Modules for course F700 | BSC/OS
BSC Ocean Science

These are the modules currently offered on this course in the 2018–19 academic year.

You can also view the modules offered in the years: 2017–18; 2019–20.

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Year 1 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • OSX-1000: Tutorial 1 (20)
    This module is designed to introduce a range of skills required for a marine science degree and to encourage wider reading in marine science. It involves directed reading and the practice in oral and written presentations. Regular tutorials (7 to 10 students per group) will be held throughout the year during which essay writing skills, oral presentation skills and abstracting information from the scientific literature will be discussed. The module will be assessed by two essay assignments, two oral presentations and an abstracting exercise to be done during the semester.
    or
    OSC-1000: Tiwtorial 1 (20)
  • ONS-1001: Environmental data & analysis (20)
    This module, unlike most others, concentrates on giving the student the basic literature searching, numerical and statistical skills required for pursuing the rest of their respective programmes of study. The course relies heavily on computer-based material and so the student also learns how to use and evaluate on-line information, as well as how to converse, discuss and learn via the Blackboard software package. The course starts with an introduction to the Information Literacy Cycle, issues of plagiarism and how to avoid it, and good practice for citing and referencing. Thereafter, the course concentrates on key aspects of any science degree. Lectures introduced include: distributions of populations within scientific data; ideas of probability; unit systems used within science; accuracy and precision; algebraic manipulation; graphing linear systems; and coping with non-linearity in natural systems. Included as part of this will be an introduction to the use of excel and powerpoint - two software packages which are almost essential in the life of an undergraduate student. Following these mainly numerically-related lectures, the module focuses on the scientific method, hypothesis setting and testing; these leading to the fundamental ideas concerning experimental design. These concepts then extend to discussing the importance of replication in scientific datasets. Finally, an introduction to specific statistical tests (parametric and non-parametric) is presented. Library searching and referencing Introduction to distributions within scientific data Ideas of probability Description of distributions Preamble to MS Excel On-line exercises Presentation with MS Powerpoint Unit systems used in science Accuracy & precision. How many decimal places? Introduction to algebraic manipulation Graphing of linear systems Coping with non-linearity in nature (logs etc.) The scientific method: hypothesis setting and testing Introduction to experimental design The importance of replication in scientific datasets Examples of statistical tests: parametric versus non-parametric Regression and correlation ANOVA
    or
    ONC-1001: Dadansoddi Data Amgylcheddol (20)
