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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Ecological Science

Undergraduate Course: Ecological Measurement (ECSC09004)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe aim of this course is to provide knowledge of core methods for ecological measurement, an ability to use these methods in the field to collect data, and the skills to analyse these data to solve scientific questions and suggest management solutions. This course is a compulsory component of the Degree Programme Tables for Ecological and Environmental Sciences (and with Management). It consists of a one week residential course in the University's Firbush Point outdoor pursuits centre on Loch Tay in the week before Freshers week followed by a one and a half hour practical session per week through the First Semester. Due to the limited capacity of Firbush we regret that there will only be space for students registered for Ecological and Environmental Sciences and who have already taken the pre-requisite courses (Principles of Ecology, Field Ecology). Students are required to contribute to the costs of the residential component.
Course description See course handbook on Learn.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Principles of Ecology (ECSC08006) AND Field Ecology (ECSC08007))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students must be enrolled on Ecological and Environmental Sciences or Ecological and Environmental Sciences with Management
Additional Costs Approx 145 towards accommodation costs during field work.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 6, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 6, Fieldwork Hours 60, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 122 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework (50%) consisting of a project data report. Satisfactory completion of a Field Notebook and a formative assessment is also required.

Examination (50%).
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Ecological Measurement2:00
Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course students should have an integrated knowledge of the main aspects of ecological field measurements. Students should be able to:

Apply routine methods of enquiry, involving a selection of principal and specialised skills:
- Forest mensuration, and estimation of biomass of stands
- Measure productivity and gas exchange of ecosystems
- Design long-term monitoring of ecosystems
- Collate environmental data in terrestrial and aquatic environments
- Measure plant traits and canopy properties
- Collect and interpret data on soils
- Understand principles of calibration
- Make effective data records with appropriate details
- Draw on a range of sources in making judgements
- Work effectively on a group project.

Interpret, use and evaluate data to achieve goals such as:
- Organise and analyse data in spreadsheets
- Summarise and interpret data in graphs
- Manipulate data and apply statistical tests of significance
- Understand measurement error
Reading List
Ruxton, G.D., 2003. Experimental design for the life sciences. QH 316.5 Rux.
Sala, OE et al. 2000. Methods in Ecosystem Science. QH 541 Met.
Southwood, T.R.E., 2000. Ecological methods (3rd ed). QH 541.28 Sou.
Waite, S. 2000. Statistical Ecology in Practice. QH541.15.S72 Wai.

A list of required articles for the course can be found in the handbook on Learn.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 56 hours for 1 week. Firbush Field course: Saturday 30 August - Friday 5 September 2014

Weekly class sessions held Fridays, 12:30-2pm in Semester 1.

Provisional dates for 2015/16
Sat 5 Sept - Fri 11 Sept 2015
KeywordsECSC09004 EM
Course organiserDr Mathew Williams
Tel: (0131 6)50 7776
Course secretaryMiss Christine Lee
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
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