Earth Science and The Environment 2B - Evolution, Environmental Change and Exploration EARTH2011

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will provide students with an advanced understanding of the application of geological techniques in the applied and environmental sciences. The students will investigate past and present environments, use geological maps and geophysical methods to interpret Earth structures and the distribution and availability of resources, and investigate anthropogenic changes to the environment. The course develops theoretical, practical and field-based skills.


4 x 1 hour lectures per week, 2 x 2 hour labs per week.  7 day UK-based residential field class.

Requirements of Entry

Normally completion of Earth Science and the Environment 1A and Earth Science and The Environment 1B both at grade D3 or better.

Excluded Courses

EARTH2002 - Palaeobiology 2Q

EARTH2004 - Structure, Maps and Exploration 2U


EARTH2010 - Earth Science and the Environment: 2A


40% - Written exam

30% - Portfolio of field based activities (maps, sections, logs, notebook)

30% - Laboratory based assessment

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

To provide students with an advanced understanding of past and present environments, and how to interrogate and/or reconstruct these environments using a suite of analytical and spatial skills. To provide students with the principles of geological and geophysical exploration for natural resources and remediation of associated pollution.  To develop the field skills of positioning, observation, recording and interpretation in the context of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, superficial deposits, geological maps, landforms and tectonic structures.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Explain the evolution of life on Earth and the application of palaeontology to understanding palaeo-environments and stratigraphy

■ Discuss how different proxies are used to reconstruct Earth's climate change through time and contextualise natural geological changes with changes potentially influenced by human practices

■ Use maps and cross sections to analyse in 4-D geological and environmental change at varying scales from the local distribution of rock/soil types to tectonic boundaries.

■ Evaluate the location of natural resources in the subsurface using maps and geophysical methods and geophysical techniques

■ Explain the mobility and fate of pollutants in the environment and associated remediation strategies

■ Describe and interpret a variety of rocks and superficial deposits in the field, and construct maps and cross sections to explain these features.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.