Return to course offering list for 145.320

145.320 Quaternary Biogeography and Environmental Change (15 credits)

This course examines how we strive to understand the future of our environment, on a local to global scale, by investigating environmental evolution and change in the past, making extensive use of lab work.

Details Details

  • Year: 2017
  • Mode: Internal
  • Semester: Semester Two full semester
  • Location: Manawatu Campus
  • Coordinator: Dr Katherine Holt
  • Subject: Geography
  • College: College of Sciences

Online component Details

  • Online component: Partially Taught Online - As part of the course is taught online, Broadband access is required. In addition to accessing the Course Guide, students will be required to access core and supplementary digital study resources, contribute to discussion fora and complete online activities and assessment tasks. Core study resources that can be published in print will be supplied to the students who request them. Learn more about Stream, our online learning environment.

Requirements Requirements help


  • Start Date: Monday 17 July, 2017
  • End date: Wednesday 15 November, 2017

Withdrawal dates Requirements help

The last day to withdraw from this course:

  • Without financial penalty: Monday 31 July, 2017
  • Without academic penalty: Monday 16 October, 2017

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course should be able to:

  1. Discuss the role of biotic and abiotic palaeoenvironmental information extracted from Quaternary palaeoenvironmental archives in improving our knowledge of biogeography and climate change in the past, and discuss the societal relevance of this knowledge.
  2. Discuss the role and use of palaeoenvironmental proxy information in a range of applied fields, including natural hazard analysis, aquatic ecosystem health, and anthropogenic landscape disturbance.
  3. Critically appraise the range of biotic and abiotic Quaternary environmental proxies and their advantages and limitations in palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, with particular emphasis on pollen/palynology.
  4. Evaluate the potential of different sites for palaeoenvironmental analyses, and describe appropriate sampling methods suitable for use at a range of different sites.
  5. Discuss the influence of Quaternary environmental and climate change on both Quaternary and contemporary biogeography.
  6. Communicate the results of laboratory-based palaeoenvironmental analyses effectively in written, oral and diagrammatic form.

Please note: Learning Outcomes are subject to change until the beginning of the semester in which the course is delivered.


During this course, the following assessments will contribute to your final mark.

Assessment Weighting Note
1 Individual Project/Assignment 5.0%
2 Individual Project/Assignment 5.0%
3 Individual Project/Assignment 5.0%
4 Individual Project/Assignment 5.0%
5 Individual Project/Assignment 30.0%
6 Invigilated Examination 50.0%

Please note: Assessment weightings are subject to change until the beginning of the semester in which the course is delivered.

* Specific dates for assessments will be finalised in information provided on Stream at the start of the Course.


There are no set texts for this course.

More information...

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