School of Environment


Earth Sciences Stage III courses

At Stage III, you should specialise in particular topic areas within Earth Sciences. With this in mind, we offer you a selection of advanced courses.

EARTHSCI 301: Advanced Geological Skills and Methods


Advanced field course allows students to attain the high level of geological field skills, through a series of integrative field problems. Focus on advanced field skills, work flows and interpretations needed to decipher complex geological terrains. Examination of a range of sedimentary and igneous units in the North Island. Critically examine outcrops and develop complex 4D models of tectonostratigraphic and volcanological evolution in a variety of settings. Field exercises culminate in individual mapping exercises and synthesis of the geological histories of areas.

This course is taught in: Summer Semester, City Campus (SS C)

Format: This course runs in two compulsory field trips: 26-31 January and 9-14 February
Points: 15
Assessment:
100% coursework
Prerequisites:
EARTHSCI 201 and 30 points from EARTHSCI 202 - 204
Course coordinator: Paul Augustinus and Shane Cronin

EARTHSCI 301: Advanced Geological Skills and Methods
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EARTHSCI 303: Sedimentary Paleoenvironments


Advanced course that critically examines an array of ancient sedimentary environments from the geologic record. Reconstruction of sedimentary paleoenvironments utilises a multi-proxy approach, incorporating facies analysis, taxonomy, paleoecology, taphonomy, geostatistics and sequence stratigraphy. Paleontological and sedimentological case studies are examined and integrated exercises used to interpret complex 3D and 4D dynamic environmental models.

This course is taught in: First Semester, City Campus (S1 C).

Format: two 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week, plus two 1-day field trips
Points:
15
Assessment:
60% coursework, 40% final examination
Prerequisite:
Any 30 points at Stage II in Earth Sciences or Biological Sciences, plus an understanding equivalent to EARTHSCI 202 will be assumed
Restriction:
GEOLOGY 303
Course coordinator: 
Lorna Strachan

 

EARTHSCI 303: Sedimentary Paleoenvironments
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EARTHSCI 304: Geochemistry and Petrology


An introduction to geochemistry and its broad applications including Solar System formation, Earth evolution, geochronology, mountain-building, paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, archeology, tracing the life histories of animals, forensic science and medical geology. Includes how the generation, modification and eruption of magmas can be constrained from mineralogical, chemical and isotopic studies.

This course is taught in: First Semester, City Campus (S1 C).

Format: three 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour lab per week, plus two 1-day field trips
Points: 15
Assessment: 50% coursework, 50% final examination
Prerequisite: EARTHSCI 203 or GEOLOGY 203, plus 30 points from EARTHSCI 201-263, GEOG 260-263, GEOLOGY 201-205
Restriction:
GEOLOGY 304
Course coordinator: 
Joel Baker

EARTHSCI 304: Geochemistry, Petrology and Volcanology
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EARTHSCI 305: Tectonics and Geodynamics


Causes and effects of motions of the Earth's lithosphere drawn from across geosciences. Exposure to seminal literature covering various geological, geophysical and modelling tools and methods used for deciphering deformation at divergent and convergent plate margins. Provides a strong foundation in tectonophysics and experience in critical evaluation of the scientific literature.

This course is taught in: Second Semester, City Campus (S2 C).

Format: two 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour laboratory per week
Points: 15
Assessment: 50% coursework, 50% final examination
Prerequisite: EARTHSCI 204 or GEOLOGY 204
Restriction: GEOLOGY 305
Course coordinator:  Jennifer Eccles

EARTHSCI 305: Earth Deformation
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EARTHSCI 306: Applied Earth Sciences


An advanced undergraduate capstone course in Earth Sciences that builds on the principles and concepts taught in Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Geology, Geophysics and Physical Geography and offers a series of flexible 3-week modules that students can take in applied and vocationally relevant topics in the Earth Sciences. Students will be required to take a minimum of three modules and also undertake a further module of independently driven learning to successfully pass the course.

This course is taught in: Second Semester, City Campus (S2 C).

Format: two 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour lab per week
Points: 15
Assessment: 50% coursework, 50% final examination
Prerequisite: 45 points from EARTHSCI 201-263, GEOG 260-263, GEOLOGY 201-205
Restriction:
GEOLOGY 306
Course coordinator:   Ludmila Adam

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EARTHSCI 307: Dynamic Quaternary Environments


 

An advanced understanding of the evolution and variability of climate and environment during the Quaternary Period (last 2.6 million years). The focus of the course is on the identification of these and the use of biological, physical and geochemical proxy methods. The topic is multi-disciplinary and will examine aspects of paleoceanography, sea-level change, paleoglaciology, paleohydrology, paleoecology, paleolimnology, dendroclimatology and speleothems.

This course is taught in: First Semester, City campus (S1 C)

Format: Three 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour laboratory per week
Points:
15
Assessment:
50% coursework (essay and exercises), 50% final examination
Prerequisites:
45 points at Stage II, including 15 points from EARTHSCI 201, 202, GEOG 260-263, GEOLOGY 201, 202, or equivalent
Course coordinator: 
Paul Augustinus

 

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EARTHSCI 330: Research Methods in Physical Geography


Research design and associated research methods from the component fields of physical geography. A residential field trip forms a focus for the course. On this trip, students will work under supervision in small groups and apply selected research methods and techniques to a research project. Fieldwork will be followed by the development and presentation of the research project.

This course is taught in: Second Semester, City Campus (S2 C).

