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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Ecological Science

Undergraduate Course: Ecological and Environmental Science field course (including management) (ECSC10033)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe field course builds upon the skills and competences acquired by Ecological and Environmental Sciences students during previous field courses and lecture classes. The core element of the two components of the field course are the acquisition of skills in designing and conducting field sampling and monitoring projects; the acquisition of skills using field equipment. 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 Sat 2nd Sep 1000 Arrive at Crew Building for loading
1030 Leave from Crew Building
1230 Arrive the Green Welly, Tyndrum
1330 Depart Tyndrum
1600 Arrive Oban - Chalet site
2000 Overview talk of course and itinerary - domestic issues

Sun 3rd Sep 0900 Discussion of projects. Assembling equipment and visiting the field sites
1600 Presentation of plans for group projects
2000 Intro lecture/discussion - renewable resources

Mon 4th Sep 0900 Depart for Ormsary wind farm
1015 Wind farm talk, site visit
1200 Packed lunch on site
1400 Group projects
2000 Marine talk

Tues 5th Sept 0900 Project work
1130 Depart chalets
1145 Arrive Tralee beach (packed lunch on site)
1230 Marine Sampling
2000 Discussion, Q&A session

Wed 6th Sep 0900 Group projects all day
1700 Free evening

Thur 7th Sep 0900 Depart for Glasdrum NNR
1200 Packed lunch on site
1400 Group projects
1900 Free evening

Fri 8th Sep 0900 Packup kit and load into van
1000 Depart Cologin (stop in Tyndrum)
1400 Arrive Edinburgh

Monday 11th September 0930 Analysis of data from group projects
Tuesday 12th September 0930 Analysis of data from group projects
Wednesday 13th September 1400 Poster presentations
Friday 29th September 1200 Deadline for hand in of project reports

Project titles
1. Effects of habitat type on bat activity
2. Comparison of small mammal activity in plantations and semi natural woodlands
3. Does small mammal activity increase or decrease with increasing proximity to human dwellings?
4. Effects of water stress on leaf optical properties of plants of different functional groups (e.g. bryophytes, ferns, mosses)
5. Variability in plant physiological responses to drought
6. Investigation of diagenetic alteration of saltmarsh organic matter
7. Characteristics of forest and grassland organic matter
8. Relationship between phosporus, iron and organic matter in organic-rich soils
9. How does abundance and diversity of understory plants differ by woodland types?
10. Does abundance and diversity of invertebrate orders differ between native and non-native trees?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Approximately 147.81 for travel and accomodation. 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) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 6, Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 6, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 12, Fieldwork Hours 32, External Visit Hours 14, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 120 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Poster Conference: 20%, Field Project write-up: 40%, Essay: 40%

Poster of field project due Wednesday 13th September
Write up of the field project due by 12 noon on Friday 29th September
A second written assignment on a second topic due by 12 noon on Friday 24th November.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To gain a comprehensive knowledge of the principles and some of the specialised skills of enquiry employed in ecological field work.
  2. To gain competence in the use of ecological and environmental field techniques and to apply these skills in field investigations.
  3. To execute a defined project of research and identify the relevant outcomes by appropriate statistical data analysis and interpretation. This will enable students to plan and practise in a context similar to those found at a professional level, which includes an element of unpredictability.
  4. An ability to communicate with professional level peers and senior colleagues and specialists will be developed through the peer-to-peer presentations and field visits with practitioners which will also enable students to gain an appreciation of the contexts and challenges associated with ecological and environmental management.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsField techniques,ecology and environment,populations,biodiversity,trace gases,micrometeorology
Course organiserDr Caroline Nichol
Tel: (0131 6)50 7729
Course secretaryMiss Eilein Fraser
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
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