This unit can be seen as three interconnected streams. A lecture stream will give a broad overview of the topics, provide background information and introduce new ideas and concepts that link in with the laboratory practical and case study streams.
There will be one case study submitted in parts throughout the semester. The case study is an extended enquiry into a real geo-scientific problem. This problem is different to the ones that you would typically find in textbooks, and more closely resembles the investigations that scientists face in the real world, with many interacting factors and a number of possible solutions.
The case study will allow you to explore the ideas in depth and will provide an effective and, we hope, enjoyable method of learning. There is also the added benefit of providing you with opportunities to develop generic skills and graduate capabilities such as problem solving, teamwork, communication, accessing and evaluating information and in using scientific approaches to solve problems.
You will be working individually for the case study, both in attempting to solve the problem and to produce a final report. However, you are encouraged to consult with others in the class and to help each other with the work, although, final reports should be done individually. You will be expected to do substantial research outside of the scheduled time (e.g. library and/or web-based literature search, data processing and plotting).
Technology that we will use involves laboratory equipment including petrographic microscopes and geochemical instruments housed in Macquarie Geoanalytical.
According to Macquarie University guidelines, you are required to spend 39 hours of study percredit point. For GEOS207 this works out to approximately four hours per week at the lecture/laboratory sessions, and approximately six hours per week doing at home study. Conscientious use of this time, particularly if it is spread over the whole semester will provide its reward.