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  UGEB 2240 世界自然奇觀
Natural Wonders of the World

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Course Description
Number of Units: 3
Lecture Hours: 3 hours/week + tutorials
Course Teacher: Prof. Lai Yuk Fo, Derrick (
Language of Instruction: Cantonese  
Course Outline
For many of us, the natural wonders of our planet are well known, for example, Antarctica, the Amazon Forests, the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon. Yet, few people really understand their formation and presence. Therefore, this course will introduce students to the concepts and processes of environmental change, including plate tectonics, climatic variation, desertification, oceanic and atmospheric circulation, erosion, river sedimentation as well as land degradation and global warming. ‘Natural Wonders of the World’ adopts a scientific approach to help students understand both the natural and human-induced processes of environmental change behind some of the planet’s most famous natural landscapes, landforms and natural phenomena. An integrated approach to the basic physical processes that shape the planet, including the geological, atmospheric, hydrological and ecological, will be emphasized. Students will also gain an understanding of the varying importance of these "wonders" in shaping the environment on a regional and global scale. The course is designed around the four themes of: (i) the processes and patterns of landscape formation; (ii) the varying scales of sites on the regional and global environment; (iii) the combination of natural and human-induced environmental change; and, (iv) the methods and challenges of protecting natural wonders. In addition to examining the dual processes of natural and human-induced environmental change, the students’ negative preconceptions of volcanic eruptions, monsoons, climatic variation and erosion will be challenged. Finally, a deeper understanding of how human activities are changing these natural phenomena and how they can be protected will be discussed.
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Course Highlights
1. Tropical rainforest
2. The Great Barrier Reef
3. Deserts
4. Wonderful soils
5. Plains and plateaus
6. Oceans
7. Meteorites and impacts
8. Volcanoes
9. Earthquakes
10. Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls
11. Karstic Landforms
12. Ice Cap and Glaciers
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Please also refer to the information in the Office of University General Education and CUHK Undergraduate Handbook
(Select Curriculum and then Course Details)