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Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Dr. Yongqiang Zong Department of Geography, University of Durham, UK University of Durham – established.

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Presentation on theme: "Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Dr. Yongqiang Zong Department of Geography, University of Durham, UK University of Durham – established."— Presentation transcript:

1 Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Dr. Yongqiang Zong Department of Geography, University of Durham, UK University of Durham – established in 1832 A collegial university as Cambridge and Oxford Top 10 universities in the UK c. 11,000 undergraduates (about 4000 a year) c postgraduates Durham – a small town in NE of England – c. 50,000 population

2 Geography in secondary schools Compulsory for 11+ to 14+( 初中 ) Main option for 14+ to 16+( 高中 ) among subjects Selective for 16+ to 18+( 大学预科 ) among 3 subjects Geography in universities Three-year courses Each year in the UK, c. 11,000 study geography and environmental sciences as major Durham enrols c. 200 undergraduates a year Three key areas:Human Geography Physical Geography Environmental Management

3 Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Durham Modern geography examines ‘causes and consequences of the environmental and social changes that affect our planet’. Climate change, economic globalization, migration, development and environmental degradation are all profoundly geographical, and relevant to the wider public and policymakers. The future of geography is interdisciplinary. 地理学教学重点

4 Degree Structure in Durham Human Geography – Interface – Physical Geography Social geography Political geography Economic geography Environmental management Risks and hazards Geographic Information Systems Environmental Remote Sensing Environmental change in the past Global climate change Fluvial systems Lectures, fieldwork and laboratory experiments Course work (40%), dissertation (20%), final exam (40%)

5 Aims of teaching and learning (希望学生学到) : Emphasis on problem-solving ability, instead of knowledge Radiocarbon dating – advantages and limitations Global warming – possibilities and uncertainties Investment – environmental, social, political and economical risks Emphasis on interdisciplinary, instead of single discipline River flow, flood risk, perceptions and policies Sea-level and coastal change, urban and industrial development, hazards Social diversity, integration and equality in given cities or regions Gated communities (social elites) and racial tensions (migrant workers) Think globally and work locally, upscale and downscale The meaning of global warming to a small town / a large city The impacts of economic globalization to a region Connectivity of monsoonal climate to other climate systems

6 Transferable skills (可转换技能) : The ability to critically examine current theories and evidence that support the theories The ability to critically evaluate the advantages and limitations of any technologies and methods The ability to identify sources of errors of any data sets and the implications of these errors in the interpretation of these data The ability to present strong arguments

7 Evaluate the reliability of radiocarbon dates from benthic foraminifera or from terrestrial peat. (以有孔虫或泥炭为例,评价碳 14 测年的可靠性) Discuss the relevance of GIS technology for marketing studies. (讨论地理信息系统应用在市场分析上的可用性) Evaluate the ethical implications of the use of GI and GIS in contemporary society. (评价地理信息和地理信息系统应用到当代社会所遇到的 道德问题) Exam questions for Level 2

8 Research Methodology for Geography Key Aims and Objectives Research design Data construction and interpretation Presentation of research findings Appraisal and evaluation of research results Acquire technical competence in research methods

9 Research Methodology for Geography Inductive methods ( 归纳法 ) Qualitative, non-systematic, progressive Deductive methods ( 推论法 ) Quantitative and systematic

10 A Systematic Approach to Research Design (Deductive Methods) 1.Identify a broad area of study 2.Select the research topic 3.Decide the approach 4.Formulate the plan 5. Collect the data or information 6.Analyse and interpret the data/information 7.Evaluation of the findings Planning Phase Vital in managing a research project (reduces uncertainty) Implementation Phase Care for every steps

11 Looking for a Topic Source of Ideas 1.Past dissertations and theses 2.Journal articles 3.Reports 4.Books and book reviews (The above requires use of library resources) 5. Lectures, seminars tutorials 6.Communication with experts in the field 7.Discussions with others 8.The media (newspapers, TV, web)

12 Process of Topic Selection Identify broad area of study Initial selection of topic Is topic feasible? Has it got sufficient value and scope? Acceptable topic Can topic be appropriately refined? Yes No

