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Semester 1

Environmental Problems and Issues (EASC10049)


Earth Science





Normal Year Taken


Delivery Session Year



Only available for full year visiting students

Course Summary

The course is intended as a means to engage students in learning about a range of of topical environmental issues, but especially to develop students independent research and presentation skills. The course is delivered through a series of lecture suites, each of which is followed 1 week later by a session in which students will present 15-20 minute seminars on selected sub-topics. Each seminar will be followed by a discussion session. Students engage in seminar sessions both through presentation and audience participation (recommended readings and discussion associated with each seminar). The exam takes place in May, and the course is therefore not suitable to students visiting only for semester 1.Further Course Information

Course Description

PART 1: Atmospheric Processes Global Warming; Stratospheric ozone depletion; Pollution at the Earth's surface. PART 2: Estuarine Processes Physical and biogeochemical processes occurring in estuaries, and how these interact to control the cycling and fate of natural and contaminant materials. PART 3: Ocean exploitationDue to technological advancements, demand for critical elements such as Ni, Cu, Mn and Co has increased. Manganese nodules and ferromanganese crusts harbour these and other elements and improved deep-sea mining technology may is enabling commercially viable exploitation. The course will cover how manganese nodules and ferromanganese crusts are formed, and evaluate the environmental impacts of deep-sea mining and associated policy issues. PART 4: Nuclear Waste management Chemical, geological and socio-economic issues associated with managing the Earth s low-, intermediate- and high-level nuclear waste.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 70%, Coursework 30%, Practical Exam 0%

Additional Assessment Information

Written Exam: 70%, Coursework: 30 %, Practical Exam: 0%.Coursework:Students present one seminar on one of four dates during the course of semester.Seminar marks are based both on style and content of seminars (85%) and on attendance and participation during discussion (15%).The 90-minute May exam is based on answers to 3 out of 4 essay-style questions. Questions will be based on materials covered both in lecture and case studies explored in seminar sessions.

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