), Information handling and retrieval (T/F/A), Written communication (T/F/A), Working independently (T/F).

Introduction to the Earth as an Ecosystem including discussion on environmental challenges and the meaning of environmental sustainability.
Biogeochemical cycles: carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur and water cycles and humans impact on these cycles.
Hydrosphere: water as a unique chemical (physicochemical properties and environmental importance); water as a resource (distribution of global water resources, water shortage; (un)sustainability in water use); water pollution (including biodegradable waste, nutrients-eutrophication, pathogenic organisms, thermal pollution, toxic chemicals, acidity/alkalinity/salinity); water conservation and management (wastewater and drinking water treatment, water reuse, laws controlling water pollution and drinking water quality)
Atmosphere: troposphere and its pollution (major classes of air pollutants, particulates, smog formation; photochemical and sulphurous, urban air pollution and measures to improve it; legislation and air quality standards); stratosphere (ozone layer and its importance; ozone depletion and human impact)
Biomagnification and heavy metals
Radioactivity and nuclear reactors; reprocessing and waste storage
Climate change and The Greenhouse effect.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

XX10085 is Optional on the following programmes:

Programmes in Natural Sciences
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Year 1)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences with Study year abroad (Year 1)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Year 1)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences with Professional Placement (Year 1)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences with Study year abroad (Year 1)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.