Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


The course comprises an 8 day intensive field trip to the Southern Island of New Zealand and a Laboratory project. Students will engage in observation of evidences of past climate changes, glacial cycles, modern glacier fluctuations and the effects of "geology in action" on the landscape of the last 2 million years. Students should acquire field and laboratory skills on methods of past climate and environmental change investigation, and should become familiar with concepts such as timing, extent and propagation of these changes. In the field, students will become familiar with scientific debate, diverse approaches to interpretation of data, independent and critical thinking. The course is a benchmark for understanding natural causes of global, hemispheric and regional changes and the implications they have on the current trend of anthropogenically-influenced change.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2018.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Develop theoretical and practical skills for the purpose of reconstruction of past climate and environmental changes

2. Develop skills in site selection, site characterisation, sediment core recovery and Quaternary sediment description

3. Develop skills in reconstructing landscape evolution within a framework which examines tectonics, natural climate changes as well as human impact.

4. Develop skills in writing a report in scientific and professionally acceptable language

5. Develop skills in self-appraisal through peer review process and presentation


The major topics covered are;

  • Field evidences of past climate changes
  • Site selections, characterisation and sample identification skills
  • Sedimentary evidences of climate change
  • Quaternary landscape in a tectonically active area
  • Causes of climate change
  • Critical evaluation of theories

Assumed knowledge

GEOS1040 or GEOS1050


GEOS2050 or GEOS2200

Assessment items

Presentation: Presentation of field trip report

Quiz: Field Trip Quiz

Report: Field Trip Report of 3000 words

Written Assignment: Peer Review of research paper

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Field Study: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory safety and/or fieldwork induction.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.