    Mae'r modiwl hwn, yn wahanol i'r rhan fwyaf o fodiwlau eraill, yn canolbwyntio ar roi i'r myfyrwyr y sgiliau chwilio, rhifyddol ac ystadegol sylfaenol sydd eu hangen i ddilyn gweddill eu rhaglenni astudio. Mae'r cwrs yn dibynnu'n drwm ar ddeunydd cyfrifiadurol ac felly mae'r myfyriwr yn dysgu hefyd sut i ddefnyddio a gwerthuso gwybodaeth ar-lein yn ogystal â sut i sgwrsio, trafod a dysgu trwy gyfrwng pecyn meddalwedd Blackboard. Mae'r cwrs yn dechrau gyda chyflwyniad byr i system gyfrifiadurol y Brifysgol ( yn ystod yr Wythnos Groeso) ac yna'n symud ymlaen yn yr wythnos gyntaf i drafod rôl llenyddiaeth a thechnegau chwilio llenyddiaeth yn eu hastudiaethau yn y dyfodol. Ar ôl hynny, mae'r cwrs yn canolbwyntio ar agweddau allweddol unrhyw radd gwyddoniaeth. Mae'r darlithoedd a gyflwynir yn cynnwys: dosbarthiadau poblogaethau o fewn data gwyddonol; cysyniadau tebygolrwydd; systemau unedau a ddefnyddir mewn gwyddoniaeth; manwl gywirdeb; cyfrifiadau algebraig; rhyngberthnasau trigonometrig; gosod systemau llinol ar ffurf graff; ac ymdopi ag anflinoledd mewn systemau naturiol. Fel rhan o hyn ceir cyflwyniad i'r defnydd o Excel a Powerpoint - dau becyn meddalwedd sydd yn hanfodol bwysig i fywyd myfyriwr israddedig. Yn dilyn y darlithoedd hyn sydd yn ymwneud yn bennaf â rhifyddeg, mae'r modiwl yn canolbwyntio ar y dull gwyddonol, pennu a phrofi damcaniaethau; gan arwain at syniadau sylfaenol ynghylch cynllunio arbrofol. Yna mae'r cysyniadau hyn yn ymestyn i drafod pwysigrwydd dyblygu mewn setiau data gwyddonol. Yn olaf rhoddir cyflwyniad i brofion ystadegol penodol (parametrig ac anbarametrig). Llythrennedd gwybodaeth Gosod systemau llinol ar ffurf graff MS Excel Systemau unedau a ddefnyddir mewn gwyddoniaeth Manwl gywirdeb Cyflwyniad i ddosbarthiadau o fewn data gwyddonol Disgrifiad o ddosbarthiadau Cysyniadau tebygolrwydd Y dull gwyddonol: pennu a phrofi damcaniaethau Cyflwyniad gyda MS Powerpoint Cyflwyniad i gyfrifiadau algebraig Rhyngberthnasau trigonometrig Ymdopi ag aflinoledd ym myd natur; Cyflwyniad i ddylunio arbrofol Pwysigrwydd dyblygu mewn setiau data gwyddonol Enghreifftiau o brofion ystadegol; parametrig vs amharametrig Atchweliad a chydberthyniad Cyfraddau newid: gwahaniaethu Cyflwyniad i ddadansoddiad amlamrywedd
  • DXX-1005: Earth Systems and Processes (20)
    Key module topics will include: 1. Earth systems and earth processes: introduction and key concepts 2. The Geosphere: key geological concepts and processes. 3. Weathering processes 4. The atmosphere: global and regional atmospheric circulation 5. Atmosphere-Ocean interaction: influence on climate, ENSO & NAO cycles & cyclones 6. The hydrosphere: introduction to the hydrological cycle, run-off generation & basic principles of hydrology. 7. Glacial environments: introduction to ice-mass description, ice mass movement and glacial geomorphology. 8. The biosphere: introduction to soils 9. The biosphere: introduction to biogeography 10. Introduction to global biogeochemical cycles: the Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles.
  • OSX-1005: Introducing the Oceans (20)
    Provide a conceptual model of the physical systems of the oceans. Introduce the basic dynamical balances that govern ocean circulation. Demonstrate the links between ocean circulation and climate. Examine the influence of biological activity and ocean circulation on ocean chemistry. Understand the elements are continuously recycled in the oceans. Gain experience and skills in laboratory techniques relevant to an understanding of ocean chemistry. Gain experience and skills in laboratory techniques relevant to the flow of water, waves and density currents and basic dynamics.

