Geomorphological heritage and geodiversity

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course has the main aim of illustrating the role of geodiversity in the landscape modeling and withìn the management of natural resources of the landscape, the inventory, assessment and valorisation of geomorphosites and the analysis of the geomorphological heritage evolution respect to climate change and human impact
Expected learning outcomes
Analize geosites and geomorphosites in relation with their census, valorization, conservation and protection, evolution in relation with climatic and anthropic factors. Analyze and evauate the local geodiversity
Course syllabus and organization

non attivo (attivo nel 2022-23)

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
- Geomorphological landscape and cultural landscape - cultural geomorphology. The key concepts about geodiversity, geoheritage, geosite, geoconservation.

- Geodiversity:
Relationships between geodiversity, biodiversity, ecodiversity. Geodiversity on the global and local scale: Geodiversity in geomorphological processes and in morphoclimatic environments. Soil diversity. Ecosystem services provided by Geodiversity. Degradation factors and geodiversity modification. Geodiversity quantification methods. Geodiversity in urban areas. Urban geodiversity.

Geosites and geomorphosites: definitions, history and evolution; attributes and values. Geosites typology. Geosites census and assessment. National and International Inventories. Study cases and base concepts on cultural heritage and geoheritage legislation. The scientific value of geosites. Investigation techniques. Geomorphosites evolution and climate change. The enhancement of geosites: examples from different morphogenetic and morphoclimatic environments. The reconstruction of geomorphological-cultural landscapes. Geosites degradation. Hazards and risks related to the geosites fruition. Geoeducational and cultural itineraries, geotourism. Mapping geosites.

Geoconservation history and examples. UNESCO sites. World Heritage List. Geoparks. Multimedia and traditional approaches for the geosites fruition in Geoparks.
Prerequisites for admission
Mandatory prerequisites are not requested; however, students must have good knowledge of basic notions of Earth Sciences, especially in Physical Geography, and of basic knowledge in Geomorphology. These latter are recalled during the course if necessary to approach topics in geomorphological heritage.
Teaching methods
The course will employ a variety of methods to accomplish the objectives, including some of the following:
- Lectures
- Labs about mapping of geodiversity and geoheritage
- Field work in natural and urbanized areas
- Multimedia tools
- Small Group Discussions
- Individual and/or in team projects
- Exemplary Study cases analysis
Teaching Resources
Material available on Ariel.

Suggested books:
Gray - Geodiversity Wiley (2nd ed)
Reynard E., Brilha J.- Geoheritage. Assessment, Protection, and Management, Elsevier
Panizza e Piacente Geomorfologia culturale. Pitagora Editrice, Bologna.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists in a discussion on:
1) a presentation (.ppt) realized by the student and based on the proposal of a new geosite or on the analysis of an official geosite or on the valorization a geosite or on a scientific paper concerning geodiversity or geoheritage; 2) the discussion of an exercise on geodiversity, whose preparation starts during a dedicated exercitation, 3) contents of the course. The materials prepared for the evaluation must be submitted (as indicated in the Ariel website of the course) one week in advance to the exam date.
For the realization of the two reports the student can use all the necessary material (texts, books, material found on websites), but he/she must revise this material in a critical way.
During the exam, the basic notions of Geomorphology will be verified, especially in relation to the topic chosen by the student.

The exam aims to:
- assessing the student's knowledge of the topic proposed;
- assessing the student's knowledge of the course contents;
- assessing the student's skills at preparing and presenting a proposal for geoheritage valorization, conservation etc..
- assessing the student's ability in gathering and discussing existing materials useful for the organization of the proposal;

The evaluation will consider also the use of proper language, clearness of the exposition and knowledge of basic notions about the landscape.

Final grading, expressed over 30, will consider the evaluation of the components above described. The evaluation must grade >18/30.
Lessons: 48 hours