Environmental Sciences



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Environmental Sciences

Module code


Module name


ECTS weighting


Semester / term taught


Contact hours


Modules content / description


Assessment details


ES3040

Environmental & Analytical Chemistry

5

HT

36

The first part of this course covers the chemical composition and main processes (including interactions with biota) in environments of major concern to environmental scientists. Environments include the atmosphere, soils, sediments, freshwaters and seawaters. The second part of the course focuses on quality assessment of environmental substrates by chemical analysis using a wide range of analytical techniques such as gravimetry, titration, colourimetry, atomic spectroscopy, x-ray methods and others.

50% Continual Assessment 50% Examination

ES3053

Freshwater Hydro Biology

5

HT

45

This is an introductory module in freshwater systems (lakes and rivers) that explore the effect of water quality on the biota and community structure.

Areas studied include: Factors that determine the distribution of biota: Natural dispersion; flow, substrate; dissolved solids; dissolved oxygen and temperature; suspended solids. Aquatic ecosystems: Community structure; identification of organisms; functional feeding groups; P:R, plants, allochtonous and autochotonus inputs; habitat zonation; river and lake ecosystems; feeding guilds; microbial oxygen demand (inc. self-purification, oxygen balance, re-aeration, the oxygen-sag curve). Water pollution: Toxic substances; suspended solids (inert and oxidizable), deoxygenation, non-toxic salts (inc. salinization, eutrohication and algal toxins); heated water, effect on buffering system; diffuse pollution; afforestation; response to climate change.

Water basin management: Basic management processes; Water Framework Directive; water quality and regulation. Water quality assessment: Physico-chemical and biological surveillance; Sampling surface waters (inc. designing sampling programmers, mixing, safety in the field, hydrological measurements; chemical and biological sampling); Biological data (inc. pollution and diversity indices; multivariate analysis); Chemical data (inc. chemical indices; mass balance and modelling). The module comprises lectures, field and laboratory work.


100% Continual Assessment

ES3055

Introduction to Environmental Sciences

5

MT

52

This module introduces students to the broad area of environmental sciences through fieldwork, tutorials and research seminars. Presentation skills form a key part of this module. Continual assessment will be through write up of field work, essay and student presentations.

100% Continual Assessment

ES4020

Water Technology

5

MT

45

This module sets out to examine the practical aspects of managing the human water cycle

from water treatment and supply through wastewater characteristics, treatment and disposal.

As an introductory module it is limited in what it covers, but is primarily designed for those

who are interested in a possible future in the water industry, environmental consultancy or



who want to do postgraduate studies in a water-related topic.


50% Continual Assessment, 50% Examination,

PLANT SCIENCES

Module code


Module name


ECTS weighting


Semester / term taught


Contact hours


Modules content / description


Assessment details


BO3100

Plant Physiology

5

MT

48

This module covers major biochemical and physiological aspects of photosynthesis, respiration, resource capture and growth at both the cell and whole plant level. Supporting practicals are designed to examine both the light and stromal reactions of photosynthesis and to investigate the role of light in seed germination and plant development. Continual assessment will be through a programme of practicals, tutorials and student presentations.

50% Examination, 50% Continual Assessment

BO3105

Fundamentals of Ecology

5

MT

42

This module is run jointly with the Zoology Department. The module examines the factors that affect the distribution, growth and survival of plant and animal communities. It describes how organisms interact with their environment and the role that they have in ecosystem and community structure. There is an introduction to the concepts and models that help to explain and predict organism distributions and interactions.

50% Examination, 50% Continual Assessment

BO3107

Plant Molecular Biology

5

HT

44

Plant Molecular Biology plays a major part in most fields of botanical research including ecology, systematics and physiology. The aim of this module is to cover the fundamentals of plant molecular biology and to explore applied aspects, including molecular systematics, molecular ecology, conservation genetics and genetic engineering.

50% Examination, 50% Continual Assessment

BO3108

Plants & the Irish Environment

5




44

This module combines an introduction to the Plant Sciences and Environmental Sciences moderatorships with a series of field-based activities including a residential field-trip during the first week of term. There will also be a lecture given during the field trip and three following it on specific aspects of the Irish flora.

100% Continual Assessment

BO3019

Seminars, Tutorials & Workshops

5

HT+MT

60

The aim of the seminars is to introduce undergraduate students to current research topics on key issues related to the Plant Science curriculum. The aim of tutorials and workshops is to develop skills in communication and analysis of scientific information. The module is divided into a series of interactive tutorials and workshops with themes such as, essay writing, problem solving, graphics, thesis writing, journal article analysis.

