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Handbooks Courses Units

GES4890 - Earth System Interactions: From Biogeochemical Cycles to Global Change

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate, Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Jason Beringer


Clayton Second semester 2008 (Day)


This unit will deal with the interactions and feedbacks amongst the Earth's different subsystems - the atmosphere, ocean, mantle and crust, cryosphere, and biological systems. The unit will examine the dynamics of the earth by identifying the major driving processes and responses of the biosphere to energy, water and biogeochemical cycles in the earth system together with the characteristic spatial and temporal scales over which they occur. These processes and cycles will be viewed from two different timescales: firstly, thousands to millions of years and secondly, decades to centuries.


The unit aims to provide specific knowledge and understanding of climate, biology and geology and their role in current global process and the feedbacks and interactions that exist between them. This will engage students by providing them with relevant information that can be applied to global environmental problems. The unit also aims to provide contemporary and innovative ideas and research in the context of global change. The unit aims to develop synthetic capabilities in students through enquiry and integrative research as well as engaging teaching methods. The unit also aims to promote oral and other communications skills. Finally, students should develop teamwork skills through group based research projects.


Oral seminar or debate presentation: 25%
Examination (2 hours): 40%
Research study report (2500 words): 35%
Students will be expected to demonstrate greater capacity for critical analysis in the research study report.

Contact hours

Three hours per week (2 one-hour lectures per week (weeks 1-10), 3 hours seminars per week (weeks 11-12), 5 fortnightly research based activities (2 hours each)).


Second year physical geography, earth science, atmospheric science, biology or by permission


GES3890 and ATM3261

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