Semester 2

  • OSX-1000: Tutorial 1
    This module is designed to introduce a range of skills required for a marine science degree and to encourage wider reading in marine science. It involves directed reading and the practice in oral and written presentations. Regular tutorials (7 to 10 students per group) will be held throughout the year during which essay writing skills, oral presentation skills and abstracting information from the scientific literature will be discussed. The module will be assessed by two essay assignments, two oral presentations and an abstracting exercise to be done during the semester.
    or
    OSC-1000: Tiwtorial 1
  • ONS-1001: Environmental data & analysis
    This module, unlike most others, concentrates on giving the student the basic literature searching, numerical and statistical skills required for pursuing the rest of their respective programmes of study. The course relies heavily on computer-based material and so the student also learns how to use and evaluate on-line information, as well as how to converse, discuss and learn via the Blackboard software package. The course starts with an introduction to the Information Literacy Cycle, issues of plagiarism and how to avoid it, and good practice for citing and referencing. Thereafter, the course concentrates on key aspects of any science degree. Lectures introduced include: distributions of populations within scientific data; ideas of probability; unit systems used within science; accuracy and precision; algebraic manipulation; graphing linear systems; and coping with non-linearity in natural systems. Included as part of this will be an introduction to the use of excel and powerpoint - two software packages which are almost essential in the life of an undergraduate student. Following these mainly numerically-related lectures, the module focuses on the scientific method, hypothesis setting and testing; these leading to the fundamental ideas concerning experimental design. These concepts then extend to discussing the importance of replication in scientific datasets. Finally, an introduction to specific statistical tests (parametric and non-parametric) is presented. Library searching and referencing Introduction to distributions within scientific data Ideas of probability Description of distributions Preamble to MS Excel On-line exercises Presentation with MS Powerpoint Unit systems used in science Accuracy & precision. How many decimal places? Introduction to algebraic manipulation Graphing of linear systems Coping with non-linearity in nature (logs etc.) The scientific method: hypothesis setting and testing Introduction to experimental design The importance of replication in scientific datasets Examples of statistical tests: parametric versus non-parametric Regression and correlation ANOVA
    or
    ONC-1001: Dadansoddi Data Amgylcheddol
    Mae'r modiwl hwn, yn wahanol i'r rhan fwyaf o fodiwlau eraill, yn canolbwyntio ar roi i'r myfyrwyr y sgiliau chwilio, rhifyddol ac ystadegol sylfaenol sydd eu hangen i ddilyn gweddill eu rhaglenni astudio. Mae'r cwrs yn dibynnu'n drwm ar ddeunydd cyfrifiadurol ac felly mae'r myfyriwr yn dysgu hefyd sut i ddefnyddio a gwerthuso gwybodaeth ar-lein yn ogystal â sut i sgwrsio, trafod a dysgu trwy gyfrwng pecyn meddalwedd Blackboard. Mae'r cwrs yn dechrau gyda chyflwyniad byr i system gyfrifiadurol y Brifysgol ( yn ystod yr Wythnos Groeso) ac yna'n symud ymlaen yn yr wythnos gyntaf i drafod rôl llenyddiaeth a thechnegau chwilio llenyddiaeth yn eu hastudiaethau yn y dyfodol. Ar ôl hynny, mae'r cwrs yn canolbwyntio ar agweddau allweddol unrhyw radd gwyddoniaeth. Mae'r darlithoedd a gyflwynir yn cynnwys: dosbarthiadau poblogaethau o fewn data gwyddonol; cysyniadau tebygolrwydd; systemau unedau a ddefnyddir mewn gwyddoniaeth; manwl gywirdeb; cyfrifiadau algebraig; rhyngberthnasau trigonometrig; gosod systemau llinol ar ffurf graff; ac ymdopi ag anflinoledd mewn systemau naturiol. Fel rhan o hyn ceir cyflwyniad i'r defnydd o Excel a Powerpoint - dau becyn meddalwedd sydd yn hanfodol bwysig i fywyd myfyriwr israddedig. Yn dilyn y darlithoedd hyn sydd yn ymwneud yn bennaf â rhifyddeg, mae'r modiwl yn canolbwyntio ar y dull gwyddonol, pennu a phrofi damcaniaethau; gan arwain at syniadau sylfaenol ynghylch cynllunio arbrofol. Yna mae'r cysyniadau hyn yn ymestyn i drafod pwysigrwydd dyblygu mewn setiau data gwyddonol. Yn olaf rhoddir cyflwyniad i brofion ystadegol penodol (parametrig ac anbarametrig). Llythrennedd gwybodaeth Gosod systemau llinol ar ffurf graff MS Excel Systemau unedau a ddefnyddir mewn gwyddoniaeth Manwl gywirdeb Cyflwyniad i ddosbarthiadau o fewn data gwyddonol Disgrifiad o ddosbarthiadau Cysyniadau tebygolrwydd Y dull gwyddonol: pennu a phrofi damcaniaethau Cyflwyniad gyda MS Powerpoint Cyflwyniad i gyfrifiadau algebraig Rhyngberthnasau trigonometrig Ymdopi ag aflinoledd ym myd natur; Cyflwyniad i ddylunio arbrofol Pwysigrwydd dyblygu mewn setiau data gwyddonol Enghreifftiau o brofion ystadegol; parametrig vs amharametrig Atchweliad a chydberthyniad Cyfraddau newid: gwahaniaethu Cyflwyniad i ddadansoddiad amlamrywedd
  • OSX-1003: Earth, Climate & Evolution (20)
    An exploration of environmental change, including climate change, and its impacts on biological evolution on geological time scales. This includes an introduction to the geological tools and techniques used to decipher and interpret the geological and fossil records. It examines how the earth works: tectonics, climate, the sedimentary cycle, sea level change. The climate system (inputs, budgets), climate change (external forcings, feedback), global cooling and warming. Major events in earth history: e.g. its origin, the origin of life, evolution of bacteria and multicellular organisms, significant biological changes from the late Precambrian to the Quaternary, major climate and eustatic events in geological history, etc. There is emphasis on Quaternary changes - climatic cycles and anthropogenic impacts - since these still resonate in the present day environment. Global climate modelling including hindcasting and prediction.
  • OSX-1005: Introducing the Oceans
    Provide a conceptual model of the physical systems of the oceans. Introduce the basic dynamical balances that govern ocean circulation. Demonstrate the links between ocean circulation and climate. Examine the influence of biological activity and ocean circulation on ocean chemistry. Understand the elements are continuously recycled in the oceans. Gain experience and skills in laboratory techniques relevant to an understanding of ocean chemistry. Gain experience and skills in laboratory techniques relevant to the flow of water, waves and density currents and basic dynamics.