100% Continual Assessment

BO3110

Lower Plant Diversity & Evolution

5

HT

49

This module traces the broad sweep of plant evolution, from its prokaryotic origins through unicellular plankton to the immense diversity of non-flowering plants. We focus on groups of particular evolutionary, ecological or economic significance; also on native or widely-planted species and the features used in their identification. We track the changes brought about by the transition from an aquatic to a terrestrial environment, as we explore the range of morphology and life cycle among the algae, mosses, ferns, cycads and conifers.

50% Examination, 50% Continual Assessment

BO3111

Angiosperm Diversity & systematics

5

HT

41

This stand-alone module follows on from Lower Plant Diversity and Evolution (BO3110) which deals with lower plants. By undertaking this module you will become acquainted with the most important group of plants on Earth – the Flowering Plants or Angiosperms. In it we discuss the origin of the Angiosperms, move on to various systems for their classification and discuss various large groups of Angiosperms: concentrating on those that occur in Europe.


100% Continual Assessment

BO3120

Environmental Dynamics

5

MT

24

The last 2.6 million years of Earth history have witnessed dramatic climatic and environmental changes. This module provides an overview of these major environmental changes, their causes, and their significance for human development. It contrasts ‘glacial’ and ‘interglacial’ worlds, examines the nature of the transitions between them, explores some potential causes of change, and illustrates their environmental impacts. In the process, a range of key environmental records are considered, along with the “proxies” used to develop them.

50% Examination, 50% Continual Assessment

BO3121

Field Skills in Plant & Environmental Science (Canary Islands)

5

HT

50

The lecture series explores the flora and ecology of a range of Mediterranean and tropical plant communities, with a focus on the Canary Islands. We start by analysing the climatic features that define these regions, and review some associated features of the environment and soils. We assess the impacts of climate change and deforestation. We assess the plant diversity of these regions and the importance of biodiversity conservation in both local and global contexts. We also focus on some characteristic plant groups of Mediterranean and tropical regions. The lecture series prepares for and culminates in the overseas field-course in Gran Canaria.

100% Continual Assessment

BO3122

Entomology

5

HT

23

There are more species of insects on Earth than any other group of organisms and they are of massive ecological and economic importance. This module will address behavioral, social, ecological and applied aspects of entomology, including their role in delivering ecosystem services (such as biocontrol and pollination), invasive species (such as fire ants and harlequin ladybirds) and conservation (both in Ireland and internationally). The practicals will provide students with the skills for sampling and identification of insects, which will be further enhanced through small group and individual projects.

50% Examination, 50% Continual Assessment






















BO4101

Environmental Physiology

5

MT

36

This module investigates how plants interact with their environment. It attempts to answer the question: “How do the intricate physiological mechanisms, elucidated by plant physiologists over the last century, operate in the natural environment?”

50% Examination, 50% Continual Assessment

BO4103

Plant conservation & biodiversity

5

HT

34

Loss of biodiversity is one of the major problems facing humanity. The theoretical background to the evolution of plant diversity is firstly developed, and the principles of conservation are then used to develop approaches to conserve plant diversity.


50% Examination, 50% Continual Assessment

BO4104

Data Analysis

5

MT

51

This module will develop hypothesis testing with a revision of t-tests and explore general linear models, using ANOVA, product-moment correlation and regression. Experimental design will also be covered using ANOVA examples. Equivalent non-parametric approaches will be described. The module will go on to cover chi-squared and goodness of fit, and end with a brief introduction to multivariate statistics with a focus on ordination and classification. The module will be delivered by lectures, demonstration and discussion sessions, and by hands on use of various software packages.


100% Continual Assessment

BO4105

Global Environmental change

5

MT

35

The global environment is changing more rapidly at present than at any time during the human occupancy of the planet. This module reviews the existence of the changing environment and the predictions
for the future.


50% Examination, 50% Continual Assessment

BO4106

Seminars, Tutorials & Workshops

10

MT+HT

70

The aim of the seminars is to introduce undergraduate students to current research topics on key issues related to the Plant Sciences curriculum. The aim of tutorials and workshops is to develop skills in communication and analysis of scientific information. The module is divided into a series of interactive tutorials and workshops with themes such as, essay writing, problem solving, graphics, thesis writing, journal article analysis.


50% Examination, 50% Continual Assessment

BO4107

Plant-Animal Interactions

5

HT

24

Plant-animal interactions have increasingly become recognized as drivers of evolutionary change and important components of ecological communities. This module will focus on herbivory (the consumption of plants by animals) and pollination (the transfer of pollen between male and female reproductive structures in flowers).


50% Examination, 50% Continual Assessment


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