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Location Domestic International
Lismore
National Marine Science Centre Coffs Harbour
Online

Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Introductory

Unit aim

Introduces students to basic fundamentals in geology and geomorphology, with a focus on the outer shell of the Earth. The unit outlines the composition, structure and dynamic nature of the lithosphere and the processes acting upon it that lead to the evolution of the landforms we see today. The unit seeks to develop basic geological knowledge and field skills useful to environmental science and management professionals.

Unit content

The Earth System
Plate tectonics and the lithosphere
Geological time and history
Minerals, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and the rock cycle
Weathering and erosion
Evolution of landforms and landscape development
Geological hazards
Geological evolution of the Australian continent

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 demonstrate a knowledge of the internal structure of the earth and how the lithosphere was formed Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline
2 apply basic rock and mineral identification skills Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline Lifelong learning
3 understand the processes that drive landform change, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and plate tectonics Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline Lifelong learning
4 apply the concepts of geological time in the interpretation of geological maps, landform features (in the field and through analysis of satellite images and cross-section diagrams) Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline Lifelong learning
5 interpret the processes and timescales involved in the evolution of landforms Knowledge of a discipline Lifelong learning
6 apply knowledge of catastrophic geological processes in terms of natural hazard assessment and management, and the management and exploitation of earth resources. Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate a knowledge of the internal structure of the earth and how the lithosphere was formed
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  2. apply basic rock and mineral identification skills
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA5: Lifelong learning
  3. understand the processes that drive landform change, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and plate tectonics
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA5: Lifelong learning
  4. apply the concepts of geological time in the interpretation of geological maps, landform features (in the field and through analysis of satellite images and cross-section diagrams)
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA5: Lifelong learning
  5. interpret the processes and timescales involved in the evolution of landforms
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA5: Lifelong learning
  6. apply knowledge of catastrophic geological processes in terms of natural hazard assessment and management, and the management and exploitation of earth resources.
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline

Prescribed texts

  • Grotzinger, JP & Jordan, TH, 2017, Understanding Earth, 7th edn, WH Freeman and Company, New York, US. ISBN: 9781319154158.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.