Optional Modules

20 credits from:

  • FXX-0010: Essential Chemistry (10) (Semester 1)
    This course comprises a balanced introduction to chemistry. Topics covered in the lectures include: atomic structure and bonding, moles and mole calculations, chemical equilibria, acids, bases and pH and buffers, rate of reaction and basic organic chemistry (introduction to functional groups and some important reactions, isomerism, and nomenclature). The course is backed up by problem solving classes. Dr H Tai (8 lectures), Dr I Butler (8 lectures), Dr L Murphy (8 lectures) RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS ESSENTIAL READING - None RECOMMENDED 1. Introductory chemistry for the environmental sciences - Harrison, Roy M., De Mora, S. J., 1996 2. Chemistry: molecules, matter, and change - Jones, Loretta, Atkins, P. W., c2000 SPECIFIC RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS FOR STUDENTS - None
  • BNS-1002: Organismal Diversity (20) (Semester 1)
    All major groups of living organisms will be reviewed, from viruses, bacteria, protists, fungi and higher plants to invertebrate and vertebrate animals. General taxonomy, body form, physiology and life history will be studied to give an appreciation of the multiple aspects of biodiversity.
  • FXX-1005: Chem. in Biol. and Environ. (10) (Semester 2)
    Pre-requisites GCSE Chemistry or FXX0010 preferred or equivalent qualifications. This course comprises of three main topics: (6 lectures) Light and Colour Covering aspects of the properties of coloured, fluorescent and chemi-luminescent molecules, their distribution in nature and their reactions. (6 hourlectures) Bio-active Molecules An introduction to biologically active compounds: including carbohydrates, lipids, nitrogen containing compounds and selected plant secondary metabolites and pharmaceuticals. (12 lectures) Chemistry in the Environment This series of lectures will focus on the clean environment and examination of some of the changes caused by chemical pollution. The course will be split into the atmosphere, hydrosphere and geosphere and will include case studies of important environmental issues (for instance, global warming, eutrophication and nuclear waste). Examples will also be shown of how chemistry can be used to solve environmental problems. Course Team: Dr L Murphy (6 lectures), Dr I Butler (12 lectures), Dr H Tai (6 lectures). RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS ESSENTIAL READING - None RECOMMENDED READING 1. "Environmental Chemistry", 6th Ed., S E Manahan, (Lewis Publishers, 1994) SPECIFIC RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS FOR STUDENTS - None
  • ICP-1022: Programming Fundamentals (10) (Semester 1)
    Syllabus: Programming and the JAVA language: Object Oriented Design; Objects and classes; Declaring objects and calling methods; Programming Constructs:- selecting among alternatives and repetition; Basic JAVA data types.
  • ICP-1023: Object Oriented Programming (10) (Semester 2)
  • FXX-1101: Foundation of Chemistry 1 (10) (Semester 1)
    Structure and bonding (12 lectures) - - Breakdown of classical mechanics, Bohr model of the atom, problems with Bohr's model, wave nature of particles, L de Broglie wave/particle duality, particle in a 1D box, extension to 2D, 3D. Born interpretation of the wavefunction, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Hydrogen atom (3 quantum numbers) and inclusion of spin, multi-electron atoms, radial distribution function. Pauli exclusion principle, bonding in diatomics, evaluating dipole moments. Covalent and Ionic bonding, shapes of molecules, and Periodic Table and periodicity (12 lectures/workshops) -: Bonding overview: covalent and ionic bonding overview. Shapes of molecules by VSEPR. Periodic properties including atomic and ionic radli, ionization energies, electron gain energies and electronegativities. Introduction to s, p and d-block