Physical Processes of Coastal Environments

Core Course | 4 ECTS | Course: CMM 02

Instructor: David Didier

Course Catalog Description

About the Course

The course focuses on oceanic and coastal environments, emphasising the relationship between physical processes and management strategies. The physical environment, i.e. waves, currents, sediment movement, beaches, erosion/deposition mechanisms, as well as potential consequences of sea-level rise and global warming, is integrated with anthropogenic dimensions, i.e. usage, coastal defence, pollution (e.g. persistent marine debris) and resource exploitation. The course also gives students an understanding of the consequences of human interactions with both marine and coastal environments as well as an introduction to quantitative techniques for data processing, measuring and data presentation in the field of coastal and marine management.

Instructor

I am a coastal geomorphologist and professor in geography at the Université du Québec à Rimouski. My research focuses on coastal morphodynamics and hazards in cold regions, where beaches and bluffs are frozen (or thawed) for several months. The human dimension of the coastal environment is an integrated part of my Northern and Arctic Coastal Research Lab, and knowledge co-production always plays an important part of my core research program. I am currently involved in multiple projects in Québec (Nunavik), Nunavut and Iceland, where I analyze the coastal evolution and nearshore components that drive erosion and flooding.  Quantifying the links between sediment transport and coastal changes to understand the dual effects of glacial retreat and sea ice loss on Arctic coastlines is one of my main interests.

Description

The course focuses on oceanic and coastal environments, emphasising the relationship between physical processes and management strategies. The physical environment, i.e. waves, currents, sediment movement, beaches, erosion/deposition mechanisms, as well as potential consequences of sea-level rise and global warming, is integrated with anthropogenic dimensions, i.e. usage, coastal defence, pollution (e.g. persistent marine debris) and resource exploitation. The course also gives students an understanding of the consequences of human interactions with both marine and coastal environments as well as an introduction to quantitative techniques for data processing, measuring and data presentation in the field of coastal and marine management.

On completion of the course, a student:

  • has developed an understanding of the coast, its processes, morphology and geological influences.
  • has gained an understanding of the complex interrelationships regarding physical and anthropogenic interactions with coastal and marine environments.
  • can define coastal environments according to physical processes and critically evaluate human influences on this complex zone. 
  • has gained awareness of complementary and competing interests associated with the coastal zone and their consequences.
  • can develop a research project proposing a solution or an improvement to an existing coastal scenario.