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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Advanced Environmental Geography
Module Code GY337
School 68
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Jimmy O'Keeffe
Semester 2: Jean Williams
Autumn: Jimmy O'Keeffe
Module TeachersGrania Shanahan
Jimmy O'Keeffe
Jean Williams
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

Few aspects of modernity are more noticeable and significant than the changes that humans have made to the physical and biotic environment. These are so significant that many natural and social scientists refer to a new geological age, the Anthropocene, a period in which human actions rather than natural processes are the primary causes of environmental change. This recognition of environmental change requires conceptualising and understanding how social and physical processes interact in a complex world. Individuals need to be informed about environmental science, environmental planetary boundaries and safe operating limits for humanity while also understanding the economic, political, social and cultural drivers and dilemmas of this change. This requirement for interdisciplinary understanding requires both novelty and urgency in meaningful protection of the planet. This course will give students a critical understanding of some of the profound environmental issues and responsibilities of modern citizenship in the Anthropocene. The module will introduce the idea of Natural Capital, Ecosystem services and Systems-Thinking as key approached to improve our knowledge of advanced environmental change while developing sustainable and realistic solutions. The module will examine the current state of a number of planetary boundaries, including climate, freshwater, biodiversity and land use. How we value the natural world will also discussed. We will also explore responses to global environmental change and will examine what changes are needed to live in a more sustainable, just and equitable world.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically appreciate debates on the dilemmas of and responses to the dramatic environmental changes currently underway and popularly known as the Anthropocene.
2. Develop key skills and methodologies utilised in both physical and social science research.
3. Develop an understanding of the significance of specific historical events in shaping current global environmental challenges.
4. Have an awareness of some of the profound responsibilities of modern citizenship.
5. Have a critical awareness of the importance of Geography, as an inherently interdisciplinary discipline, in understanding and responding to the Anthropocene.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Group work12No Description
Fieldwork10No Description
Class Presentation6No Description
Independent Study73No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction to interactions between physical and social sciences

Planetary boundaries
Identifying current state of earth’s primary systems (climate, freshwater resources, biodiversity, land use change

Practical assessments
Quantifying and measuring impacts of extreme climatic events/freshwater resource withdrawal/soil erosion and developing assessments for biodiversity conservation

Historical assessments
Identifying and critically linking historical environmental actions to current environmental issues

Critical reading and discussion
Students read and make notes on required reading across key research themes for class discussion

Key sources, materials and skills
Developing the necessary knowledge of academic resources and skills (teamwork, environmental data analysis and interpretation, report/essay writing) required throughout the module

Class engagement
Use of in-class and online discussion forums to engage students in debates and enhance critical thinking skills

Analysis and essay writing
Writing up of individual essay.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment60% Examination Weight40%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

    Other Resources

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    BAJHBachelor of Arts (BAJH)
    BAJHIBachelor of Arts (BAJHI)
    BAJPBachelor of Arts (BAJP)
    BAJPIBachelor of Arts (BAJPI)
    BAJPNBachelor of Arts (BAJPN) - Intra P
    HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
    HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)

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