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Human impact on Earth’s ecosystems has never been greater than today, and it has become clear that humanity now also has an influence Earth’s climate system. In what ways and for how long have we had an impact on the global environment, and how can geological data and models be used for distinguishing this impact from the everlasting and still ongoing climatic and environmental changes caused by natural processes? These are some of the important questions posed in this course, which based on current research provides you with a geological perspective on the global environmental changes that characterise our time.

The course is to a large extent focussed on a field-based research investigation during several days, which gives you practical experience of monitoring series, field observations and geological data collection related to past and ongoing climatic and environmental changes. Data from the fieldwork form the basis for a written assignment, which you also present orally at a seminar. Literature studies, lectures, exercises, and group discussions provide you with in-depth theoretical knowledge and broadening within the subject area.

The course focusses on climate-steering processes and related environmental changes during the Quaternary, but it also considers today’s global change issues from a longer geological perspective. In addition, you will get an introduction to the concept of geosystem services and an insight into current research on the projection of future environmental change, as well as our possibilities of influencing the development to the better. Specific attention is paid to practice in acquiring information from scientific primary publications, as well as oral and written communication in English.

field work

Sampling of natural environmental archives, such as peat successions and lake sediments, can provide us with highly relevant long timeseries for assessment of ongoing climatic and environmental changes.

General information

This is an elective course at advanced level, suitable for inclusion in a MSc. degree in geology. The course is also open to students at advanced level from other scientific disciplines. The course is taught during the second half of the spring term.


Period: Spring semester, second part (VT2), full time studies
Admission requirements: Minimum 90 ECTS credits in Geology, Earth Sciences, or other scientific disciplines. English B (advanced) proficiency.

Application - Non-exchange students
Application - Exchange students

Student Counsellor

Karl Ljung
studievagledare [at] geol [dot] lu [dot] se (studievagledare[at]geol[dot]lu[dot]se)


Course syllabus (pdf, new tab)
Course literature (pdf, new tab)
Course schedule - Note that schedules are only preliminary until one month before course start.
Course analysis (pdf, new tab)

Course coordinator