AG-221 Arctic Physical Geographical Field Techniques (15 ECTS)

Students at Festningen

How to apply

ID:
AG-221
CREDITS:
15 ECTS
START DATE:
August 2019
END DATE:
December 2019
COURSE PERIOD:
Autumn semester (August–December), annually
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
None
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Book chapters, articles, technical description of devices and software; Ca. 100 pages
COURSE COSTS:
None
COURSE CAPACITY MIN/MAX:
10/25 students
EXAMINATION SUPPORT MATERIAL:
Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
15 April 2019

INSTRUCTORS:

Aga Nowak
Associate professor
Lena Rubensdotter
Lena Rubensdotter
Adjunct Associate Professor, Quaternary geomorphological mapping

Course requirements:

60 ECTS within general natural science, of which 30 ECTS within the field of geology/geosciences. Preference will be given to students also applying for AG-204.

Academic content:

The course will focus on field measurement and mapping techniques essential for describing and analysing an Arctic landscape. Emphasis will be on considerations relating to formulation of a relevant research question, how to choose suitable equipment or mapping technique and -scale, and provide answers to questions like what, where and when to measure/map.

During the course, students will gain experience in a variety of relevant measurement techniques such as Radar (GPR), LIDAR, DGPS, meteorological, hydrological, geochemical, glaciological and permafrost-related field techniques, drilling, extracting cores, recurrent photography, and they will be introduced to modern geomorphological field mapping techniques.

Students will use different software packages to post-process and analyse the collected data or material to create a final geomorphological map and/or another form of data synthesis with a physical geography component.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge
Upon completing the course, the students will:

Gain a thorough understanding of the origin of an Arctic landscape and hands-on knowledge on a range of relevant measurement and mapping techniques, such as, e.g., Radar (GPR), LIDAR, DGPS, recurrent photography, meteorological, hydrological, geochemical, glaciological and permafrost-related field instruments and –techniques. In addition, they will be introduced to a suite of modern geomorphological field mapping techniques.

Skills
Upon completing the course, the students will:

Have gained experience in Arctic logistics and safety. In addition, they will have experience in different measurement techniques such as Radar (GPR), LIDAR, DGPS, etc. to analyse the arctic landscape. Students will operate, post process and analyse data from appropriate technologies and transfer data to and model data within a GIS-environment. Students will be exposed to a variety of measurements techniques in the field, and they will process and interpret the data in the laboratory. They will also be trained in oral and written communication of their results.

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students will:

Be trained to be able to carry out their own field research project; beginning with formulation of a relevant research question, making the initial design, field work, analysis, presentation and production of a final geomorphologic map and/or another kind of data synthesis. They will utilize classic and new published scientific literature to provide a broader context for their field study. Taking advantage of data from long-term monitoring at the field sites and other archived data (e.g., old aerial photos), the students will learn, contribute to the understanding of and sharing knowledge on geomorphologic changes in the high Arctic.

Learning activities:

After the mandatory Arctic survival and safety training, the full semester course starts with introductory lectures. Several days of fieldwork will be undertaken, where students will be introduced to all aspects of the research activities and trained in field techniques and the use of monitoring and sampling instruments. Collected data (numerical, graphical or other) will form the basis of independent research projects co-designed with the faculty mentors.

The period from August to mid/late October (about 8 weeks) will be used for lectures, seminars, exercises and field activities. The typical weekly workload-hours in this first course period is 4 lectures, 1 seminar, 3 exercises, 1/2 computer lab day, and 1 field day. The first course period ensure that the students learn about different field techniques and their limitations. The next course period provides the students to formulate and carry out (under supervision) a small research project using a relevant part of the techniques presented in the first course period. In the final course period the students are synthesizing their results into a report, which are being defended during the final examination.

Total lecture and seminar hours: 20 hours.
Total exercises/seminars: 32 hours.
Total lab work: 8 days.
Fieldwork/excursions: 8 days.

Compulsory learning activities:

Project report, student presentation, fieldwork and excursion.
All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.

Assessment:

Method
Percentage of final grade
Oral exam including discussion of term report 100%

All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course. Only one final grade will be reported.

Application deadline: 15 April 2019

 

Students at Festningen

Geology students on fieldwork. Photo: Maria Jensen/UNIS

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Fax: +47 79 02 33 01
E-mail: post@unis.no / webmaster@unis.no
Address: P.O. Box 156 N-9171 Longyearbyen
Org. no. 985 204 454

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