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National Marine Science Centre Coffs Harbour Session 3 Session 3

Unit Summary

Unit type

PG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

9

Level of learning

Intermediate

Unit aim

Students will learn:  

1. To identify and interpret the biogeochemical processes that operate in coastal waters, including mangroves, coral reefs, estuaries, seagrass beds, and embayments.

2. Current procedures for planning and conducting environmental sampling and monitoring programs for quantifying coastal biogeochemical processes.

3. Modern analytical techniques that are part of biogeochemical monitoring and research in coastal waters.

4. To critically analyse, synthesise, and interpret a complex biogeochemical dataset.

5. Produce a technical and/or scientific report with a plain English summary.

Unit content

Topic 1:   Material loadings to coastal ecosystems via rivers, groundwater and atmosphere.
Topic 2:   Estuarine hydrography, mixing and residence times.
Topic 3:   Phytoplankton-related biogeochemical processes.
Topic 4:   Sediment biogeochemistry.
Topic 5:   Biogeochemical cycles in coastal waters.
Topic 6:   Greenhouse gas sources and sinks.
Topic 7:   Feedbacks between climate change and coastal biogeochemical processes.
Topic 8:   Local human impacts on coastal biogeochemical cycles.
Topic 9:   Isotopes as tracers of biogeochemical processes.
Topic 10:  Standard sample collection, handling, preservation and storage procedures for sediment, water, and biological samples.
Topic 11:  Measuring biogeochemical processes using cutting edge techniques.
Topic 12:  Case studies in coastal biogeochemistry: latest SCU and global research.

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: , GA2: , GA3: , GA4: , GA5: , GA6: , GA7:
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 Critically analyse how physical, geological, chemical and biological processes (biogeochemistry) interact to control the fate and effect of material on the metabolism of coastal ecosystems
2 Evaluate the strengths and limitations of techniques used to measure biogeochemical processes in coastal waters
3 Critically assess appropriate methods for sample collection, handling, preservation and storage procedures for sediment, water and biogeochemical samples.
4 Identify a range of modern analytical instrumentation and be able to understand the advantages and limitations of various techniques
5 Demonstrate the ability to critically analyse, synthesize and interpret a complex biogeochemical data set to produce a technical and scientific report

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

  1. Critically analyse how physical, geological, chemical and biological processes (biogeochemistry) interact to control the fate and effect of material on the metabolism of coastal ecosystems
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
  2. Evaluate the strengths and limitations of techniques used to measure biogeochemical processes in coastal waters
    • GA4:
  3. Critically assess appropriate methods for sample collection, handling, preservation and storage procedures for sediment, water and biogeochemical samples.
    • GA4:
  4. Identify a range of modern analytical instrumentation and be able to understand the advantages and limitations of various techniques
    • GA4:
  5. Demonstrate the ability to critically analyse, synthesize and interpret a complex biogeochemical data set to produce a technical and scientific report
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
    • GA5:

Prescribed texts

  • No prescribed texts.
Prescribed texts may change in future teaching periods.