Undergraduate Course: Conservation Science (ECSC10036)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Conservation Science is an honours course combining biological and social science perspectives on the field of conservation. The course is a 20-credit course demanding significant student investment into the coursework of 200 hours: lectures/discussions/workshops (3 hour sessions each week), preparation and readings (at least 3 hours per week), group learning (3 hours per week), assignment preparation (60 hours), field course (three days) and external reading and engagement (20 hours). The course does not have any pre-requisites, but students are expected to have a background in ecology or biological sciences and to be comfortable reading and interpreting the scientific and social science literature and understanding basic applied statistics and mathematics.
Week 1 No lecture this week
Week 2 Introduction to Conservation Science (Keane + Myers-Smith)
Week 3 Patterns of biodiversity (Myers-Smith)
Week 4 Why do we conserve biodiversity? (Keane)
Week 5 Background population ecology for conservation (Myers-Smith)
19 ¿ 21 Oct. Weekend fieldtrip to the Cairngorms: Conservation management in practice
Week 6 Protected areas (Keane)
Week 7 Conservation Science Mid-term Conference
Week 8 Threats to biodiversity (Myers-Smith)
Week 9 People-focused conservation (Keane)
Week 10 Applied techniques in conservation: satellite remote sensing
Week 11 Conservation in practice, course wrap up (Myers-Smith and Keane)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| Students can take EITHER Conservation Science OR Conservation and Management of Natural Populations (SBS). Please note PT's cannot directly enroll students on to SBS courses.
|Additional Costs|| Approximately £60.50 for optional field trip to Cairngorms to cover costs for travel and accomodation. Costs will be reviewed on a yearly basis and are subject to change. Please be aware that students outwith the Ecological and Environmental Sciences (including with management) degree programme will pay full price and not the subsidised fee advertised. 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.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Successful completion of introductory ecology or biology courses.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 30,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Poster Presentation 15%
Skills being assessed: Communication skills, poster design, public speaking, interpretation of the scientific literature, development of an informed scientific opinion
Opinion piece 60%
Skills being assessed: Scientific communication and writing, interpretation of the scientific literature, development of an informed scientific opinion
Post NOTE 25%
Skills being assessed: Public/policy communication, distillation of the scientific literature, summary of scientific information, engagement with policy/public audiences, development of a data visualization using quantitative skills
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Understand the concept of biodiversity change and identify threats to global biodiversity.
- Understand how and why we conserve ecosystems and populations.
- Understand people-focused conservation.
- Use ecological and social science methods to communicate science to academic, public and policy audiences.
- Give an oral presentation, write an opinion piece and construct a blog and write a PostNOTE on selected topics in the field of conservation science.
|Week 1: No reading|
Week 2: Soulé, Michael E. "What is conservation biology? A new synthetic discipline addresses the dynamics and problems of perturbed species, communities, and ecosystems." BioScience 35.11 (1985): 727-734.
Kareiva, Peter, and Michelle Marvier. "What is conservation science?." BioScience 62.11 (2012): 962-969.
Soule, M. The "new conservation." Conservation Biology (2013) 27:895-897.
Pereira, Henrique M., and H. David Cooper. "Towards the global monitoring of biodiversity change." Trends in Ecology & Evolution 21.3 (2006): 123-129.
Myers, Norman, et al. "Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities." Nature 403.6772 (2000): 853-858.
Kareiva, Peter, and Michelle Marvier. "Conserving Biodiversity Coldspots Recent calls to direct conservation funding to the world's biodiversity hotspots may be bad investment advice." American Scientist 91.4 (2003): 344-351.
Living Planet Index
Van Houtan, Kyle S. "Conservation as Virtue: a Scientific and Social Process for Conservation Ethics". Conservation Biology 20.5 (2006): 1367-1372
Justus, James et al. "Buying into conservation: intrinsic versus instrumental value". Trends in Ecology and Evolution 24.4 (2008): 187-191
Helmus, Matthew R., D. Luke Mahler, and Jonathan B. Losos. "Island biogeography of the Anthropocene." Nature 513.7519 (2014): 543-546.
Brosius, J. Peter. "Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas at the World Parks Congress". Conservation Biology 18.3 (2004): 609-612
Terborough, John. "Reflections of a Scientist on the World Parks Congress". Conservation Biology 18.3 (2004): 619-620
Brooks et al. "Protected Areas and Species". Conservation Biology 18.3 (2004): 616-618
Juffe-Bignoli, D. et al. "Protected Planet Report 2014". UNEP-WCMC: Cambridge, UK.
Week 7: Mid-term conference. No required reading.
Dornelas, Maria, et al. "Assemblage time series reveal biodiversity change but not systematic loss." Science 344.6181 (2014): 296-299.
McGill, Brian J., et al. "Fifteen forms of biodiversity trend in the Anthropocene." Trends in ecology & evolution 30.2 (2015): 104-113.
Newbold, Tim, et al. "Global effects of land use on local terrestrial biodiversity." Nature 520.7545 (2015): 45-50.
Adams, William M. et al. "Biodiversity Conservation and the Eradication of Poverty". Science 306 (2004): 1146-1149
Milner-Gulland, E.J. et al. "Accounting for the Impact of Conservation on Human Well-Being". Conservation Biology 28.5 (2014): 1160-1166
Hansen, Matthew C., et al. "High-resolution global maps of 21st-century forest cover change." Science 342.6160 (2013): 850-853.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||Conservation,Biodiversity,Land-use change,Protected areas,Ecosystem services
|Course organiser||Dr Isla Myers-Smith
Tel: (0131 6)50 7251
|Course secretary||Miss Eilein Fraser
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430