chemistry. Organic chemistry (12 lectures). Brief overview on bonding theories, and the concept of resonance. The shape, hybridisation and bonding of alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes. Drawing structures and mechanisms: fundamental chemistry of alcohols, alkyl halides, alkenes and alkynes. Stereogenic centres its introduction to fundamental reaction mechanisms (substitution, elimination and addition). Acids/bases/nucleophiles and electrophile. Basic theory of aromaticity (Huckle rule, resonance etc) Course Team: Dr Dr K Hughes (12 lectures), Dr L Murphy (12 lectures), Dr I Perepichka (12 lectures), (Employability x 1hr - non credit bearing). RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS ESSENTIAL READING 1. Chemistry3 Burrows et al.* Publisher Open University Press (OUP) RECOMMENDED READING 1. Inorganic Chemistry, Housecroft and Sharpe, Publisher: Pearson* 2. Physical Chemistry P.W. Atkins, and J. De Paula, Publisher: OUP,*. 3. Organic Chemistry, J. Claydon, N. Greeves, S. Warren and P. Wothers*, Publisher: OUP*, 4. Periodic Table at a Glance, M.A. Beckett and A.W.G. Platt, Publishes: Blackwell, 2006 *Most Recent editions of these as they are regularly updated. SPECIFIC RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS FOR STUDENTS It is expected that students purchase essential textbooks.

Year 2 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • OSX-2004: Estuary & Shelf Sea Processes (20)
    This course introduces the fundamental processes occurring in shelf seas and estuaries and examines the relationship between physics, chemistry and sediments. Topics covered include: air-sea interaction (heat, gases etc) water column structure: seasonal stratification and mixing inputs of fresh water at the coast and estuarine circulation movement of sediments in shelf seas and estuaries nutrients and chemical origin, cycling and fate in shelf sea palaeo-oceanography of shelf seas The course is taught through lectures, laboratory and computer practicals and a field course.
  • OSX-2006: Tides, Waves and Sampling (20)
    Chemical oceanography: The methods associated with measuring primary production and the collection of dissolved and particulate constituents will be presented along with the advantages and disadvantages of each particular methodology. Physical oceanography: Topics relating to the tides will be the speed of shallow water waves, the effect of wave reflection and the Earth's rotation, amphidromic systems, tidal friction, and an explanation of the tides around the UK. Topics related to surface waves will be wave generation by wind/storms, the propagation of wave energy in deep and shallow water, wave transformation and refraction in coastal waters, wave diffraction, wave breaking and the classification of breaking waves, breakpoint bars on beaches.
  • OSX-2007: Ship-based field course (20)
    This module provides experience of multidisciplinary fieldwork at sea. A wide range of oceanographic and geophysical instrumentation is introduced including instruments for measuring salinity, temperature, currents, chlorophyll, suspended and sea bed sediments. These include CTD, optical instruments (transmissometer, fluorometer), geoacoustic instruments (Side scan sonar, Sub-bottom profiler), and instruments for measuring current (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler). In addition sampling of plankton, suspended and seabed sediments will be covered. Students spend one full day at sea on the Prince Madog collecting data using on-board instrumentation and collecting samples from the water column and sea bed. These are combined with data collected by students on other days (at least 9 in total, depending on numbers taking module) to produce an extensive data base. This is used to produce a data analysis report, and research report/paper the topic of which can be tailored to suit an individual student's interests.

