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Recent geological histories of Canterbury will be investigated via a lab-based collaborative research project utilizing palaeontological data along with sedimentological and chemical records. It is recommended for all students interested in palaeontology, environmental science or Quaternary sciences.
Interpreting recent geological histories from sediment records requires a multiproxy approach. This course will be focussed by location based field sampling and an overarching research question for which students will undertake individual research projects that deliver information toward the overall class project question. The overall project will vary year to year and examples may include recent geological histories of Ihutai | Avon-Heathcote Estuary or Whakaraupō | Lyttelton Harbour, or other locations within the Canterbury region. It is recommended for all students interested in palaeontology, environmental science and Quaternary sciences. Projects may centre around marine or terrestrial palaeontological, sedimentological or geochemical proxies, and are intended for students with a background in geology or any physical or chemical science subject. Through these projects students will gain skills in the collection and analysis of detailed geological data, develop an understanding of the reconstruction of past environments from a variety of palaeontological proxies, and appreciate the impacts of depositional processes on the quality and applicability of fossil data. Students will gain practical experience in spoken communication through formal presentations of their individual projects. Projects will be supported by fortnightly lectures and class discussion, as a means of developing critical assessment.
TOPICSDating techniquesLocation relevant European and Māori histories and eventsLocation relevant Quaternary geological events such as tsunami, seismic or fluvial/sedimentary events.Terrestrial proxies relevant to Quaternary ScienceShallow marine proxies relevant to Quaternary SciencePalaeontological data analysisLEARNING OUTCOMESCommunicate and defend the interpretation of an aspect of Canterbury Quaternary historyApply discipline relevant skills in a specific topic relevant to the interpretation of the geological recordBe adequately informed to design a project of work to extract geological histories from sedimentary recordsDistinguish pre-human, Māori and European sedimentary record signals in Canterbury sedimentsEvaluate selected dating techniques that can be applied to Quaternary sediments. Formulate a geological history as a part of a multidisciplinary collaborative group.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Biculturally competent and confident
Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Subject to the approval of Head of School
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Week Week starting LECTURES (1 hour) LABS (3 hours)8 21st Feb Class meeting & site introduction, Weekend field trip to collect core European and Māori histories 9 28th Feb Principles of stratigraphy Guided project work (for students without a (core description & sampling) geology background) 10 7th March Canterbury Quaternary records Guided project work11 14th March Marine micropal proxies Guided project work Research proposal due12 21st March Terrestrial micropal proxies Project work13 28th March Project work Draft methods and intro due14 4th April Preliminary presentations Project work SEMESTER BREAK 18 2nd May Dating Project work19 9th May Project work 20 16th May Data analysis Project work Results and analysis section due21 23rd May Project presentations (2hours) Project work22 30th May Final project paper due
There is no required textbook, students will be directed to relevant reading.
Prerequisites: The course is open to all students with a background in geology or any other physical science.
Domestic fee $1,150.00
International Postgraduate fees
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
School of Earth and Environment on the
departments and faculties