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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Ecological Science

Undergraduate Course: Field Biology (ECSC08004)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaEcological Science Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis 20-point course is compulsory for students of Ecological Science and Biological Sciences (Ecology). It consists of a field course plus and extended assessment. The field course takes place in May-June before the start of the academic year; dates for 2011/12 are Wednesday 25th May $˙ Friday 3rd June 2011 and the extended assessment is handed in during semester 1. The course is normally taken after the end of first year when it counts as a second year course; other students may attend the course $¨Class Only&ę.
Students on other programmes interested in taking the course should contact the Course Organiser before the end of February to register their interest in the course as additional places will be limited.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs There is a 25 pound charge for the contribution to transport costs for this field course. This charge must be paid to the course secretary (Helen McKeating) by 30 April 2011. Registration of students applying after this date will be dependent on available transport and lab space. All students are expected to attend a pre-course meeting on Monday 21 March 2011 when details of the course, including books and equipment required will be provided. Suitable warm and waterproof outdoor clothing and footwear are obligatory for fieldwork.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course you should have a broad knowledge of how to apply a range of routine professional techniques employed in the study of biological organisms and systems in the field. You will also gain detailed experience in methods of identification and classification. From these you should be able to:
-Recognise variation in structure of terrestrial plants and relate this knowledge to their classification and ecology
-Recognise variation in form within the insects, and the key features used in the classification of invertebrate classes and orders
-Understand the functional classification of aquatic invertebrates and use classification keys
-Identify common plant species, from lichens through to trees, in a variety of Scottish habitats
-Identify insects in the field to the level of order
-Make critical observations and take structured target notes in the field
-Design and analyse simple field experiments in ecology
In the project work you will be expected to exercise autonomy and initiative, and use a range of approaches to:
-Carry out routine lines of enquiry into professional level problems
-Design and analyse simple field measurements in ecology
-Critically evaluate evidence-based solutions to defined issues using primary data

Assessment Information
Assessment comprises several short exercises completed during the field course (40%) and a project completed over the summer period and submitted for assessment at the end of the second week of the first Semester (60%). 'Class only' students are not required to complete the summer project.
Special Arrangements
The date for the 2011/12 course is Wednesday 25th May to Friday 3th June 2011. This will count as a 20-point second-year course for the 2011/12 session. Please email the course secretary ( at least two months before the start of the course if you wish to attend. Note that current second-year students cannot count the 20-points towards their third year curriculum, but can attend 'Class only' (which they must do if they intend to graduate with one of the ecology-related degrees).
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Barbra Harvie
Course secretaryMrs Helen Mckeating
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
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