Format: Three 1-hour lectures, plus a 2-hour tutorial in week 10; plus a five day field trip during the mid-semester break
Points: 15
Assessment: 100% coursework (details of the coursework will be advised at the start of the course)
Suitability: Suitable for students wishing to specialise in physical geography, environmental or data analysis
Methods: Selected physical geography field and laboratory techniques for data collection and analysis
Prerequisite: 75 points above Stage I, including at least 15 points from EARTHSCI 201, 260-262, GEOG 260-262, GEOLOGY 201
Restriction:
GEOG 330
Course coordinator: Murray Ford

EARTHSCI 330: Research Methods in Physical Geography
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EARTHSCI 360: Climate and Ocean Processes*


An examination of the climate system and the processes that determine global balances. The structure and circulation of the atmosphere and ocean will be presented and the ways in which they interact to create climate variability will be discussed. Material will also include techniques used to measure and model the climate system.

*This course is not offered in 2018.

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EARTHSCI 361: Exploration Geophysics


Introduction to geophysical methods and their applications. The course will provide a comprehensive overview on seismic methods, an introduction to gravity, electric, magnetic, electromagnetic, and radar techniques, and a short overview on other methods. Applications include hydrocarbon exploration, mineral exploration, studies of the shallow sub-surface and the deep Earth.

This course is taught in: First Semester, City Campus (S1 C).

Format: two 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour lab per week, plus a 1-day field trip
Points: 15
Assessment: 60% coursework (laboratories and fieldwork), 40% final examination
Prerequisite: 15 points from EARTHSCI 201-204, GEOLOGY 201-204, PHYSICS 230, 231
Note:
EARTHSCI 204 is recommended
Restriction:
GEOLOGY 361, GEOPHYS 361
Course coordinator: 
Ingo Pecher

EARTHSCI 361: Exploration Geophysics
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EARTHSCI 372: Engineering Geology


An integration of quantitative and qualitative concepts in geology as applied to engineering projects. Fundamentals of soil and rock mechanics will be introduced. Topics covered in the course include landslides, dewatering schemes, contaminant transport, foundations, mines (open-pit and underground), dams, tunnels, urban geology, and transportation infrastructures. Case studies are used in lectures to demonstrate the importance of geology and water to engineering projects. Fieldwork is required.

This course is taught in: Second Semester, City Campus (S2 C).

Format: three 1-hour lectures and two 2-hour laboratories per week
Points: 15
Assessment: 50% coursework (based on field and laboratory exercises), 50% final examination
Prerequisite: CIVIL 220 or EARTHSCI 201 or GEOLOGY 201, and 30 points from EARTHSCI 201-263, GEOG 260-263, GEOLOGY 202-205
Restriction: CIVIL 726, GEOLOGY 372
Course coordinator:
Martin Brook 

EARTHSCI 372: Engineering Geology
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GEOG 331: Fluvial Geomorphology


An integrated study of hydrological and fluvial processes in a river basin context. Content includes examination of the water balance, run off generating processes and river hydrology, integrated with investigation of sediment sources and transport and resulting deposits. Scientific principles are applied to selected practical problems. There is a fieldtrip associated with this course

This course is taught in: First Semester, City Campus (S1 C)

Format: one 2-hour and one 1-hour lecture per week, plus four 2-hour labs
Points: 15
Assessment: 40% coursework, 60% final examination
Prerequisite: 45 points at Stage II, including 15 points from EARTHSCI 260-263, GEOG 201, GEOG 260-263, or equivalent
Course coordinator:  Jon Tunnicliffe

 

GEOG 331: Fluvial Geomorphology
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GEOG 332: Climate and Environment


An exploration of the nature of atmospheric processes that affect our climatic environment, at a range of temporal and spatial scales, with a focus on applications and contemporary issues. The course is divided into sections in which lectures are provided by staff with research expertise and interest in the topics covered. Themes covered in the course include selected topics in applied climatology, urban climates, boundary layer processes and bioclimatology.

This course is taught in: First Semester, City Campus (S1 C)

Format: one 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour lecture per week, plus one 2-hour laboratory per week
Points: 15
Assessment: 40% coursework, 60% final examination
Prerequisite: 45 points at Stage II, including 15 points from EARTHSCI 260-263, GEOG 201, GEOG 260-263, or equivalent
Course coordinator: 
Jennifer Salmond

GEOG 332: Climate and Environment
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GEOG 334: Environmental Change


An exploration of the nature and causes of change in selected aspects of the physical environment. Key themes are: a) natural processes driving environmental change and variability; b) humans as agents of change, and; c) biophysical and societal sensitivity to change. Course content will include past, present, and future interactions between society and environmental change, with examples primarily drawn from climatology, hydrology/water resources, and ecology.

This course is taught in: Second Semester, City Campus (S2 C)

Format: three 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour laboratory per week
Points:
15
Assessment:
40% coursework, 60% final examination
Prerequisite:
45 points at Stage II, including 15 points from EARTHSCI 260-263, GEOG 201, GEOG 260-263, or equivalent
Course coordinator:  Anthony Fowler

GEOG 334: Environmental Change
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GEOG 351: Coastal and Marine Studies


This course focuses on the development of coastal landforms across a range of temporal and spatial scales. It introduces natural processes such as waves, tides and circulation, as well as geological-scale coastal evolution driven by changes in sea level and sediment supply. The course has an applied focus with specific emphasis on coastal management problems that affect society. Issues considered include coastal erosion during storms, the impacts of shoreline engineering, climate change and accelerating sea level rise.

This course is taught in: First Semester, City Campus (S1 C).

Format: three 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour laboratory per week; plus a compulsory field trip will be held on two days at the end of week 2 or 3 (depending on tidal conditions)
Points: 15
Assessment: 40% coursework (two labs 20%, two tests 10% each), 60% final examination
Prerequisite: 45 points at Stage II, including 15 points from EARTHSCI 260-263, GEOG 201, GEOG 260-263, or equivalent
Course coordinator: 
Murray Ford

GEOG 351: Coastal and Marine Studies
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