Undergraduate Course: Ecological and Environmental Analysis (ECSC09006)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
||Availability||Available to all students
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
|Home subject area||Ecological Science
||Other subject area||None
||Taught in Gaelic?||No
|Course description||To provide 3rd year students in Ecological and Environmental Sciences and in Biological Sciences with a foundation course in the analysis of data and information relevant to biological, ecological and environmental problems.
The five broad themes to be dealt with in the course will be:
A. Understanding variability and uncertainty in Biology and Environmental Science
B. Scientific surveys, sampling and interpretation
C. Understanding the relationships between two variables
D. Thought experiments and modelling
E. Design, analysis and interpretation of controlled experiments .
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?||No
Course Delivery Information
|Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1)
||Learn enabled: Yes
|Class Delivery Information
||The course is largely taught in Peter Wilson Lecture Room A and the interactive computer suite in JCMB on Wednesday mornings from 9 - 12:30 in weeks 1-11 of semester 1. One hour tutorials are scheduled for Monday afternoons or Tuesday afternoons, depending on student commitments for attendance at other courses.
NOTE THAT THE COURSE IS EXAMINED AT THE END OF SEMESTER 2, NOT S1
|Course Start Date
|Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 44,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info)
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)||Ecological and Environmental Analysis||2:00|
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
|By the end of this course, the students will have a broad and integrated knowledge and understanding of the main techniques employed in organismal biology, ecology and environmental sciences to analyse data to reach robust conclusions about their significance. Based on practical questions and examples set out at the beginning of each block, students will understand the issues surrounding the quality of information, the importance of variability in biological properties, the identification and quantification of sources of uncertainty, the design of sampling strategies to determine the mean of population properties, the use of correlation and regression analyses to analyse bivariate relationships among variables, the use of thought and mathematical modelling. Moving on from a description of the main sampling techniques, students will also examine the main strategies to design formal experiments to isolate and test the significance of individual or combined factors in affecting response variables.
|Continuous assessment contributes 40% of the total marks for the course. This comprises the write up of the report on the Survey Exercise (25%) and a one page report on the Experimental Design paper (15%)|
The Examination contributes the remaining 60% of the marks.
NOTE THAT BECAUSE A PERIOD OF REFLECTION IS ESSENTIAL FOR ASSIMILATING THE MATERIAL AND CONCEPTS DEVELOPED IN THIS COURSE, THE EXAM IS HELD AT THE END OF SEMESTER 2.
Dunbar, R. (1995) The Trouble with Science. Faber and Faber, London.
Chalmers, A. F. (1999) What is this thing called Science? Open University Press, Maidenhead.
Ford, E. D. (2000) Scientific Method for Ecological Research. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
WEEKS 1 ¿ 3
Barnard, C., Gilbert, F. & McGregor, P. (2001). Asking Questions in Biology. 2nd Edition. Pearson, Harlow.
Feinsinger, P. (2001). Designing Field Studies for Biodiversity Conservation. Nature Conservancy, Washington
Hughes IG & Hase TPA (2010) Measurements and their uncertainty. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Fowler, J. Cohen, L. & Jarvis, P. (1998) Practical Statistics for Field Biology. 2nd Edition. John Wiley, Chichester.
Grafen, A & Hails, R (2002) Modern statistics for the life sciences. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Ask Owen Mc Donald for recommended text
WEEKS 6 - 8
Haefner, J.W. (1996). Modelling biological systems. Chapman & Hall, New York. (Darwin Library QH308.2 HAE).
WEEKS 9 ¿ 11
Ennos, R. (2007) Statistical and Data Handling Skills in Biology. Pearson, Harlow.
Grafen, A & Hails, R (2002) Modern statistics for the life sciences. Oxford University Press, Oxford. £22.99
Sokal, R. R. & Rohlf, F. J. (1969) Biometry. Freeman, San Fransisco.
Ruxton, G. D. & Colegrave, N. (2006) Experimental Design for the Life Sciences. 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
|Course organiser||Dr Saran Sohi
Tel: (0131 6)51 4471
|Course secretary||Ms Meredith Corey
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
© Copyright 2013 The University of Edinburgh - 13 January 2014 3:54 am