This is an introductory course designed to provide a broad overview of the physical environments found in Singapore. The emphasis will be on the physical processes by which these environments form, evolve and interact dynamically in the Earth Systems as part of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere and anthrosphere. This course is presented in 4 parts: (i) Singapore and the Earth Systems, (ii) Singapore’s coastal and marine environments, (iii) Singapore’s terrestrial environments and (iv) the future for Singapore. Since Earth Systems Science is interdisciplinary by nature, we will use multi-scientific disciplines, especially geology, chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics. Emphasis will be placed on examining the various environments in the field: to do this the class will be split into two groups. When one group is in the field with a lecturer, the other will be doing personal studies in the lab with a TA.
Courses Offered by ASE
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Singapore Studies - The Physical Environments of Singapore (ES0001)
Introduction to Scientific Writing (ES0138)
This is an introductory course designed to equip students with writing fundamentals, which will be applicable to all future written communication, and which will form the pre-requisite for advanced courses. The emphasis will be on meeting the reader’s basic expectations of where in the text information should appear, and how changes in information placement influence the impact of the text. The course will be highly interactive, and offer students multiple opportunities to write and get feedback on their writing.
Writing Science for Non-Scientists (ES0238)
This course builds on ES0138, and is designed to provide students with tools for writing in a more engaging way. During the course, students will analyze written and spoken texts, and experiment with vocabulary choice, grammatical structures and stylistic features in order to better understand how to craft impactful scientific messages for non-scientists.
E2S2 Environment and Society (ES1001)
This course offers an introduction to environmental social science. We will use case studies to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of an array of theoretical approaches to the interaction of humans with the environment, including anthropology, sociology, economics, game theory, resilience, complexity and systems theory. It is also designed to improve your critical and analytical skills, including library research, critical reading and the creation of effective written and oral presentations.
E2S2 Solid Earth (ES1003)
This is an introductory course designed to provide a broad overview of physical geology. The emphasis is on the materials that comprise the solid earth and the physical processes by which these materials are accumulated and transformed. These processes occur over a wide range of time scales, from seconds (for example, earthquakes) to millions of years (for example, mountain building). In addition, this course provides an overview of the basic scientific methods used by all scientists. Since geology is interdisciplinary in nature, we use other scientific disciplines as well, especially chemistry, physics, and mathematics.
Introductory Field Experience (ES1006)
This is a 2-week field course to Bali, Indonesia. The main objective of this course is to introduce students to the techniques, strategies, and benefits of conducting field research in the earth systems science discipline. Students apply classroom knowledge and problem solving skills to real world examples in the field. Students study Batur Volcano, rice ecology, and coastal and marine ecology.
Global Climate Change: Science, Impacts, Solutions (ES1007)
In this course, students learn how the climate system works, what caused climate change in the past, and how climate is and will be changed by human activity. Students learn about the climate system from both theoretical and observational points of view, and gain basic mathematical skills in the process. With this, students are able to establish a solid understanding on the evolution of past climate, the physical and chemical basis for climate change, and gain awareness of anthropogenic impact on the climate system. At the end of this course, students will be familiar with analytical and mathematical tools to study the climatic state and will be able to link theory to observation-based data.
Computational Earth Systems Science (ES2001)
Introduction to computational data analysis, numerical methods, and visualisation as applied to physical and chemical systems, analysis of experimental data, Monte Carlo numerical experiments, image processing, and geographic information systems (GIS).
Earth Materials (ES2002)
This course will provide students with a background in textures, mineralogy, origins, and occurrences of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. This will include the topics of the most common rock-forming minerals, the physiochemical principles that govern the formation of igneous and metamorphic rocks, rock textures, classification systems of rocks, occurrences and origins of common igneous and metamorphic rocks. This course includes a laboratory section with an emphasis on the identification of rocks and minerals in hand specimen.
E2S2 Biosphere (ES2003)
This class will provide the students with a basic introduction to biological systems and to the origin and evolution of life on our planet, its distribution and the importance of maintaining biodiversity. Teaching material in this course aims at giving second year students a general introduction to the integrated biological and environmental aspects of life on earth with a focus on ecology and conservation. It will highlight some of the key issues with the contemporary world, and how solutions may be found. Throughout the class there will be a focus on the relationships between biological and non-biological components of ecosystems and on the effects of human activity on the biosphere, including, but not limited, to the effects on biodiversity, climate change sustainability and water availability.
Layers and Landforms (ES2004)
This course introduces students to process geomorphology, sedimentology and stratigraphic principles, and provides tools for the interpretation of sediments and sedimentary rocks. The first phase of the course starts with individual grains, sediment composition and sedimentary structures. The second phase moves to the conceptual processes of formation, transport and deposition of sediment. The next section build s on this foundation and is applied to develop conceptual models for the full range of landscapes and sedimentary environments on earth, from desert dunes to deep seas muds and coral reefs to gravel bed rivers. The final phase introduces sequence stratigraphy and sedimentary basin analysis
Introduction to Geological Field Mapping (ES2101)
In groups of 5, students will learn how to work together safely outside in a tropical climate. They will learn how to describe, map and report on igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks found in Batam, Indonesia. Students will apply the theoretical knowledge they acquired during ES1003 about igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, to rocks in the field. They will learn how to describe rocks systematically in a field notebook and how to map them and their contacts on field slips, office maps and final maps as well as how to write a report. This is a 1-week course.
