Module OSX-1007:
Marine Biogeochemistry

Module Facts

Run by School of Ocean Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr David Assinder

Overall aims and purpose

This module provides an introduction to marine biogeochemistry. It emphasises the links between the biological, geological and chemical processes taking place in the oceans with particular emphasis on man-made changes to natural processes. Theoretical aspects are reinforced with practical work designed to introduce basic analytical techniques and their application to problems of environmental relevance.

Course content

The purpose of the module is to:

  • Examine the essential processes in marine biogeochemistry
  • Understand how biology, geology and chemistry are linked in the oceans
  • Use examples of man-made additions to the oceans to highlight the main processes
  • Gain experience and skills in laboratory techniques relevant to an understanding of marine biogeochemistry

Assessment Criteria

good

Equivalent to score in the "B" range 60% to 70%

Attend practical sessions and perform practical work and analysis of data in a competent manner. Demonstrate a good knowledge, gained from taught material, practicals and directed reading, under examination conditions and an ability to use this knowledge to answer unseen questions. Able to appreciate and describe the processes that influence biogeochemical cycles in the oceans with particular reference to man-made changes. Able to appreciate the concept of calibration in analytical chemistry and interpretation of data generated during laboratory experiments.

excellent

Equivalent to score in the "A" range 70% or higher

Attend practical sessions and carry out experimental work carefully and in an enquiring manner. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge, gained from taught material, practicals and directed reading, of taught material under exam conditions and be able to extrapolate or use additional information obtained by independent reading. Considerable appreciation and clear ability to describe the processes that influence biogeochemical cycles in the oceans with particular reference to man-made changes. Considerable appreciation the concept of calibration in analytical chemistry and interpretation of data generated during laboratory experiments.

threshold

Equivalent to 40%:

Attend practical session. Basic understanding, gained from taught material, practicals and directed reading, under examination conditions. Basic ability to appreciate and describe the processes that influence biogeochemical cycles in the oceans with particular reference to man-made changes. Basic appreciation of the concept of calibration in analytical chemistry and interpretation of data generated during laboratory experiments.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a knowledge of fundamental biogeochemical processes in the oceans

  2. Appreciate how man-made changes to the oceans affect biogeochemical processes

  3. Master some introductory laboratory techniques associated with the analysis of seawater

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Examination 50
COURSEWORK Online test - marine biogeochemistry

Online test on the lecture and practical material. 20 short questions in 1 hour

50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

1 lecture per week for 8 weeks

8
Laboratory

One three hour and one two hour practical

5
Private study

Eighty-eight hours of private study

87

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

The following Subject Centre Benchmark 'Subject Specific' Skills are relevant (taken from QAA Subject Benchmark document for Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Environmental Studies):

Intellectual skills (knowledge and understanding)

Graduates of an honours degree in ES3 demonstrate:

  • knowledge and understanding of subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles
  • an ability to integrate evidence from a range of sources
  • an ability to consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives

Practical Skills

Graduates of an honours degree in ES3 demonstrate an ability to:

  • conduct fieldwork and laboratory investigations competently (as appropriate)
  • describe and record observations in the field and laboratory
  • interpret and evaluate practical results in a logical manner
  • undertake laboratory and fieldwork safely
  • prepare, manipulate and interpret data using appropriate techniques
  • use appropriate numerical and statistical techniques

Communication skills

Graduates of an honours degree in ES3 demonstrate:

  • an ability to communicate effectively to a variety of audiences using a range of formats

Resources

Courses including this module