Semester 2

  • OSX-2000: Communicating Science (20)
    Topics covered will be very wide ranging across Ocean Sciences. Individual staff each provide an area of interest. Students choose a general area of interest and are, where possible, matched to the tutorial group of the appropriate member of staff. Tutorial groups will be of approximately equal size.
    or
    OSC-2000: Cyfathrebu Gwyddoniaeth (20)
  • OSX-2005: Earth and Ocean Observation (20)
    Geodesy - Shape of the Earth - The Geoid - Datums - Co-ordinate systems and transformations - Projections Position fixing systems - GPS - Galileo and Glonass - Underwater positioning systems Remote sensing - Introduction - Remote sensing systems - Corrections applied to the data - Processing of remote sensing data - Applications of instrumentation Acoustic methods - Acoustic theory - Acoustic instrumentation and survey techniques - Applications of seafloor mapping
  • OSX-2007: Ship-based field course
    This module provides experience of multidisciplinary fieldwork at sea. A wide range of oceanographic and geophysical instrumentation is introduced including instruments for measuring salinity, temperature, currents, chlorophyll, suspended and sea bed sediments. These include CTD, optical instruments (transmissometer, fluorometer), geoacoustic instruments (Side scan sonar, Sub-bottom profiler), and instruments for measuring current (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler). In addition sampling of plankton, suspended and seabed sediments will be covered. Students spend one full day at sea on the Prince Madog collecting data using on-board instrumentation and collecting samples from the water column and sea bed. These are combined with data collected by students on other days (at least 9 in total, depending on numbers taking module) to produce an extensive data base. This is used to produce a data analysis report, and research report/paper the topic of which can be tailored to suit an individual student's interests.

Optional Modules

20 credits from:

  • OSX-2009: Marine Ecology (20) (Semester 1)
    Topics covered will include: rocky shore ecology, keystone species, physical and biological factors, zonation, disturbance, succession, macro-algal production. Soft sediment ecology, saltmarsh, seagrasses, mangal, tropical and temperate soft sediment shores. Sub-tidal hard substrate ecology, temperate reefs, physical and biological factors, community structure, exposure. Coral reef ecology, types and formation, algal symbiosis, biodiversity and productivity, community structure, development and change, processes leading to stable communities.
  • OSX-2011: Ice and Oceans (20) (Semester 1)
    Glaciology: glaciers on the earth's surface; scale and forms. Ice accumulation and ablation; glacier mass balance. Glacier thermal regime. Ice flow/movement. Processes of glacial erosion, sediment entrainment/transport and deposition on land and in the ocean. Ice sheets as archives of past climate change. Ice core records. Control of sea-level by glaciers. The glacio-eustatic mechanism, glacio-hydro-isostasy, ice-water gravitational attraction. High latitude physical oceanography: the generation of deep-cold, bottom water masses (NADW, AABW) and their influence on Northern Atlantic, Southern Ocean and the general circulation of the oceans. The circulation of the Southern, Arctic and North Atlantic oceans. Terrestrial ice in the ocean: ice shelves, ice tongues, icebergs and their role in deposition and sediment reworking. Tidewater glaciers and fjords. Grounding line fans, glacial debris flows, trough mouth fans, slumps and slides. Glacial geology of the Polar North Atlantic. Icebergs and iceberg scour. Ecology and palaeoecology of glacimarine environments. Criteria used to identify glacimarine environments. Ice-rafted detritus in deep marine sediments. The module will embed 1. a Field Excursion to Snowdonia and the Llyn Peninsula to examine glacigenic landforms and sediments, and 2. desk-top study related to ice-ocean interactions and IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 2007.

