Undergraduate Course: Field Ecology (ECSC08007)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||NB. THIS COURSE HAS ALREADY RUN FOR 2017-18 and no students (except those who attended the course in May 2015) can be enrolled for this academic year.
This 20-point level 8 course is compulsory for students of Ecological and Environmental Sciences, Ecology and Environmental Sciences with Management and Biological Sciences (Ecology). It consists of a field course plus and extended assessment. The field course takes place in May-June before the start of the academic year and the extended assessment is handed in during semester 1. The course is normally taken after the end of first year when it counts as a second year course.
Students on other programmes interested in taking the Field Ecology for 2016-17 should contact the course organiser or the course secretary before the end of February 2016 to register their interest in the 2016-17 course as additional places will be limited. The course for 2016-17 will run on from Monday 23rd May - Wednesday 1st June 2016. STUDENTS MUST HAVE ALREADY NOTED THEIR INTEREST WITH THE COURSE SECRETARY. THE £25 COURSE FEE MUST BE PAID BY 30th APRIL 2016 TO SECURE A PLACE.
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.
At the end of this course you should have a broad knowledge of how to apply a range of routine professional techniques employed in the study of biological organisms and systems in the field. You will also gain detailed experience in methods of identification and classification. From these you should be able to:
-Recognise variation in structure of terrestrial plants and relate this knowledge to their classification and ecology
-Recognise variation in form within the insects, and the key features used in the classification of invertebrate classes and orders
-Understand the functional classification of aquatic invertebrates and use classification keys
-Identify common plant species, from lichens through to trees, in a variety of Scottish habitats
-Identify insects in the field to the level of order
-Make critical observations and take structured target notes in the field
-Design and analyse simple field experiments in ecology
In the project work you will be expected to exercise autonomy and initiative, and use a range of approaches to:
-Carry out routine lines of enquiry into professional level problems
-Design and analyse simple field measurements in ecology
-Critically evaluate evidence-based solutions to defined issues using primary data
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| Approximately £25. 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 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
||Block 5 (Sem 2) and beyond
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 9,
Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 1,
Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 29,
Fieldwork Hours 34,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Assessment comprises several short exercises completed during the field course (50%) and a project completed over the summer period and submitted for assessment during the second week of the first Semester (50%). Students must achieve a mark of at least 40% on the short exercises and project in order to pass the course.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Recognise variation in structure of terrestrial plants and relate this knowledge to their classification and ecology. Recognise variation in form within the insects, and the key features used in the classification of invertebrate classes and orders
- Understand the functional classification of aquatic invertebrates and use classification keys. Identify common plant species, from lichens through to trees, in a variety of Scottish habitats. Identify insects in the field to the level of order
- Design and analyse simple field experiments in ecology In the project work you will be expected to exercise autonomy and initiative, and use a range of approaches to:
- Carry out routine lines of enquiry into professional level problems. Design and analyse simple field measurements in ecology
- Critically evaluate evidence-based solutions to defined issues using primary data
Mitchell, A. (1988) Trees of Britain and northern Europe. Collins, London.
Rackham, O. (1976) Trees and woodlands in the British landscape. Dent,
Rodwell, J. (1991). British Plant Communities. Volume 1, Woodland and
scrub. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Peterken, G.F. & Mountford, E.P. (1998) Long-term change in an unmanaged
population of wych elm subjected to Dutch elm disease. Journal of Ecology,
von Oheimb, G. & Brunet, J. (2007) Dalby Soderskog revisited: long-term
vegetation changes in a south Swedish deciduous forest. Acta Oecologia, 31,
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||NB. THIS COURSE HAS ALREADY RUN FOR 2015-16
The provisional dates for the 2016/17 course are Monday 23rd May to Wednesday 1st June 2016. This will count as a 20-point second-year course for the 2016/17 session.
Students must note their interest in attending the course with the Course Secretary at least three months in advance. Note that current second year students who enrol in and successfully complete the course for 2015/16 cannot count the 20-points towards their third year curriculum but will be awarded an additional 20 points at level 8. Field Ecology is compulsory for all students intending to graduate with one of the ecology-related degrees listed in the Course Description.
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||Field course (no class delivery during semester time)
|Course organiser||Dr Kyle Dexter
Tel: (0131 6)51 7065
|Course secretary||Miss Eilein Fraser
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430