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The University of Southampton

GEOG2039 Concepts and Methods for Environmental Management

Module Overview

The module takes a problem-based approach in which students are exposed to a real world environmental management challenge and are taught the skills necessary to understand and quantify the key physical parts of the landscape system that contribute to the problem. The module will teach students a range of desk-based and laboratory skills built around the sedimentation of Poole Harbour. Key stakeholders will help students frame the management challenge, whilst academics and technicians will provide frameworks and technical skills necessary to build a conceptual model of the critical factors influencing sedimentation of the harbour. The choice of site demands an understanding of the connected nature of sediment systems; including fluvial, aeolian, coastal and estuarine. The students will have the opportunity to apply GIS, Remote Sensing and laboratory analyses within a conceptual modelling framework centred on quantifying the contributions from the different process domains affecting sedimentation of the harbour. Using this conceptual model student will form initial management relevant recommendations. Subsequently in GEOG2038, students will build on their conceptual modelling and setup a numerical model, using this tool to explore scenarios of change at management appropriate timescales. Pre-requisite for GEOG3011 One of the pre-requisites for GEOG2038

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the issues associated with the management of complex environmental systems, and Poole harbour specifically.
  • Appreciate the key components of conceptual models of sediment systems (Source-sink, sediment budget).
  • Be able to demonstrate how to characterise different elements of a sediment budget.
  • Be proficient in quantitatively and graphically present data derived from mapping, remote sensing and laboratory analyses.


The module will build of principles taught in GEOG1002, and combine theory and practical analysis of data to: • quantify and characterise changes in landscape scale properties • characterise individual process domains (e.g. coastal, fluvial, aeolian) • review existing documentation and define the key environmental management issues. Students will also undertake the following practical elements: • Develop a conceptual sediment budget model of a coupled landscape system (Poole Harbour). • Assess outputs quantitatively and using high quality maps and figures. • Establish the relative magnitude of past catchment management. • Synthesize and present evidence of key processes underpinning a contemporary environmental management problem.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will consist of lecture based theory supported by field, laboratory and desk based practical classes. The material will be delivered so that a preceding lecture covers the material relevant to the next practical, ensuring that students are practising what they are hearing in the lecture room. Field classes will (tbc) involve discussion with stakeholders (e.g. Wessex Water/Poole Harbour Commission) regarding the environmental management issues associated with Poole Harbour, and will also introduce the students to the differing environments of the Poole Harbour catchment and estuary. Learning will be supported by feedback on summative assessments throughout the module (e.g. practical worksheets), and will support the cohort moving forward to GEOG2038 in Semester 2. PGR demonstrators will offer practical assistance and advice during the practical classes and additional small group meetings with academics will be incorporated within these sessions as required to support group presentations.

Independent Study112
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Group presentation  (7 minutes) 20%
Individual report  (3000 words) 80%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: GEOG1002 or GEOG1001

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