Year 3 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 2

  • OSX-3000: Dissertation (20)
    The students' initial choice of dissertation topic will be organised prior to the start of the module and the topics covered will be very wide ranging across the whole spectrum of Ocean Sciences. An introductory lecture will outline the academic purpose and the organisational structure of the Module and will remind students of literature searching methods, and strategies for collation, review and analysis of data. Following this, students will work independently but with the support of a supervisor who will generally be cognisant of, and may often be an expert in, the area of the students' dissertation topic. There will be three formal tutorials during the semester and a second general lecture that will offer advice on oral presentations. Each student will give a short oral presentation to a large audience in a Conference-style format and will be required to be part of that audience for other students. A final substantial (approximately 10,000 words, 25 pages) dissertation will be submitted electronically through TURNITIN (plagiarism software) and as two soft-bound copies for assessment.

Optional Modules

100 credits from:

  • OSX-3002: Marine Ecosystems & Processes (20) (Semester 2)
    The module takes as an over-arching theme the concepts of ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services. It commences with 5 introductory lectures that illustrate the factors that underpin ecosystem functioning, as well as factors that can cause ecosystems to change. The key corner-stones that underpin ecosystem processes are detailed. A particular focus is made on exploring the role of biodiversity in maintaining ecosystem functions and services. Drivers of ecosystem change and resistance to change are considered, in the contexts of ecosystem resilience, system vulnerability and ecosystem regime-shifts. The role of biodiversity in maintaining resilience in marine systems is examined. Factors that determine secondary production of systems are considered, with particular focus on zooplankton, marine benthos and fish. The practical shapes of ecosystem functioning, services, resilience and vulnerability are then illustrated by a series of lectures that consider the biology, ecology and conservational status of key ecosystems in detail. Systems for which particular focus is made are: estuaries, mangroves, coastal shelf seas, pelagic systems, deep sea benthos and deep sea mounts. The module also has emphasis on reviewing the influences of some of the most important current drivers of change in marine ecosystems (‘Global Impacts’). Six dedicated lectures examine the effects of invasive species, ocean acidification, climate change, benthic exploration and fisheries disturbance on the functioning of marine ecosystems. The course includes a marked course-work component. A three-session practical focuses on examining the value that society is willing to place on conserving marine biodiversity. In the first session, students are asked to design a Contingent Valuation Questionnaire which to test for society’s Willingness to Pay for biodiversity conservation. Students are then asked to collect their data, by taking their questionnaire to the wider student population within Bangor University. In the second session, the results are analysed and a group presentation is drafted. In the third sessions, groups give their presentations. Students individually produce a poster for assessment. Marks are given for the group presentation and for the student poster.
  • OSX-3005: Coastal Water Processes (20) (Semester 1)
    The course of 16 lectures is designed to give a systematic understanding of key aspects of chemical and physical oceanography of coastal waters. The physical component of the course develops ideas you will have come across in the second year about stratification and vertical mixing in shelf seas and oceans. You will be introduced to the idea of making forecasts about the ocean using computer software and models. You will learn how to make predictions about the coastal ocean changes with the seasons. You will learn how to extend yor predictions to suspended sediments, nutrients and primary productivity in the oceans. The chemical component of the module examines in detail the biogeochemical processes controlling the concentration and distribution of biologically important elements in the water column and underlying sediments. The module material will contribute to your understanding of the temporal and spatial variation in element concentrations related to organic matter production and destruction and how both the physics of the water column and mans' activities can impact on their distribution.
