UCL Department of Geography
GEOGG135 – Biological Indicators of Environmental Change
  
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GEOGG135 – Biological Indicators of Environmental Change

OPTION COURSE GEOGG135 – BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE (15 credits; Term 2)

Staff: Viv Jones, Chronis Tzedakis, Jonathan Holmes, Steve Brooks and others

Aims:

  • to introduce students to the range of biological indicators used for determining environmental change
  • to provide students with practical skills in the identification of biological indicators of environmental change

Content:

The course aims to cover the variety of biological indicators used in both present-day aquatic ecosystem monitoring and in assessing past conditions using a palaeoecological approach.

A selection from the following biological indicators are covered:

  • diatoms
  • pollen
  • plant macrofossils
  • chironomids
  • ostracods
  • foraminifera

Assessment:

Laboratory book from weekly practical exercises (50%)

Data analysis exercise (50%)

Format:

The course is based upon a 5 hr lecture and practical class which enables us to integrate the lectures and the practicals

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the course students should:

  • understand how to classify and identify a range of biological materials.
  • have an experience of a range of microscopical techniques
  • have an understanding of how biological proxies are used for aquatic monitoring and environmental reconstruction
  • appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of different biological indicators of environmental change