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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Marine Field Methods in Research and Practice (PGGE11202)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThere is a need for field based exposure to coastal marine systems to add meaning to the lecture based components of the programme. This course provides the value of learning in-situ methods, in particular for coastal marine where access to the environments more challenging. Shallow coastal enables hands-on learning with only snorkel.
The tropical island based site optimizes exposure as a microcosm of ecological and social features: ridge-reef concept: high island features influencing coast; coastal biophysical features: mangroves, seagrasses lagoon, coral reef.
The course also provides exposure to social dynamics; marine lab setting safe and academic residential base, but also part of wider set of challenges with local fishing pressures, coastal urbanization and pollution, disparity of incomes and education,
The course will enable reflect on applications of coastal marine management theory in practice (ecosystem based management, coastal zone management, marine protected areas).
It provides in-situ learning will also develop transferable skills for future work and/or leadership guidance on coastal marine projects
The tropical ecosystem and developing country context critical difference to the temperate/advanced country context of Scotland, so extends real-world exposure to coastal marine systems and policies.
Course description Pre-trip Lectures:
1. Coral Reefs Exemplars of Marine Biodiversity Resilience or Phase Shift Realties
2. Linking Marine Governance Considerations with Coastal Ecosystem Dynamics
3. Research Methods Tutorials: Ecological Methods
4. Research Methods Tutorials: Social Science Methods
Field Trip Activities:
5. Reef Geomorphology, zonation and growth
6. Reef Experiments
7. Biological Surveys
8. Social interviews and focus groups
9. Marine Management Conservation and Development Planning Scenarios
Post Trip Reflection and Dissertation Linkages
10. Feedback, Reflection and Relevance

This is a critical core-course complement of the overall MSc in Marine Systems and Policies. The course provides an insight and experience of coastal marine ecological and social governance and stakeholder skills sets identified as currently desirable to both the student cohort and employment sector concerned with the wider environment and its study. This is particularly relevant for coastal-marine setting where access and methods in water environments are distinct from terrestrial, and need for students to gain familiarity and understanding of marine systems to contribute to future PhD, and professional practice opportunities on coastal marine issues.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Covered by tuition for those on the MSc in Marin Systems and Policy
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 16/01/2017
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Learning and Teaching Activities
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessments:

1- Pre-trip inception report (20%)
2- Group projects and presentations (20%)
3- Individual project report (60%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have an understanding of the biophysical dynamics and interactions of typical tropical coastal settings, with mangrove, seagrass, reef systems.
  2. Have an understanding of the interactions of these systems in the context of a developing island country or similar coastal context, where there are multiple pressures of industry, tourism development, overfishing and disparate scales of income and governance structures;
  3. To have learned representative coastal ecological and geology field skills in these settings focused on biodiversity, habitat structure, trophic dynamics, ocean and land influences, e.g. transects, quadrats, reef zonation surveys, sediment cores, and putting this together as a whole picture of reef dynamics, reef health and change over time.
  4. To have also learned about doing basic social science skills to capture a sense of socio-economics, e.g. interviews of local communities, meeting with government and university stakeholders, tourism operators etc.
  5. To work in both group and individual capacities on both the physical reef work and the social inquires.
Reading List
Book chapters from:
- Nybakken, JW. 1993. Marine Biology, An Ecological Approach;
- Polunin, NVC, 2008. Aquatic Systems, Trends and Global Processes;
- Murray SN et al, 2006. Monitoring Rocky Shores.
- Woodroffe, CD., 2002. Coasts: Form, process and evolution.
- Walker, LR, 2011. Island Environments in a Changing World.
- Gerrard and Wanneir, 2013. Threatened Island Nations.
Journal articles:
- Tett, P., et al 2013. Framework for understanding marine ecosystem health MEPS;
- Crain, CM et al, 2009. Understanding and Managing Human Threats to the Coastal Marine Environment. The Year in Ecology and Conservation Biology 2009: Ann.N.Y.Acad.Sci. 1162 (39-62)
- Jackson, JBC et al 2001. Historical Overfishing and the Recent Collapse of Coastal Ecosystems Science Vol 293 27 July 2001 (630-637)
- Madin JS, Hughes TP and Connolly SR (2012) Calcification, storm damage and population resilience of tabular corals under climate change. PLoS ONE, 7 (10). pp. 1-10
- Hughes TP, Baird AH, Dinsdale EA, Moltschaniwskyj N, Pratchett MS, Tanner JE and Willis BL (2012) Assembly Rules of Reef Corals Are Flexible along a Steep Climatic Gradient. Current Biology, 22 (8). pp. 736-741
- Hughes TP, Bellwood DR, Baird AH, Brodie JE, Bruno JF and Pandolfi JM (2011) Shifting base-lines, declining coral cover, and the erosion of reef resilience: comment on Sweatman et al. (2011). Coral Reefs, 30 (3). pp. 653-660
- Hughes TP (2011) The future of marine governance. Solutions, 2 (1). pp. 1-3
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will acquire and develop the following transferable skills:
1. Assessment of typical coastal marine nearshore settings as land-sea seascape interface;
2. To participate in individual and team activities toward the completion of assignments and goals.
3. Critical thinking with regard to the evaluation of sources of information, the feasibility of management options and interpretation of outcomes.
KeywordsQuantitative ecological and reef geomorphology ecosystems and techniques,coastal marine habitats,b
Course organiserDr Meriwether Wilson
Tel: (0131 6)50 4311
Course secretaryMiss Susie Crocker
Tel: (0131 6)51 7126
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