13 Value of Research: Undergraduate level – demonstration of research competence + problem solving ability ( 了解基本方法 ) Master level – same as above, but in a specialised subject area PhD level – ability to conduct an independent research in a specialised subject area ( 独立科研能力,对学科的了解和对技术的掌握 )

14 Deductive Methods Research hypothesis ( 科学假设 ) Repeating research in different locations Applicability of research ideas Repeating research using different techniques Applicability of alterative techniques Finding discrepancy from previous research Alternative explanations Testing theoretical models Reprehensive of the models

15 Earthquake Deformation Cycles Evidence? How is the cycle recorded in sedimentary records? Theoretical hypothesis

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17 Girdwood Flat Turnagain Arm, Cook Inlet, Alaska Marsh surface 850 years BP Marsh surface at 1964

18 Research hypothesis: Earthquake deformation cycles are recorded in sedimentary records within the subsidence areas. Diatom-based techniques can be used for reconstruction of land movements associated with large plate-boundary earthquakes. Research questions: How precise are the diatom-based techniques for such environmental reconstruction? ( 准确度 ) What are the pre-requisites for such techniques to be applied successfully? ( 应用的前提 )

19 Large Earthquakes and Tsunamis The 1964 Alaskan Earthquake Magnitude > 9 Seismic subsidence Tsunami?

20 Field and Laboratory Methods: Relationship between diatoms (硅藻) and ground altitudes across tidal flats Shallow cores in appropriate sites - accessibility Close sampling across sediment sequences associated with the earthquake cycle Diatom-altitude transfer function (转换系数) Modern diatom / altitude = fossil diatom / palaeo-altitude Dating Cs measurement

21 Navicula peregrina Thalassionema nitzschiodes Odentella rhombus Rhaphoneis psammicola Paralia sulcata Thalassiosira eccentrica Navicula halophila Delphineis surirella Navicula cryptocephala Navicula cari var cincta Navicula heufleri Navicula begeri Luticola mutica Navicula phyllepta Nitzschia thermalis Nitzschia obtusa Navicula protracta Navicula clementis Pinnularia lagerstedtii Navicula brockmannii Tabellaria flocculosa Nitzschia fruticosa Achnanthes minutissima Nitzschia pusilla Pinnularia microstauron Navicula variostriata Nitzschia palustris Navicula pupula Eunotia lunalis Diploneis ovalis Eunotia exigua Pinnularia subcapitata Frustulia rhomboides Ground height (m MLLW) Diatom Taxa Optima (WA) and Tolerances (WSD) across tidal flats

22 GIRDWOOD FLATS, ALASKA Core Actinoptychus senarius 20 Odentella rhombus 20 Cocconeis peltoides 2040 Delphineis surirella 2040 Paralia sulcata Thalassionema nitzschioides Thalassionsira eccentrica Navicula cari var. cincta 20 Navicula pupula 20 Nitzschia fruticosa 20 Pinnularia lagerstedii 2040 Achnanthes minutissima 20 Eunotia lunaris 20 Eunotia pectinalis Eunotia exigua Marine water Brackish water 20 Freshwater salt-tolerant Freshwater indifferent Freshwater salt-intolerant Altitude (m, MLLW) 12 Error (m) cm 2040 Alnus 2040 Betula Picea Empetrum 20 Myrica 20 Cyperaceae 2040 Gramineae Triglochin 20 Filicales 2040 Sphagnum LOI (%) cm Diatoms Pollen

23 Multiple earthquake events Repeated analysis at adjacent sites Improved modern data set

24 Deductive Methods Data collection and evaluation ( 资料收集和评价 ) Definition – environmental proxies (what do the data represent?) Errors – accuracy (validity) precision (variability) Sampling –systematic (general trends) target (events) random (statistics) Practicality and awareness

25 Deductive Methods Evaluation of findings ( 对结果的评估 ) Implications and significance Comparison with previous studies Limitations – results and methods Uncertainty – possible other explanations Hypothesis, methods, data, evaluation

26 Usefulness of an undergraduate degree in geography – job opportunities 5-10% --- postgraduate research c. 20% --- teaching in secondary schools c. 70% --- finance, law, accounting, industry, commerce Bright and smart Know how to study Good at communication


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