Law & Economics, Sustainable Development, and Environmental Protection (ES2201)
The discipline of Law and Economics and its application of economic analysis to law, provides a useful framework for understanding and evaluating sustainability and environmental policies. Good governance, legal frameworks and incentive structures play important roles in sustainable economic development. This course is designed to give students from all disciplines (economics majors and non-majors) an introduction to law and economics in the context of environmental protection and sustainable development
Global Environmental Politics and Governance (ES2202)
The increasing global population, combined with rising incomes, means the world’s environmental and natural resources are under significant pressure, and environmental politics are now thought of in global terms. Management of the Earth’s natural and environmental assets has become a major global focus. Humans have the capacity to protect, alter or destroy natural resources on a grand scale. Regulators confront trade-offs between human wellbeing and profit, guided by greed, emotion or a moral standing as well as informed management approaches. This course aims to provide students with the tools to be able to apply scientific, political, economic and social knowledge to help society resolve issues surrounding the use of natural resources and the conservation of the environment. This understanding will be crucial for Environmental Science majors who wish to work in Government bodies, NGOs or Private Companies in this field. Students will further their practical knowledge with a field course to better understand the issue of palm oil plantations in SE Asia.
Principles of Heredity and Ecological Genetics (ES2301)
This course introduces the students to the fields of molecular biology and genetics. After covering the basic concepts of replication, transcription and translation it focuses on single gene inheritance and classic Mendelian genetics. Subsequently the course shifts to more complex genetic concepts linking them to ecologically relevant genetic topics such as population genetics and how mutation and repair contribute to the evolution of new traits. This helps the students understand the problems faced by small population sizes, genetic drift and population bottlenecks. Throughout the course the students must attend exercise sessions and have multiple home assignments where the theoretical concepts are explained with practical examples.
Environmental Earth Systems Science Research (ES3008)
The goal of this course is to have students participate in research in close collaboration with a faculty, post-graduate student, or researcher. They will learn laboratory methods, about the scientific method, and about the specific project they are working on. Students will gain a background in a specific scientific problem or research topic, learn about how this will be addressed, and participate in the research required to address this topic. This course will include a self-contained research project that can be completed over one semester. Continuing research over more semesters must include discrete projects that can be part of a greater whole. Students may work on a project designed by their faculty supervisor or of their own design, with approval from their faculty supervisor. As part of this course, students must design a research-style poster for display, and prepare a short presentation regarding their research.
Coupled Human and Natural Systems (ES3201)
This course will cover the key concepts for understanding coupled human and natural systems with two weeks spent each on the social sciences and natural sciences. Next, integrative socio-ecological approaches will be explored, and students will consider the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches. Lessons will be grounded in real-world case studies. Students will use interdisciplinary approaches for their final projects.
Introduction to GIS (ES4009 or AAG23H)
This course introduces the fundamentals of GIS theory and its use for research and study.
Natural Hazards, Climate Change and Society (ES8001)
This course examines the natural and human dimensions of hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, tropical storms, floods, landslides, soil erosion and desertification. Course work focuses on the causes of major natural hazards, as well as their spatial and temporal distribution. Students are also exposed to the assessment of risks posed to society and possibilities for sustainable adaptation.
Environmental Earth Systems Science (ES8005)
This course is designed to be a comprehensive introduction to the Earth and its systems, including the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and solid Earth. The course will focus on the linkages and feedbacks between these systems, and the role of humans in the Earth system. Students will gain a basic understanding of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, solid Earth, and biosphere. They will understand the linkages and feedbacks between these systems, and be able to apply their knowledge to a variety of environmental problems and issues.
Environmental Sustainability (ES8006)
The goal of this course is to provide you with an inter-disciplinary introduction to environmental science with key questions to highlight the interconnections between biological, geological, and chemical processes. We aim to convey the basic science between environmental interactions and place it within the context of human impacts and dependence on the natural world. Understanding how humans interact with the system, manage, and sustain it within the context of our economies, governments, and individual choices will be critical for future thought on environmental science. We will evaluate the problems of environmental science by examining critical issues impacting the health of our population.
GC0001 Introduction to Sustainability: Multidisciplinary Approaches and Solutions (GC0001)
This course is an introduction to sustainability presented in six modules by six different disciplines, as represented by NTU's schools and centres. 1. The ecological basis of the natural environment from a regional and planetary perspective. 2. Key requirements and constraints for social development and survival, including energy, water, and the built environment. 3. The intersection of economic markets and financial systems, both from the perspective of driving growth and consumption, as well as playing a role as incentives for positive change. 4. The political economy framework of global and regional sustainability challenges. 5. The interaction and connectedness between the various single disciplines and themes.