Undergraduate Course: Professional Skills in Ecological and Environmental Sciences (ECSC10032)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Professional skills include (a) technical skills and (b) interpersonal skills. We will discuss the following topics in an integrated way. How to be effective; Planning a project; Survey and Experimentation; Data Management and Databases; Philosophy and objectives of statistical analysis; generalised linear models and higher-level models (e.g. mixed models); Visualizing and Presenting Data; Communicating science to your peers; Communicating Science to the public; Professional Networking.
In addition, the course covers topics that should help you to produce and present a rigorous plan for your honours project. Time will be allocated to the preparation of a draft project plan, with the aim of presenting it during the course. The continuous assessment for the course will take the form of a briefing statement for policymakers based on the critical appraisal of an ecological/environmental science paper. The sessions on research design, data management, statistical analysis, and data presentation will form the basis for the examination at the end of the course.
Week 1: Designing a Research Programme
Week 2: Data, data management, and databases
Week 3: Networking, Outreach, and Science Communication
Week 4: Effective Criticism
Week 5: Analytical Tools for Social Studies
Week 6: Statistical Analysis I: Theory and introduction to R programming
Week 7: Statistical Analysis II: Generalised linear models and higher-level stats
Week 8: Statistical Analysis III: presenting data and making figures
Week 9: Effective Presentation
Week 10: Presentation of project plans and feedback
Week 11: Course Wrap-Up and Exam Revision Session
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 18,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 3,
Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 9,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||33.3% Critical evaluation of journal article handed in as written report
33.3% R Statistical Software practical
33.3% Final exam: 2 hour exam; three equally weighted questions: 1 on
experimental design, 1 on statistics, 1 on science communication;1 4-page stationary book per question.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||Professional Skills in Ecological and Environmental Sciences||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Plan your work properly, exercising autonomy and initiative in a professional level activity
- Produce scientific text at the level needed for the project dissertation
- Interpret, use and evaluate a wide range of numerical and graphical data to set and achieve goals
- Give a formal presentation on a specialised topic to informed audiences
- Communicate with your peers, senior colleagues and specialists through the effective use of a scientific, professional level poster.
|R Core Team (2014) An Introduction to R. Available at http://www.r-project.org/ under manuals (documentation).|
Emden J Van (2001) Effective communication for science and technology. Palgrave, New York.
Ford ED (2000) Scientific method for ecological research. CUP Cambridge
Hairston NG (1989) Ecological Experiments: purpose, design and execution. CUP, Cambridge
Hughes IG & Hase TPA (2010) Measurements and their uncertainty. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
O'Connor M (1991) Writing successfully in Science. Chapman & Hall, London.
Gotelli NJ & Ellison AM (2013) A primer of ecological statistics. Sinauer Associates Inc, Sunderland, USA.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||1 three-hour session per week
|Keywords||ECSC10017 Prof Skills in EES
|Course organiser||Dr Kyle Dexter
Tel: (0131 6)51 7065
|Course secretary||Miss Christine Lee
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
© Copyright 2015 The University of Edinburgh - 18 January 2016 3:49 am