Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Scienze
A.A. 2016/2017
Credits 6
Hours 48
Period 2^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code SM02 W000020


Basic knowledge on Geology and Stratigraphy topics.

Development of the course

The course will include both theoretical lessons (5 credits, 40 hours) and laboratory practical works carried out individually or in small classes and field trip exercises (1 credits, 8 hours). During the course the educational activity will be supported also by the e-learning platform (Moodle platform) containing: teaching materials, numerical exercises, instructions for laboratory exercises, reservation for laboratory exercises, restricted area for insertion of lab reports, attendance in class and in the laboratory, the test results.

Learning outcomes

The course will concern significant aspects of sedimentology in the marine environment with particular attention to the description of marine sedimentary environments, the abiotic factors controlling the dynamics of the sediments and the most important organisms forming with their biomass part of the sediments and participating in biogeochemical cycles of the planet. The course enables students to acquire the basic knowledge on the sediment classification according to their texture and sedimentary process that generated them.
Simultaneously it provides students with the knowledge of some global environmental topics in relation to climate change and its influence on past and modern environments and regional topics relating to coastal erosion and its environmental and social impact.

Ability to apply the knowledge:
The student must acquire the following professional skills: ability to perform basic sedimentological laboratory analysis (grain size analysis of sediments, recognizing types of principal sediments, preparation of sediment samples by washing) in the context of an environmental monitoring or ecological research, including the phase of field sampling.

Soft skills:
The execution of individual and group laboratory analysis and the relative report on the experience that students have to produce, will help them to improve both their independence and their ability to communicate and work in a team such as the ability to learn independently and resume the principal topics of the course.


-Main topics on stratigraphy and geology.
-Types of sediments and their regime: the siliciclastic sediments and sedimentary process that generated them; chemical sediments.
-The sedimentary environments: marine and transitional sedimentary environments; coastal dynamics.
-Major biogeochemical processes in marine sediments.
-Marine sediments and organisms that constitute them.
-Sampling methods and the sediment in the legislative framework.
-Applications: the study of past sediments as a function of climate and environmental changes; the sediment dynamics on the coastal erosion; sediment in environmental monitoring.

Lab practice
Preparation of the sediment sample. Grain size analysis of a sediment sample. Preparation and processing of the dataset for the grain size distribution analysis. Calculation of the main statistical parameters. Recognition of a sediment sample using a stereomicroscope. Recognition of benthic calcareous meiofauna. At the end of the practical lessons, the student will compile a report relating to the laboratory activities and, presenting, for each experience, the obtained data and the calculated analytical results and discussion / interpretation of the same.
Field/Practical trip on Monte Conero.

Development of the examination

Methods for assessing learning outcomes:
The exam consists of a written questionnaire and the subsequent review/discussion of the questions. There will be 30 questions divided between open questions and multiple choice. Each question has a score between zero and one. There will be also the possibility of an oral exam covering all the topics of the course. The exam is passed when the final score is greater than or equal to 18.

Criteria for assessing learning outcomes: 
In the written test (and possibly oral), students should demonstrate to know the main subjects of the course as well as their applications in environmental and marine biology. They must also demonstrate to know the scientific language of the study matter and to achieve the ability to apply the knowledge acquired during the training and the ability to draw critically, independently and/or in group, a test report.

Criteria for measuring learning outcomes:
The final score is in thirtieth. The exam is passed when the score is greater than or equal to 18. Worthy students can be awarded with the maximum score (30 cum laude).

Criteria for conferring final mark:
The final score is given by adding the evaluation of the written questionnaire to the oral procedure (if necessary maximum two points).
Being an integrated course, the finale score is assigned by evaluating the results of both modules Praise is attributed when the score obtained from the previous sum exceeds the value of 30 and the student has demonstrated fully master of both modules.

Recommended reading

Notes and Books
- Sedimentologia, volume 1 e volume 3di Ricci Lucchi Franco. 1980, 548 p., ill. CLUEB Editore
- I ritmi del Mare. Sedimenti e dinamica delle acque di Ricci Lucchi Franco. 1992, 256 ill. Carocci Editore.
- Capire la Terra di Frank Press, Raymond Siever, John Grotzinger, Thomas H Jordan
Seconda edizione italiana condotta sulla quarta edizione americana. Trad. di P. Fredi, revisione di E. Lupia Palmieri e M. Parotto. 2006, 451 ill. Zanichelli Editore

  • Biologia marina

Università Politecnica delle Marche
P.zza Roma 22, 60121 Ancona
Tel (+39) 071.220.1, Fax (+39) 071.220.2324
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