Undergraduate Course: Ecological Measurement (ECSC09004)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||The 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. 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.
See course handbook on Learn.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
|| Students MUST have passed: (
Principles of Ecology (ECSC08006) AND
Field Ecology (ECSC08007))
||Other requirements|| Students must be enrolled on Ecological and Environmental Sciences or Ecological and Environmental Sciences with Management
|Additional Costs|| Approximately £168.48 for coach hire and accommodation costs during field work. Costs will be reviewed on a yearly basis and are subject to change. Please be aware that students who are taking this course as an elective will pay full price and not the subsidised fee advertised.
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
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
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Coursework (50%) consisting of a project data report. Satisfactory completion of a Field Notebook and a formative assessment is also required.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||Ecological Measurement||2:00|
| 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
|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.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||56 hours for 1 week. Firbush Field course: Saturday 2 September - Friday 8 September 2017
Weekly class sessions held Fridays, 12:30-2pm in Semester 1.
|Course organiser||Dr Andrew Mcleod
Tel: (0131 6)50 5434
|Course secretary||Miss Eilein Fraser
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430