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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Field Course in Tropical Marine and Terrestrial Geoscience (EASC09036)

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
SummaryThis course is based on a two-week trip based at Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory on the north shore of Jamaica at the end of semester 2, following introductory lectures and students' completion of background reading and literature reviews. Marine field studies include coral reef ecology and geomorphology, coastal oceanographic processes and water quality analysis. These will be supplemented by linked terrestrial studies, to include river and groundwater sampling and analyses and trips to investigate Jamaica's bauxite mining industry, the geology of the igneous Central inlier region, and karst processes in the Cockpit Country. Together these will provide insights on the natural and anthropogenic factors controlling river and groundwater composition, and impacts of groundwater discharge on offshore reefs.

Students on the BSc (Hons) Environmental Geoscience degree will have priority for the 25 places available. Remaining places will be awarded by the CO after the start of autumn semester.

Personal Tutors of any non-EG students wishing to take the course should contact the Course Organiser in advance and not enrolled students on the course without discussion. Students who are interested in the course should contact the Course Organiser directly to register their interest, in the 1st week of autumn semester. The Course Organiser will consider the academic background against the learning outcomes of the course. Students will be notified once they have been selected. We will then ask PTs to enrol students on the course.

Field course locations may change for a variety of reasons, including security risks, increased costs or inability to access field locations. Any changes to the main destination of the field course will be announced as soon as possible.
Course description Background information and instructions for literature reviews are presented, along with extensive reading lists, during three introductory lectures at the start of semester 2 (dates TBC). There is also a tutorial to provide training in software that will later be used in Jamaica.

Students then conduct independent reading and prepare literature reviews on three separate topics, to be submitted prior to the field trip.

The field trip takes place during a two-week period, near the end of and/or shortly after semester 2. Exact dates and travel arrangements depend on final student numbers, on flights and accommodation availability, and negotiating optimal group prices. Details are usually confirmed towards the end of semester 1.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs The contribution to the fieldwork costs per student in 2015 was approximarely 776 for all EG students;
All students taking the course as an elective will pay the full price of the course (approx. 1600). Costs will be reviewed on a yearly basis and are subject to change. As flight bookings are required well in advance, payment for the course will be non-refundable, and students must be certain of their decision.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 3, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 8, Fieldwork Hours 24, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 3, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 157 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 0%, Course Work: 100 %, Practical Exam: 0%.

Assessment is based on three literature reviews (10% each) completed prior to the field trip, and 3-4 reports completed during the trip. Literature review deadlines vary and are scheduled at introductory lectures in Week 1 or 2 of semester 2.

Text limits and deadlines are set at that time. The numbers, weightings and text limits of individual reports vary each year; details will be provided at the beginning of the field trip.

Details of assessment deadlines for literature reviews and fieldtrip reports will be provided in introductory lectures (reviews) and at the start of the field trip (reports).
Feedback Students receive feedback (annotations and written comments) on literature reviews completed prior to the trip and on reports completed during the trip.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Comprehensive exposure to environmental studies in both marine and terrestrial systems (linked through assessment of natural waters - from rivers to groundwater to a coastal embayment) will give students an integrated knowledge and understanding of the scope of tropical marine and terrestrial environments.
  2. A critical understanding of the nature and impacts of natural and anthropogenic factors.
  3. Practise making informal presentations.
  4. An introduction to a selection of techniques and development of the following skills. 1) Hands-on experience with field sampling and analytical methods. 2) Introduction to biological survey methods and data analysis. 3) Experience of sample collection through to analysis and interpretation of a diverse environmental data set. 4) Experience of coastal oceanographic methods and processes providing a tropical counterpart to subsequent studies in a Scottish sealoch (Oban fieldtrip). 5) Assessment methods for water quality. 6) Development of statistical and data quality assessment methods.
Reading List
(text) Libes, S., Introduction to Marine Biogeochemistry.
Extensive seed reading lists will be provided at introductory lectures.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 35 hour(s) per week for 2 week(s). Two-week field trip, with preparatory lectures and reading beforehand.
Course organiserDr Greg Cowie
Tel: (0131 6)50 8502
Course secretaryMiss Eilein Fraser
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
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