  • OSX-3006: Particle Dynamics (20) (Semester 2)
    This course provides an introduction to the dynamics of entrainment, transport and deposition of cohesive and non-cohesive sediments in coastal waters. The topics covered include: physical mechanisms of sediment transport, and physico-chemical controls of sedimentation; measurement and estimation of sediment transport rates; geotechnical and hydraulic interpretation of sediments textures and structures; origin and nature of bed forms, ripples, dunes, bars; density currents and avalanches: low density turbidity currents versus avalanches; tidal and wave boundary layers; sedmiment transport in steady and oscillatory flows; initiation of motion; shields criterion; bed load motion; sediment entrainment and suspension; bed forms in steady and oscillatory flow; nearshore wave-current processes - wave-induced currents, longshore sediment transport; cross-shore transport and the Bailard method.
  • OSX-3007: Coastal Processes Field Study (20) (Semester 1)
    THIS MODULE INVOLVES A 10-DAY RESIDENTIAL FIELD TRIP TO SOUTH WALES IN JUNE AT THE END OF YOUR SECOND YEAR. The principal component of this double module is a residential field course in the Carmarthen Bay area which takes place in June (after completion of Year 2). The field course is centred on a macrotidal estuary and adjacent coastal barrier and it is designed to teach students the essentials of field techniques in shallow water oceanography and intertidal geophysics and micropalaeontology. Students gain practical experience of measurements of estuarine and foreshore dynamics, sediment transport, surficial sediment thickness and structure, foraminifera ecology, and Quaternary stratigraphy. They gain experience of data collection from small boats. Most of the work is done in teams of 2-3, some in teams of up to 8, students. All of the data collection requires team effort. The acquired dataset enables students to test hypotheses and synthesise processes on time scales of 10(-2) to 10(3) years, and to produce an integrated model of Holocene coastal evolution. There is an associated practical in Menai Bridge. There is a fee of £150 for the 10-day field course.
  • OSX-3012: Palaeoceanography (20) (Semester 1)
    The module is divided into two parts: (1) Quaternary palaeoceanography, the study of the history of the oceans during the last 2.5 million years, and (2) critical events in ocean history during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. Part 1 is taught through a series of lectures and Part 2 through a series of student-led seminars reviewing key papers. The module will be delivered by Professor James Scourse. Part 1 focuses on how we detect changes in water mass distribution and circulation through time, how we know when these events occur, and their role as part of the global climate system. Key topics include: Deep ocean sediments and climate change; deep sea core stratigraphy, correlation. Dating techniques. Physical palaeoceanographic proxies: multi-sensor core logger data, spectrophotometry, XRF scanners: the sortable silt index. Principles of palaeoecology; distribution of organisms in water masses and sediments. Important fossil groups. Indicator species and transfer functions. Oxygen and carbon isotope stratigraphy; ice volume and sea-level change; palaeoproductivity and atmospheric CO2 fluctuations; comparison with ice core data. Trace element geochemistry. Organic biomarkers. Sea-level change. The causes of climate change; tectonic, solar, orbital and feedback mechanisms. Part 2 addresses a number of specific events in ocean history, including Mesozoic anoxic events and the origin of biogenic sediments, the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), the onset of glaciation in Antarctica, the closing of the Isthmus of Panama, the Messinian salinity crisis, the onset of Arctic glaciation and the establishment and disruption of the global thermohaline circulation. Cross-cutting tectonic themes will include the origin of the North Atlantic, the closure of Tethys and the break-up of Gondwanaland.
  • DXX-3018: Rivers, Coast and Oceans (20) (Semester 2)
  • OSX-3020: Sharks and their Relatives (20) (Semester 1)
    Evolutionary history and taxonomy of elasmobranchs The differences between sharks, skates and rays Early life histories Migrations – links to oceanographic patterns and mechanisms Technologies relating to tagging and tracking Population ecology What makes sharks successful and unique? Elasmobranch physiology Anthropogenic influences and conservations issues