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Modelling is a fundamental component of Environmental Science, being used for prediction, monitoring, auditing, evaluation, and assessment. This subject introduces students to a wide range of models used by environmental scientists including models of climate change, population dynamics, pollution, hydrology, habitat and species distributions. Both deterministic and stochastic models are used as examples. The subject explains how to develop conceptual models that can then be quantified and analysed using mathematical and statistical methods. Topics covered include development of the basic model structure, estimation of parameters and calibration, methods of analysis, sensitivity analysis, model evaluation and model refinement. The subject teaches students how to simplify apparently complex problems.
Intended learning outcomes
The subject aims to provide students with the ability to:
- Articulate the role of modelling in environmental science;
- Describe and evaluate a range of environmental models in use and choose an appropriate modelling framework for a particular environmental problem; and
- Analyse models of environmental systems and processes.
Generic skills gained from this subject include:
- Synthesis of information from a range of sources;
- Appropriate simplification of complex problems to make them amenable to analysis;
- High level written communication and presentation skills;
- High level oral communication and presentation skills;
- The ability to exercise critical judgement, think rigorously and independently, account for decisions, and solve problems; and
- Application of advanced analytical methods.
Last updated: 31 January 2024